Ferocity! No More Mr. Nice Guy
By Luke Sims
The Jaguars are building a ferocious team. The kind of team that gets the attention of the league by its tough play.
It’s almost reminiscent of the 2007 season.
Back then the Jags were the more physical team. Teams were becoming afraid to play the Jags as they came roaring out of the gates, willing to beat you in the trenches. To outmuscle the opposition.
The 2012 Jaguars promise to be similar.
But the 2012 Jaguars have something different. They have motivation.
Much like Will Smith slapping a reporter in the face, the Jaguars 2012 season will largely be a knee jerk reaction following an alarming incident. Only instead of caused by a reporter trying to snatch a kiss, it will be from constant criticism and a painful 5-11 season.
The Jaguars are playing to avenge the injured pride of quarterback Blaine Gabbert. They are playing to show that they do not play scared. They are playing to show that they are not a team to be bullied. This team is not the same team from 2011 – they are no longer a team lost in transition. The road has been found and they will follow it as best they can.
Make no mistake, the 2012 season will be a knee jerk reaction. The Jaguars are building a solid team through the draft under general manager Gene Smith, but they also know that what they have been doing is in response to historical factors.
The team has been building a new offensive line following major injuries in 2008. The team is rebuilding an offense that has suffered significantly since 2007. And the team is rebuilding a pass rush that hit an all-time low in 2009.
That pass rush is setting the ferocious tone for the Jaguars in 2012. In describing second round pick DE Andre Branch, head coach Mike Mularkey said:
"He’s not really a nice guy. He’s relentless. Just with helmet and shorts on, he has a great work ethic."
We’re certain that Mularkey meant what he said about Branch in the best way possible.
We’re also certain that a team full of relentless players with a great work ethic will help create a mean team. In the best way possible of course.
– Luke N. Sims