The lockout does many things. It enrages the fans, hurts the players’ and teams’ bottom line and makes some judges famous. The obvious solution to the problem is to sit down and work it out behind closed doors. However, the players and the NFL have been content to air their dirty laundry in a smear campaign that likens more to a school yard name calling match than two powerful organizations arguing over billions of dollars. Stuck in the middle are the fans. Here’s a list of potentially good and bad consequences of the lockout on the Jags.
It has been proposed already, but I’ll rehash it here. The lockout could be beneficial for the Jaguars when it comes to the 2011 season. The Jags only have five rookies (currently) and none of them really figure prominently into the opening day, starting twenty-two. Gabbert won’t start, Rackley has an uphill battle to start, Shorts could potentially be the number three, Prosinski has the greatest chance to start but that chance was recently diminished as GM Gene has stated that the Jags will be looking for a player or two for the safety position in free agency. Isaac won’t start, but has a good chance to be the third or fourth corner. Basically, the Jags offense is almost entirely coming back (no MSW) and the defense can only get better and will most likely fill the gaps with veterans who won’t hit the rookie wall. The Jags staff has also remained relatively consistent since last season, keeping Koetter (OC) and shifting the defensive play calling responsibilities from Del Rio to Tucker (DC). The Titans have an uphill battle, with a new coaching staff and many new faces that are being looked to to contribute. The Texans’ offense will still be good, if not better, but the defense is transitioning from a 4-3 to a 3-4. That’s a major change that will be hard to overcome, although Wade Phillips knows the 3-4 well. The Colts will most likely remain good on offense, so long as Manning doesn’t have any setbacks with his neck surgery. The Jags’ plans to KISS (keep things simple, stupid) on defense should allow the new faces to jump right in and the offense revolves around Jones-Drew and so long as he is healthy, the team will be fine offensively. So long as the Jags’ employ KISS, the higher the chance the team has to win the division.
The lockout could potentially have a beneficial effect on the Jaguars in the 2011 season. The longer the lockout lasts, the less time free agents have to decide on a team and the more crazy it’ll be. This could be good because GM Gene is a focused man who has a plan and will execute that plan to the best of his ability. The chaos could benefit GM Gene because of his planning ability, however, as mentioned by even the GM himself, it might be in the best interest of some players to just return to their old teams so as to not be thrown into a bad situation. This could limit the FA pool. Additionally, depending on how the lockout is settled, restricted free agency could be substantially different than what it would have been under the old CBA. The time needed to become a UFA could be lengthened or shrunk or even stay the same. If restricted free agency requires more accrued seasons, then the Jaguars won’t have as great a FA pool to select from. However, the likelihood of increasing the required number of seasons is miniscule and most likely the requirement will stay the same. However, if the required number of seasons for restricted free agents is decreased, then the pool could grow and the Jags could have a better chance finding good players to fill the gaping holes at safety and linebacker.
The bad is obvious. Ticket sales are suffering greatly. As of June 13th, 2011, the Jaguars have to sell 18,385 tickets in order to avoid blackouts. One must remember that this isn’t the sell out number, just the blackout avoidance number. The longer the lockout drags on, the longer fans who need a reason not to buy tickets will hold out. After all of the positive momentum that Team Teal created last year, not reaching the blackout number would be a travesty. Have faith though, Jacksonvillians are notorious for being late arrivers and game day decisions (must have learned it from Coughlin). The belief is, however, that the Jaguars are on the rise and if the games are blacked out and the Jags end up being good, the fans will come back. Just remember. . .
Winning solves everything.