Monday, October 31, 2011

Jaguars Mid-Season Review

With the bye week now approaching this Sunday, the Jaguars have now reached the halfway point of the season. With a 2-6 record, the Jaguars have improved in some areas, but have regressed in other parts of the game. Let's take a look at what is going on with this team.

The Defense Returns
Last season, this side of the ball couldn't stop anyone. There was no pass rush. Offenses scored at will during the games. The secondary was hideous. It was a big issue going into the off season, and it was addressed with big free-agents acquisitions. Paul Posluszny, Dawan Landry, Clint Session, Drew Coleman, and Dwight Lowery have made the team better on defense. Posluszny has been a tackle machine. Safeties Lowery and Landry have let Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox play better. Yes, the defense has lapses, but you can't deny the fact that the Jags have improved in this area, keeping them competitive.

Where's the Offense?
David Garrard was cut prior to the regular season starting. Luke McCown played well to get the victory in week one, but against the Jets in week two, it was a disaster. The number one pick of the Jaguars in this year's draft, Blaine Gabbert became the starter. He has shown moments of brilliance, but he needs work. His pocket presence isn't there. The mechanics are inconsistent, along with accuracy. He has the tools to be the franchise quarterback, but things must be fixed. The running game has not been as potent as some thought. Wide receivers and tight ends drop passes that are clearly in their hands. In order for this team to take the step in becoming elite in the NFL, the offense must be balanced and not sputtering at points in the game. Josh Scobee can't do it all.

Speaking of Josh Scobee.......

Special Teams
Scobee is doing his job. He is on a roll. The only issue with the special teams was the punter. Matt Turk was acquired the off season to replace Adam Podlesh. Few punts were excellent. Eventually, he was cut. Nick Harris was brought in during the season and has done well.

As the Jaguars enter the second half of the season, the playoffs are probably out of sight. Tennessee and Houston will battle for the division title. The thing to watch for is Gabbert's development as NFL quarterback and the offense finding its way to the end zone.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The NFL Draft-Jaguars Filling in the Gaps

Tonight, in primetime, the NFL Draft will occur in Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Many teams will be looking in on their big board trying to figure out which player that can change their franchise. It is the ultimate guessing game. If you strike gold, the possiblities are endless on how far the team can go. But otherwise, missing on a player can set your franchise back several years. The Jacksonville Jaguars are a prime example of that. Previous first-round selections like Reggie Williams and Reggie Nelson have turned out to be busts. The Jaguars have many needs coming into the 2011 draft. General Manager Gene Smith is rebuilding the roster through the draft. His philosophy is selecting the "best available player". Also he is not afraid to go against the grain in his selections. No matter where the player went to school or what the media says, Smith stands by his picks. Along with Director of Player Personnel, Terry McDonough, Smith and his scouting team watch film and conduct interviews with the draftees. Over the past year, they have been working hard to build their big board and tonight all the work comes to fruitation. With so many glaring holes for this team, it will be interesting to see who they select. Let's see the positions the Jaguars look to fill.

Wide Receiver
With Mike Sims-Walker gone, and the lack of a true play making deep threat, this must be addressed. Sims-Walker gave glimpses of being that number one guy, but with injury and inconsistency, the Jaguars decided to let him go. Mike Thomas has been a steal and maybe Jason Hill can help, but a play-maker is needed.

Secondary (Cornerback or Safety)
Derek Cox is a solid starter, but having one of the worst pass defenses in the league, makes this a priority in the draft. Mathis has one year left on his contract, and he hasn't been playing up to his potential. The safety position absolutely needs an upgrade.

Defensive Line
Aaron Kampman will the pass rusher and leader we needed. Tyson Alualu should a starter for a long time along with Terrance Knighton. Still, the another pass rusher can help tremendously. The NFL is a quarterback driven league, so getting to the quarterback is a must.

As of right now, Daryl Smith is the only starter to return. Justin Durant and Kirk Morrison might not be back. Linebackers who can drop into coverage and create a pass rush can help the Jaguars.

David Garrard is not getting younger. It is time to develop the quarterback of the future. Garrard is an average starter in the league, you can win with him, but you need the right pieces in place. As previously stated, the NFL is a quarterback driven league.

I believe that the Jaguars are building a roster that can become a championship contender, so let us enjoy the draft tonight and see what Gene Smith does next.

It's been a while........but I'm back.

It has been a long, long time since I put another post on this blog. But I feel ready to write again. So I'm back. New post should be coming soon.