Feb 6, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy during the Super Bowl most valuable player and winning head coach press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Preparing for a Super Bowl: 2-4 Years Out


The Jacksonville Jaguars probably won’t make it to a Super Bowl this year.  After all, they are one of only four teams (The Texans, Browns, and Lions) to not make it to a Super Bowl ever.  If you have already been painfully aware of that statistic, I apologize, but for everyone else – you now have more reason to hope for Jacksonville to get to the World Championship of professional football (the good, American, kind).

Fortunately, I have good news for you.

Remember the open windows under this guy? Source: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

I firmly believe that the Jaguars have a new window opening in front of them.  A window that closed (some argue, shrunk) following the 2007 season.  A window that the Jaguars haven’t seen since.

That window is a window to the playoffs, and chance and competing for a Super Bowl.

The Jaguars may not make the playoffs this year, but starting next year it will be difficult for teams and the media to turn their attention from the Jaguars.

The roster is starting to get very strong.  The Jaguars have had some serious deficiencies in recent years.  The offensive line was terrible in 2008. It greatly improved in 2009.  The pass rush was abysmal in 2009.  It became at least average in 2010.  The defense was a liability in 2010.  It became a dominant unit in 2011.  The passing game was horrendous in 2011…get the idea?

The Jaguars are running out of things to improve.  While some may argue that the team is becoming too hubristic when estimating its own strength, it is tough to not note that the team does a good to excellent job at addressing its problems when they do develop.

And outside of suspect quarterback play, the Jaguars have addressed their problems.

Wide receiver play was depressing at best last season – so far this offseason it appears we have a glut of talent at the position.  It looks like things are looking up.

This year, I’m not discounting a sophomore slump for Blaine Gabbert (could it get worse!?), but I know that the development of Gabbert could yield much better results than further development of a David Garrard near his ceiling.  Terry Bradshaw made the Hall of Fame after some pretty terrible first couple seasons.  While I think that Gabbert is taking the steps to be successful, I don’t see the window of success really opening for the team until the next year out.

And when the 2013 season comes around, expect some serious competition from the Jaguars.

Let’s separate from the Lions, Browns, and Texans – Let’s get to the Super Bowl!

- Luke N. Sims

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You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims

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Tags: Blaine Gabbert Byron Leftwich David Garrard Gene Smith Jacksonville Jaguars Mel Tucker Super Bowl Tom Coughlin

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  • KeenanJ

    This is an interesting thing to consider right now but it makes me want to ask a question. That question is, do we believe the Jags will be able to compete for the playoffs this year? My reason behind asking that is, if we do think we will be playoff contenders, then why not Super Bowl contenders? If we can make it, our odds of getting to the big game is just as good as anyone else’s. I personally think it would be asking too much of the team to expect the Super Bowl this year but I do believe we will be competitive enough to be in playoff contention come December. So I’m at odds when it comes to answering my own question.
     
    While a Super Bowl berth is reasonable in 2-4 years, I think the window will be open for longer depending on two things.
     
    1) Does Blaine become the franchise QB we would like him to be?
     
    2) How does the team replace it’s older cornerstone players, such as Meester, MJD, Mathis, D. Smith, Poz, and Landry among others? As those players will be nearing the end of their career, or in Meesters case he’s already there, by the time the 4 year window is reached. If those players can be replaced with equally talented players, then the window should be able to stay open for longer.
     
    Depending on how these two things work each other out, we could be one of the better teams the league has to offer for the next decade or so. Lofty aspirations but I could see it happening.

  • http://www.blackandteal.com/ LukeNSims

     @KeenanJ Good points.  I think the window opens 2-4 four years out.  If Blaine Gabbert becomes an Aaron Rodgers then that window will be open for a good 5-7 years (maybe more if he lasts like Manning).
     
    I think that this year, the odds of making the playoffs, based on strength of schedule, could be difficult and shouldn’t be anticipated.  I think the Jags can compete for a playoff spot, but probably won’t get past 9-7 and will need help from other teams at the end of the season – much like the Bengals this past year.
     
    Of course, we’re all hoping Blaine Gabbert becomes that franchise quarterback. We just won’t know if he is until a couple more years.