I know the Jaguars are one really lucky play away from being 0-4. I know some of you are thinking this team is worse than any previous Jaguar team. Some of you question hiring a losing coach and point to Atlanta as the team we should be. That is if we kept Mike Smith instead of Jack Del Rio and had better drafting. I know that is all true, but I swear I saw things in the Cincy loss that made me smile for the future.
I saw the beginning of an emergence of Justin Blackmon. I saw him make some catches, but more than that, I saw him encourage the crowd. The interception Blaine threw was simply trying to connect to Blackmon one more time. It was a stupid throw, but the courage and the belief in his receiver was growing. Blackmon was open for a few big plays that didn’t happen. The pass to Laurent Robinson that knocked him out of the game had Blackmon streaking down the sidelines. The fact that Blaine is seeing Blackmon is a good thing. The fact that Justin is growing in confidence is a real good thing.
I saw the beginning of Bob Bratkowski’s offense. I saw Greg Jones catching passes. I saw Rashad Jennings, Maurice Jones-Drew and Greg Jones in the same backfield. I saw a lot of new looks in the offense. Real interesting formations were being deployed. Many of these plays were successful. The touchdown to Marcedes Lewis was a real nice play and a nice throw. Now Bob Bratkowski can’t run a successful offense without players. We had the starting offensive line in for awhile and I think most of the “A” player offense. Until Eben Britton went out, the Jaguars were playing decent on offense. Then the line couldn’t hold the rush back and the Jaguars were behind. It didn’t hold up, but it was good for awhile.
Mike Mularkey had an interesting season in Buffalo his first year. He went 1-5 scoring only 77 points in six games. Then his Buffalo Bills went 5-1 scoring 183 points. I think that shows me that Mike Mularkey knows how to teach and coach and move a team forward. This coaching staff is trying to establish a tempo and identity. It will take time. Mike believes in the players he has. He has said he has seen the level they are capable of on tape. They have seen this level as well. I think I saw a little bit of it today. I think I saw in the loss to Cincy the beginning of the new Jaguars.
Yes it isn’t pretty right now. Yes it takes a lot of faith. I have been wrong before but I think we are going to like the second half of the season.
- Terry O’Brien