There is no joy in Mudville

the Jaguars have struck out.

The Tennessee Titans came to Jacksonville and delivered a real lesson on this team. Even though the Jaguars are 3-3 on the season, the three losses including this one, do not deliver promise of a good season. As a fan of the team and someone that has been in the stadium for every game since 2006, some of my questions have been answered. See if you agree with my assessment of some of these long standing questions.

Is David Garrard an Elite QB with a bad offensive line or just a good backup Quarterback? Answer: David Garrard can look very good, but he has not emerged as an $8 million per year starter. I defended him a lot over the years, but he has never emerged and now it is clear he never will.  The beating he took over the 2008 and 2009 season have caught up to him. Trent Edwards showed more spark but produced nothing as well. Jacksonville needs a quarterback.

Will Maurice Jones Drew burn out if used as a featured back? Answer: Maurice did burn out as a featured back late last year and has never returned to form. Maybe there is an injury he is nursing, maybe it occurred last year,  I don’t know but even against the worst team in football, the Buffalo Bills, he did not shine. Tonight against the Titans, he was nobody.

Is Jack Del Rio a winning coach able to take this team to the Super Bowl? Answer: No, Jack will never get the Jaguars to the Super Bowl. He has had every opportunity and can not rise above a .500 record. This season will be no different. His coaching staff of Mel Tucker and Dirk Koetter have shown nothing special. I don’t know what Mike Shula does anymore. Only Joe Cullin has a career in the NFL coaching ranks. Look at Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis in Kansas City. The right coaches make the right use of their people.

Will Gene Smith build a winning team if given total authority? Answer: Maybe, but Gene Smith is making as many mistakes as everyone else. Don Carey and David Jones starting in the backfield have been a disaster. Gene Smith’s emerging record as a GM is nothing spectacular thus far.

Will Mike Sims-Walker emerge as a true number one receiver? Answer: No. He does not have the elite ability of an Andre Johnson or any other real threat at wide receiver.

The best things about the Jacksonville Jaguars right now are the fans. In city after city there are blackouts. Tonight on Monday Night Football, this city was excited and enthusiastic and showed their support. They really deserved better than they received. It is great fun to be at a Monday Night game and I appreciate having the team, but some kind of hope of a victory was needed.

 On a national stage at home for an important game, there was simply no fight in the Jaguars except on the defensive line. The demonstrated quality was poor. As the Titans said, they looked at the film and laughed. They came to Jacksonville and laughed again. For the Jacksonville Jaguars something must change. This team’s arrow is not pointing up.

- Terry O’Brien

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Tags: Embarrassment Jacksonville Jaguars Wayne Weaver

  • zoltanfrombudapest

    Correct recap. Right now I cannot write else.

  • http://nothinyet Justin

    this is kind of a knee-jerk reaction to a terrible game. how much better is Anthony Smith compared to the rest of the guys back there? We all know Drew is dealing with injuries and STILL running guys over. right now it’s dark but you gotta be able to see the positives on this young team

    • tkopa

      If you saw positives, I don’t know what quarter or what drive or what series you saw them on.

  • Bibbee

    You’re right Gene Smith isn’t doing anything spectacular… except hitting on draft picks no one else has ever heard of. Or bringing in the best free agent acquisition of last year in Aaron Kampman. Or getting value from garbage players like Groves, Nelson and Smith. Or building the foundation of a football team that was completely decimated and devoid of talent. Come on man… the problem lies with injuries to Cox and not being able to fix it all at once, including coaching staff and QB. You can’t move into a house that was just started being built yesterday.

    • tkopa

      keep telling yourself that.

      • slawsc

        You are right, “if given total authority”. I don’t believe Gene Smith is ignorant enough to think that Jack Del Rio and David Garrad are the answers for rebuilding. It is painstakingly obvious after last season (will give David and JDR a pass on 2008). If we didn’t have $85 million tied up with these two knuckleheads, their rear ends should have (and deserved) to be run out of town after last season. Unfortunately it comes down to economics, small market and Wayne Weaver not being able to still pay those guys this season while bringing in a new coach or a proper QB replacement. Some of that I believe is Gene telling Wayne that their was no savior QB in last year’s draft (except Bradford) so Gene and Wayne decided to play it out one more year. I just can’t believe that Gene Smith believes that these two are the long-term answers. I hate to tote the “company line” but this is still going to take another 2 years. Next year we get the rookie QB and he will go through the bumps and bruises and hope that year 2 (2012) he will lead us to success. Then hopefully your “questions” about Gene’s skills will be answered, but we can’t truly grade Gene with rebuilding when the two most important things to rebuild (HC and QB) are still in place. That can’t be Gene’s decision while those two are still here.

  • thehof

    This is a little too melodramatic. We’re a young team and this is unfortunately what young teams do. There are pieces in place that will be there for a long time as we improve and as for the weaknesses, yes they were exposed.

    • NEjag

      As much as I love DG he never had been nor will he be elite but Garrard was not benched for Edwards he was sat because of a sustained concussion. And idk what game you were watching but both teams were playing above avg run defense I don’t care about the garbage yards CJ put up at the end of the game for the most part he was a non factor all game. As for Gene, get off the guys back. YOU CAN’T HIT ON EVERY PERSON YOU PICK UP. Its a fact of life, gene willmake mistakes but you cannot blame him for this loss he has done an amazing job of putting more competent talent than I think most GMs in the league no matter how unsexy they are. So step back chill out and enjoy the ride to the top. I know I am.

  • acedarney

    I agree with everything you said except:

    Garrard has always been an adequate quarterback. He wasn’t ever going to win the game for you. Even if he’s middle of the road, he’s probably in the top 20 QB’s in the NFL right now. You probably won’t find much better in mid season.

    Gene Smith is not the one picking who starts. Derrick Cox was supposed to be the guy at corner. Don Carey was supposed to be a 4th CB when the season started, not the starting safety. Personally, I would have rather gotten a 6th for Reggie Nelson instead of a 7th and David Jones.

    Finally, Mike Sims-Walker cannot be compared to Andre Johnson for the same reason Garrard cannot be compared to Tom Brady: they just aren’t in the same league. Garrard and Sims-Walker are both adequate. Upgrades are definitely needed for this team to move on.

  • NEjag

    I know gene doesn’t pick the starters but it seems terrys making the argument that he hasn’t put any adeqaute talent on the field. As for Cox, he was benched because of an injury as well. So heated after I realized Jones was in getting lit up by Young and Collins. Om Garrard I agree, he’s adequate but not elite.

    Btw if any is to be blamed for such a horrific game, not only blame the secondary but our o line was getting blown like it was 08. One play I saw Monroe get bull rushed like he was 3 yr old girl. WTF. Also DKs play calling was suspect as all hell, down by 20 in the 4th and callinruafter run after run?? Someone please explain this.

  • tkopa

    Let me state again what I said. I am not saying this loss is Gene’s fault or David’s fault. I am saying I have learned that:

    1) David is not and will not be Ben Rothlesburger.
    2) Maurice has not been the same since he became the feature back and tried to carry the team.
    3)Jack does not look like he will emerge as anything but a .500 coach.
    4) The rebuilding of this team does not feel strong right now. I don’t know if the Jaguars are getting better or worse.
    5) Mike Sims-Walker is not a strong number one receiver. We have a strong need.

    Based on this, I feel that a new young QB is needed sooner rather than later.

    A good compliment to MJD, such as Fred Taylor was, would be a good addition.

    Jack Del Rio and his staff are not producing a culture of strength and winning.

    Gene Smith needs to sharpen his skills. The defensive line was addressed well, the offensive line is faultering, the linebackers are not as strong as they were and the secondary is worse.

    A new top notch receiver is still a major need.

  • NEjag

    For the most part I can agree with you…now. but I do think this team is getting better like I stated before, vaguely I might add, gene will not and can’t be expected to hit on every roster decision he makes, I expect him to make mistakes from time to time. And he certainly hasn’t hit a home run just yet but he hasn’t struck out wildly either. He’s making solid base hits. Plus it year 2 of his regime, I kinda expect huge swings in inconsistency. This team is like a hs kid. They’ll get straight A’s where you are overwhelmed with joy and pride then the kid turns around and smashes moms car into the neighbors house. This team just isn’t mature yet.

  • Brian Fullford

    Loved the read TO. I think Walker has a bit more upside as DG doesn’t seem to lead him often enough, but he is definitely not in Johnson’s league (not may are). I still contend the receiving corps is better with a better QB but your points are well presented.

    I think the Gene issue is that he elevated too high. For the most part he is winning, just had too many issues to fix.

  • Luke

    I would like to address a few things:

    1) David Garrard has played on an elite level….when we win. The question then becomes, how can we make him consistent?
    1a) Trent Edwards showed no flashes of anything good. Nothing at all.
    2) MJD is a very very good back. But he never has been an every down back. Fred Taylor has been missed and I believe another solid running back (not Karim or Jennings) should be picked up. The two small guys on the roster behind pocket Hercules are exactly that, small. Too much so.
    3) Is Jack Del Rio a winning coach? No. But I’m only basing my response on his record. I DO believe he can take this team to the super bowl. Mainly for these reasons: A) He is calm. Did you see him lose on Monday night? He looked so stoic! B) He is patient. He knows that he is rebuilding a team and has been since he inherited it. Yes, the Jaguars have looked good some years, but in reality it has been one giant rebuilding. I don’t think any Jaguars team since Del Rio has taken over has been a complete team, none of them should have been better than 9-7 but some were. This is a rebuilding time and Del Rio knows it. C) Del Rio knows how to win and is able to instill that into the players. He is a players coach. He is building a mentality of winning into the minds of our young players.
    4) No, Gene Smith will not build a winning team if given TOTAL authority. I believe Del Rio needs to be involved in some way. And he is currently. And I think a winning team is being built. I’m quite happy with our young guys thus far. Quite happy indeed!
    5) I do believe MSW will emerge as a number one receiver. I think he has already fulfilled one requirement of the role, force defenses to take you into account. Why else is Mike Thomas getting so many catches? Why else is Marcedes Lewis always so open even though the defense is stacking the box and easily able to slide one guy to cover a tight end? Sure, MSW isn’t able to shed coverage so easily at this point in his career, but it will come. Give him a year and I bet he’ll be better than Johnson and more solid than Marvin Harrison.

    Just some thoughts.

    - Luke N. Sims

    • slawsc

      Who are you? Luke Del Rio or Luke Ketchum? Jack has been here for 8 years. 8 years x 365 equals 2920 days. So in roughly 3000 days, almost a decade we have been what? A .500 team with one playoff victory. Rebuilding every year. Sorry, time is up. Should have been up after last year. This is the NFL. What have you done for me lately. The excuses end this year. To me, anything less than an AFC Championship game appearance and Del Ri/Garrad is done. We can’t endure another 2 years of this crap with rebuilding excuses. I don’t think the results will be much different than what they have been the last 8.

      • Luke

        Slawsc, I have likewise stated that the measurement for Del Rio to remain is either an AFC South Championship or going 11-5. I don’t think either of these things will be achieved this year, so I believe that he should be gone.
        What I stated in my comment is that I believe that he can take this team to the Super Bowl. Actually I think he could take any team to the Super Bowl. Likewise, I am quite tired of rebuilding and I am growing impatient, but that should not impact whether I believe he can take this team to the super bowl or not. Just because he is trapped in rebuilding does not mean he is incapable of coaching a team to the super bowl.
        A quick history note for you here. We got rid of Tom Coughlin because we didn’t think he could get us to the Super Bowl and he had made the Jaguars become quite horrific. But he later led the Giants to, and won, a Super Bowl. I’m certain Jack is of similar talent and ability.

  • surteal

    You got emotionally behind a bad team and now they play bad and it burns you. I feel the same way, it’s just the d-backs are SO bad that I have a hard time actually faulting anybody. Dunta Robinson would’ve been a great 2nd corner. That’s an elite set right there, but it’s money they didn’t spend because they seem to have assumed the team would be bad so why spend extra cash. I would’ve have also kept Big John under the pretense that he is a starter on paper and thats just out of respect. Tyson would’ve had more snaps.

    As Z loves to point out, Bernard Pollard would’ve been great-and he would. There are mistakes here and there. For instance, E Wilford would’ve been a great 4th wr/te in that order. I honestly don’t know why he’s not on the field.

    But in the end, its a bad team mostly due to interior line play in the run game and some in the pass game along with the atrocious play of the secondary sans Mathis on most games.

    My advice: Stoic-it only works for so long with the ladies but it applies to the here-and-now regarding this football team.

    • tkopa

      So right and so appreciated. Thanks!