Jaguar Receivers – Divas need not apply
By Terry OBrien
Let’s face it, there is nothing to do right now but speculate. This is the period of time where we ask thought provoking questions and then make up answers to the questions. One that I hear a lot of concerns the receiving corps and who is number one and who will the starters be. The discussions are funny and so, in the interest of comedy, let me add my opinion to the speculation.
Whoever thinks Mike Thomas is the number two receiver or has a lock on starting, I wish to disagree and here are my reasons. First, Mike Thomas showed he suffered from the Jaguar big contract disease. You know what I mean, sign a big contract and then vanish on Sunday. Mike Thomas also exhibited a bit of diva attitude as well. This is the very thing that irks Gene Smith the most. It is a character flaw and Mike Thomas showed he has it.
New coaches come to win. New coaches don’t have any previous experience or baggage. If Mike Thomas thinks he is owed a roster spot because of his guaranteed money, I don’t think Jerry Sullivan cares, nor does Bob Bratkowski. Mike Thomas is going to be running back punts for a living if he doesn’t put forth an effort that impresses. New coaches are hard to impress.
Here is another reason Mike Thomas isn’t guaranteed a starting spot. Laurent Robinson was just paid more than Mike. The attention, the pressure and the coaching that will be given to Laurent will be immense. The entire offensive coaching staff and Mike Mularkey know they need Laurent to be good. Justin Blackmon has so much talent that bringing him along will also be a huge desire and effort. Despite his personal problem, I believe in this guy and think he could be Gene Smith’s best difference making draft pick. Justin Blackmon is not sitting behind Mike Thomas. I don’t see it happening.
So here was have coaches dedicated to the top two, looking for a third guy. Who do you want to work with, a guy with a bit of diva attitude and maybe some ability, or Lee Evans? Lee Evans has a track record of success and a relationship with Mike Mularkey. Lee Evans was picked up because Mike Mularkey spoke up for him. If Mike said “I didn’t like him in Buffalo” then he wouldn’t have been here today. Lee Evans was a part of Mike’s huge scoring year in 2004 when they put up 395 points. Lee Evans can still play. He will be simple to coach, not take much time from the coaches, help the other guys and be there when called. I’d be surprised if Mike Thomas beats out Lee Evans. Mike Thomas stats don’t compare to Lee Evans. Mike Thomas is no Lee Evans.
Ok, so maybe Mike Thomas is in the hunt for the third guy spot. Maybe I am wrong and Mike has a ton of ability and talent. Talent without work effort is only an unkempt promise. Mike Thomas has to work for this spot. Last time I checked, there were seven other receiver guys in camp fighting for a spot. I can say with confidence that at least two of them will try very hard to make the team. Ok, that isn’t very far out on the limb, but the point is there are non-divas fighting to make the team.
Mike Thomas has about 10 weeks to make the new coaches believe in him and no time left to get better. The Jaguars are “all in” and they will expect the same of every player. My belief is that Mike Thomas isn’t “all in” and doesn’t have much of a career left with the Jaguars.
P.S. This is not my best article, but it is my thinking and we have nothing else substantial to discuss.