This is the era of coachspeak. The time when we all read the news from our computers, hoping to glean something extensive from the terse words that our team’s front office issues during mandatory press conferences and short press releases.
From every aspect of the Jaguars organization, those terse words have been oozing confidence.
Head Coach Mularkey is happy with the players he has been seeing. GM Gene Smith knows which players have a shot and which don’t and is evaluating accordingly. But it’s the reaction of the players that is a marked difference from past years.
No longer are the rookies and workout signees simple wide-eyed wonders trying to make a roster spot. They have been impressed by the Jaguars organization. Kendrick Adams doesn’t just want to play football, he wants to play football for D-line coach Joe Cullen.
Newly signed third-string quarterback Jordan Palmer doesn’t just want an opportunity to play football, he wants to be part of something special that is going on in Jacksonville. He recently quipped, “…this organization is going in a great direction and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
That seems to be the consensus attitude of the players in Jacksonville lately. The 90 man roster is filled with robust, young talent. Talent that comes to Jacksonville because of the quality organization that the team is, not because they simply want to play football.
A lot has been said about the high-character organization that the Jaguars are putting together. But what is overlooked is the confidence that is instilled in every member of the organization. This confidence is new. No longer is this the era of empty Jack Del Rio promises. This is now an era of confidence from what is displayed and developed, not from what is said. Mularkey is not speaking of grandeur – he’s making it.
The coaching staff has a superb reputation. They aren’t talking about it, they’re showing it. It isn’t the team that is talking about how great new quarterbacks coach Greg Olson, it’s the five guys texting Jordan Palmer that he’s lucky to work with him.
The Jags are under the radar as usual. But the confidence that is brewing is slowly bubbling up to the top, about to spill over. Other teams won’t see it until the season, but those of us with our ear to the ground can hear the cool confidence of the Jaguars in every practice rep.
- Luke N. Sims