Clark Judge at CBS sports recently covered coaches who are in unenviable positions entering the season. Bob Bratkowski made the list with a short five sentences:
Blaine Gabbert is his quarterback. Justin Blackmon is a concern. Maurice Jones-Drew might be a training-camp no-show. And solving Houston’s defense is the objective. Tell me that’s how you want to start over as an offensive coordinator.
Everyone else on the list had full paragraphs but Bratkowski got a quick three-liner. Is this really poor reporting and speculation, or is it actually the unenviable position that seems to be the prevalent opinion? While I like to think that getting the chance to work with another first round quarterback (After Carson Palmer and Matt Ryan) in Jacksonville is a positive, looking at the job as an unenviable position is new to me.
As we all know, the offense was a wreck last season. The kind of wreck that you just can’t look away from. Yet I tend to see the positives in the potential and high ceiling of so many players on the roster. Unlike Mr. Judge, I see Gabbert as developing. Unlike Mr. Judge, I do not think that Blackmon is a concern. Unlike Mr. Judge, I do not see MJD’s holdout and Rashad Jennings replacing him as a (super) large detriment to the team.
But they all very well could be.
The rose colored glasses that I wear as a Jags fan let me overlook the faults found in Gabbert, Blackmon, Laurent Robinson, and Jennings. Rather than second-tier players forced into starting positions (like Mike Thomas was last year) I see them as players waiting for their opportunity to shine and be successful. I hope Bob sees them in that light as well.
If Bratkowski does not see the offense in that light though, then what he has is a roster full of players who are not nearly as effective as he would like. In the more negative light he has a running back holding out, a second-string running back who has never had a 1,000 yard season coming off an injury, an unproven wide receiver, a receiver who just had some flashes of brilliance in one big year, and a quarterback who doesn’t understand that open air is not pressure.
All of that sounds a bit more depressing than the upside I think all of these players present. While I disagree with Mr. Judge, maybe the rose colored glasses are tinting things a bit more than I think.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims
Topics: Blaine Gabbert, Bob Bratkowski, Carson Palmer, Jacksonville Jaguars, Justin Blackmon, Laurent Robinson, Matt Ryan, Maurice Jones-drew, Maurice Jones-Drew Contract, Maurice Jones-Drew Holdout, Mike Thomas, Rashad Jennings