The biggest challenge
By Zoltan Paksa
The biggest challenge of the Jaguars is to be ready on opening day!
Jaguar ticket sales are looking strong. But can the Jaguars can bring the momentum back? Can they become the center of excitement for the city? Well, the NFL actully gave the Jaguars a double edged sword with the opening (home) schedule. The Jaguars face the Broncos (with Tim Tebow ironically in the roster); the Eagles; The Colts; and the Titans (on Monday Night) at home. Many analysts have written this and I can 100% agree with them. We will know a lot about the season and about the Jaguars after 6 weeks! I go even further; we will know the chances of survival of the Jaguars in Jacksonville when the game on Monday night is played before the nations eyes! If the Jaguars can win more then 2 home games from these 4 games; and stand over .500; I think the momentum is theirs; I think there will be the opposite of blackouts in 2010; and the danger of moving to Los Angeles or where ever; will be gone. But as I wrote, this is a double edged sword. Lay 1 or 2 large eggs at home; and the booing starts and part of the crowd will turn away. Maybe the second half of the home games will be sold out; but be played before half empty crowds; just like in 2009- when the red flag articles about the Jaguars ticket sale appeared. If that happens; Roski and his group from LA will try and push much harder to take this franchise to California; to that new stadium.
That’s why the biggest challenge of the Jaguars is to be ready on opening day. We have not seen that for a while. Even in 2007; the Jaguars started slow. A loss against the Titans on opening day; then a very ugly win against Atlanta; who had just lost Michael Vick and had no real team. In 2008 and 2009 the Jaguars started 0-2 (then they went to 2-2; and 3-3 in both seasons). The last time they started well was 2006. They beat the Dallas Cowboys in the 1st game where Terrell Owens played for them. Then they beat the Steelers 9-0 on MNF. For 2010, I don’t ask for a 2-0 start; because with all the concerns I have with the Chargers; I think beating San Diego in California is asking to much from this young team (but I want to see a close game until the last minute; not an another „West Coast fiasco – ’09 style”); but I want a season start with a WIN. I want the Jaguars to come together as a TEAM before the sesaon starts; not on the 3rd game or later! I hope the players; and especially Jack Del Rio and the coaching staff will realize how high the stakes are; how big is the opportunity is now to create something big; and with that win a little extra time for the rebuilding.
I do belive the work of Gene Smith can bring much much joy and happiness for Jacksonville for a long time! IF he get the time to rebuild the team. I think the things I write about means a big (and maybe last and only!) opportunity for the whale to reach the ocean (Whale=once again the Jaguars; Ocean= STAYING IN JACKSONVILLE). It will be not easy. But also it is not impossible or unrealistic. I think the stakes are much higher them most of the people might think. I think (and hope) Gene; Jack; Dirk; Mel; David; Maurice; Darly; and everyone knows what are the rewards and the risks. I hope they will be prepaerd 100% on opening day to everything. Because what they face is: The biggest challenge. In other words: keeping the Jaguars in Jacksonville!