Jaguars This Week – Zoltan Edition

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This leads me to Gene Smith’s recent comments about the roster. He said this to Vic Ketchman:

"“The number one thing I see developing is mental will. I’m a firm believer that mental will wins more often than physical skill. Through the effort and commitment the players have made, we probably have the most competitive roster we’ve had since I’ve been here,”"

“I’ve been here” means the beginnings; he was a Jaguars employee before the Jags even played their first game. Later in that interview he joined head coach Jack Del Rio about expecting this team to be battling for the divisional crown. Sorry; for what? Every prediction I read or hear sound the same- Jaguars are outsiders; a team that can win 5-7 games this year. I read sites predicting 3 wins for the Jaguars in 2010. Gene Smith’s words are pretty brave from a team which is still very; very young; and have their own major issues (Just to name a few: pass rush& pass protection; the situation in the secondary; safety to be exact; the passing game). But sadly, the Jaguars will need to be competitive on Week 1. (On the bright note; strength and conditions coach Luke Richesson shared pretty good details with Vic Ketchman this week how for example the offensive line looking ready physically for this season. Mark my words: watch out for Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton this season; folks!)

Why do the Jaguars need to be competitive on week one? See the schedule. Although all first 4 opponents have their own issues; I think the only game; where the Jaguars have a 50%-50% or better chance to win is against Denver on opening day. Although I hope it will not happen, the Jaguars can easily start with 0-4 if they are not ready. And I am almost certain; if they lose on opening day, they will start 0-2 again; which they did in the last 2 seasons; and we know what the final result were in both years (losing record…). If the Jaguars start slow; and they losing 3 or 4 of their first games (which is sadly not an unrealistic scenario against Denver; San Diego, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis…); I think they will not just lose any chance to the playoffs; but they will lose any chance to have a blackout free season. I go even further- losing the Denver game; or going 1-3; in the first 4 games can be the beginning of the end in Jacksonville.It seems Tony Boselli and all the organizations who want to save the Jaguars in Jacksonville created “buzz” around this team. So people are having some kind of excitement for the team (and comments the head coach and the GM said about “battling for the division title” is fueling that excitement too). I’m sure if the Jaguars play well this year (I have other reasons; why this might be a good period for the Jaguars; but I save that argument for another time); it can win back the hearts of the locals. If they are really that competitive as the General Manager thinks; they will prove it week after week on the field on Game Day. And that would show up in the ticket sales too. But if not; well the Jaguars will find themselves on the brink in Jacksonville. And then I have no idea; how can they survive in Northeast Florida…

Zoltan Paksa