The Jaguars will soon finish their worst season ever. As I ponder how much loyalty or blame to place on Mike Mularkey there are two questions I ask
1) If the 2011 Jaguar defense showed up this year and Maurice Jones Drew suited up for every game, would this team have done better the 5-11 prior season? Would they have improved over last year?
2) The defense fell apart and the offensive line fell apart. How much blame do I credit to Mike Mularkey for that?
As to the first question, to me it is obvious this team would have improved over the 5-11 season of 2011. Three overtime games were defensive failures. At least two more games were defensive collapses. Green Bay was a winnable game if we had a defense.
If Maurice had stayed healthy, the offense would have delivered more as the passing attack developed. The combination of Marcedes Lewis, Maurice, Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackman could have been a very potent combination.
So in my mind, the collapse of the defense and the loss of MJD accounted for maybe 5 wins that didn’t happen but could have.
The second question is the more interesting one. Jack Del Rio got 5 wins out of playing stout defense and simply running Maurice into the ground. Why did Mel Tucker’s defense tank under Mularkey but not under Jack? The same key coaches are on defense. In fact Mularkey almost handed the defense to Mel Tucker as co-head coach. Why have we not seen the defense get itself right? Was Jack Del Rio the real brains behind the defense?
I believe Mike Mularkey can build the Jaguar offense into a potent unit. I like the development. I don’t know why Mike did not address the defensive failure. I have to assume he doesn’t know how. I have to assume that a new answer for the defense needs to be found. This year is just too much failure to make me believe in 2013.
So for the two questions; Yes the 2012 Jaguars should have been better than 2011 and no they weren’t because Mike Mularkey didn’t know how to address the defensive collapse.
Should Mike Mularkey get another year? Maybe but not a warm maybe. Should Mel Tucker be the Defensive Coordinator? Probably not.
– Terry O’Brien