The Jacksonville Jaguars are in full rebuild mode. Don’t be fooled by someone who preaches that this team is just a few good weeks away from 9-7 and sneaking into the playoffs. The 2013 season will be ugly. It will be an improvement on 2012, but it will be the first grinding beginning of a rebirth for the Jaguars. You need look now further than the new talent in GM Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley, but in case you needed a visual reminder, the Jaguars have a new logo and new uniforms coming too.
Owner Shahid Khan cleared this up during an interview with Forbes. “This is rebuilding, rebuilding from the ground up. There’s no illusion about that. This is about as clean and intense a rebuild as you’re going to have,” said Khan. As optimistic as I am about the Jaguars, I am not convinced that any rebuild will be clean. The Indianapolis Colts had one of the cleanest rebuilds in recent memory and even they had an absolutely abysmal 2011 season to set up a much-improved 2012.
Khan knew that his team was underperforming in 2012, and part of that was due to coaching and personnel:
[The opponents] made halftime adjustments far better. We came out and did what we were doing before. They did different stuff. That told me that there was better leadership and coaching out there. [Cleaning house] is disruptive and expensive. I just felt that it was the right thing to do for the fans, for the Jaguars. I was going to have a hard time looking myself in the mirror because I knew what we had to do. There was just no two ways about it.
The Jaguars are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were in 2012. It all starts with the mentality and understanding of the team. Last year’s approach to football was deemed “delusional” by Khan during the 2013 offseason. The delusion is gone and the new brass is approaching the offseason without blinders. They know that the team is a mess, but as the team trims dead branches and brings in new talent, everything starts to get a little cleaner and a lot stronger.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims