I remember a year ago there were a few centers in free agency, among them was Jeff Saturday from the Colts and our Brad Meester, a Jaguar. I was happy when Brad signed his contract extension. Brad got a 4 year $10 million contract. Jeff Saturday got $7.5 million signing bonus and and a $12 million contract. Jeff Saturday went on to have an incredible year, Brad Meester didn’t.
If you believe ProFootballFocus, and I tend to believe them, Brad graded out as one of the worst centers in the league. As I mentioned before, they grade every play of every game. Each play is graded on a +2 to -2 score with zero being what an average player would score. They watch every single play.
Brad graded out as almost last in run blocking. Only Kevin Mawae from Tennessee graded worse. In pass blocking he graded out as 29th out of 34 centers. Overall, Brad graded out as 33rd out of 34 centers. Even if the scoring is flawed, it can’t be so flawed that Brad could have had a good season with these scores. These people look at every play of every game.
When I looked at photos I took, I could see the errors or missed blocks. Remember, the quickest way to get to David is right up the middle. If Brad Meester isn’t holding his own, David will have a bad day.
Here is the problem the Jaguars face. Brad Meester is the guy who calls out the blocking assignments. His knowledge is key to the success of the line. Brad knows a lot and is counted on to be the rock for the new guys to lean on. I know they respect him. I know the Jaguar organization counts on him. I just don’t know if we CAN count on him any longer.
Here is what Andy Heck told Paul Kuharsky from ESPN about Brad:
“We got strong veteran leadership from him. I’ve never been around a player that was more dedicated to his craft than he is. He’s really outstanding at communicating and getting us all going in the right direction and is the leader of our group. I’d say Brad is a very well-balanced player. The thing that he has that the young tackles don’t have is the benefit of a lot of experience. There is not a lot that he hasn’t seen. He’s able to sort out difficult looks and play smart football.”
No offense intended, but I don’t hear a lot of “Brad had a great season” or “Brad did a fantastic job”. It is more about his brain than his ability.
I am very sorry to say this. I am very sorry. Brad Meester has seen his better days. I remember Mohammed Ali late in his career saying “I could see the openings, my brain knew what to do, my body couldn’t execute”. I think Brad can see a lot, but he may not be in a position to stop a lot.
The Jaguars will not cut Brad Meester until the final cut if then. There is too much hope invested in him. Gene Smith, however, has no feelings for the past. He lives in the future, a future of Championship football. If he doesn’t see Brad as helping to get there, we need to be prepared to say goodbye.
Brad moved from left guard to center. Uche Nwaneri was a left guard. I think Uche is headed for center.
- Terry O’Brien