How the Superbowl Affects Jacksonville
By Luke Sims
At first it may appear that the Giants beating the Patriots has no bearing whatsoever on the Jacksonville franchise called the Jaguars. However, the truth is that everything in the NFL in this era of parity has an effect on everything else. Whether it is the Jaguars seeing talent in one of the two dominant teams featured on Sunday or the Jaguars moving to acquire one of their schemes (not that Mike Mularkey hasn’t had plenty of ideas building up in his head since he left Buffalo), the Jaguars took notice.
Hell, the entire world took notice.
So, how did the Superbowl affect Jacksonville? Will it throw us completely off-kilter or will we continue on our merry way, turning a blind eye to a contest that doesn’t seem to really matter come the day after and every team turns back to being undefeated (at 0-0 however).
There are mainly two things we can gleam from the big game that have a potential effect on the Jaguars. Find out what they are after the jump.
1) The Jaguars are looking to rebuild, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, and while I personally believe that Gene Smith has been building a structure for success, it is often important to get the public to believe you as well. The Giants and the Patriots are both very well respected front office franchises. The Patriots are known for being cutthroat and routinely get rid of veterans when they feel they have no more need for them (remember when Deion Branch was removed only to sign and be effective again?). The Giants are more fo a build through the draft, patient type front office. While the coach’s head is routinely called for, great progress is made each year and confidence that the right building blocks ar ein place increases over time. While Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning may not be the most popular coach/QB pair in the league, they tend to get the job done; the front office knows this and stays the course. The Jags follow more in the footsteps of the Giants, but they have proven (specifically through the defensive rebuild this past offseason) that they are also able and willing to take drastic steps to overhaul things and become more competitive. Look for this trend to continue.
2) The Jaguars can learn to have a short memory. This is especially important for Blaine Gabbert after a very rookie season. The Jaguars’ season came to a close early on so hopefully the hurt has healed. But with the Superbowl now over, the offseason will begin in earnest. There is no longer part of the past season hanging over the heads of the players and coaches in the form of the continuing post season. The Jaguars can look to the next season (and hopefully the Superbowl) without being forced to look back by the media focusing on other teams and their respective progressions as well.
While these may not be “things-learned” so much as they are interesting insights into what may be going through people’s heads (namely my own), it’s still important to gear up for success.
With the Superbowl now over, let’s look forward.
– Luke N. Sims