I need more time to write this story but I think the pieces are falling into place. Three things I can say for certain; Wayne Weaver is not happy about the state of the Jaguars, Wayne Weaver is very actively engaged in the restructuring of this team, and Jack Del Rio has been neutered.
The firing of Ted Monochino tells me a lot. This firing was not, I believe, done by Jack alone. Consider this tweet message from Michael Wright:
I did get the fact that Monachino remains on the staff confirmed.
Michael Wright is simply the best reporter this town has on the Jaguar sports beat. When he tweeted that, he recieved the information directly, probably from Jack. I might be wrong, but I don’t think Jack intended for Ted to go.
In short, the roster restructuring was only phase I in the rebuilding of the Jaguars. Phase II is what we are witnessing today, the restructuring of the coaching roster.
We have seen Mike Tice go, Kennedy Pola go, and now Ted Monochino.
Here are Wayne’s own words on the issue:
People have to be accountable and they know they have to be accountable and there has to be a standard that you set, and that standard has to be adhered to by everybody in the building.
Wayne Weaver Press Conference Jan 13, 2009
When you record 14 quarterback sacks in a season, someone has to be held accountable. That is in the top five lowest totals of all time. Personally, you can argue talent all you want, coaching plays a role.
Here is another telling statement by Wayne Weaver:
“Shame on me that I haven’t done (extensive reviews of the organization) more. Shame on me — for if I would have dug deeper in some of the earlier years with some of the personnel things going on in this building – I would have had a different result,” Weaver said.
Wayne Weaver dug into this organization and didn’t like what he found. Kennedy Pola had a hand in the offense. Mike Tice had a hand in game planning. Dirk Koetter was the offensive coordinator. Everyone was in charge, no one was accountable. Wayne Weaver is making changes. He might look like a kindly grandfather, and he probably is, but he is also a very good businessman. He knows how to make changes when it is called for. He knows how to establish accountability.
Weaver said he just conducted the most extensive internal review of the team in its 15-year history.
Consider this quote from his press conference:
“People have shown us in this league that if you do it the right way, there’s no reason that you can’t compete for the playoffs every year. And I think we’ve got the team in place. I’m really excited about what Gene Smith and his people are doing in the personnel area.
I can’t read Wayne’s mind, but I can read his actions. Gene, I believe, has to sign off on coaching changes. In short, Gene is probably engaged in the coaching restructuring as well as the roster restructure.
So why didn’t Jack appear at the press conference and the rally? Wayne told us:
I think right now Jack, he had his day planned. He’s really in some deep meetings with his staff. You’ll have a chance to get with him.
Jack had some bad news to deliver. He had to tell Mike Tice and Kennedy Pola to begin looking for work. Jack had to carry the message of change back to the staff. I think the Joe Cullen hiring was also emminent at that time as well.
So was Jack about to be fired? Reports were it was 50/50 that he survive. Was it because Jack had to agree to some big changes? What if he didn’t give in on the staff changes? He probably would have been gone as well, just my guess.
I think Jack was also told to be more media friendly. He then sat for an extensive interview with Big Cat Country. Jack accepted the terms of the deal and stayed. I think Wayne likes Jack, but Jack wasn’t doing the job as a highly paid head coach that he was suposed to. Whatever “juice” Jack had in 2008 has vanished.
Now to be fair, I have no inside information. I don’t know any of this to be true. It is all my speculation. But you put the pieces together. Do you see it any different? Probably. I think the truth will come out soon. Michael Wright is too good to let this story go. Until it is reported as fact, this is the best I have.
On thing I can say for sure, things are not the same at One Stadium Place and all for the better.
One more note concerning Joe Cullen. Joe, if you can remain the man you have become, well behaved and sober, welcome the Jacksonville. Get in here and get to work. I can’t wait to meet the rest of the new coaching staff.
Wayne and this town wants a winner. Let’s all get to work. Our job is to fill the stadium, good things are on the way.
- Terry O’Brien