Atlanta Falcons <3 Jacksonville Jaguars: The Relationship That’s Finally Giving Back
Sometimes the harmony between two people is perfectly evident. The couple plays off of each other like they’re playing mixed doubles, completely in tune with the other’s thoughts and actions. They’re finishing each other’s sentences and doing all the sickeningly cute things that disgust single people across the world. Other relationships, however, are not nearly that way. Some are so imbalanced that even someone you just met can tell the relationship isn’t going to work. In such relationships, one person often “wears the pants” in the relationship. They may even be a relationship bully, dictating the way everything in the relationship goes. Jacksonville Jaguars fans, it pains me to say that we’ve been relationship bullied for quite some time now. For half a decade, the Falcons have been taking advantage of us like we’re some desperate sorority girl – snatching up our goods when we’re making unwise decisions and leaving us with nothing to show for it the next day. If the Jaguars have become a laughingstock in the league, the Falcons are the team that’s laughing the most. But here’s a note of caution to you Falcons and Falcons fans – the Jaguars have started bullying back.
Mike Smith…the coach who got away. Source: US-Presswire
When you look at the coaching staffs of the Falcons and the Jaguars, one thing is clear – the upper managements of both teams seem to evaluate coaches eerily similarly. The head coach of the Falcons is Mike Smith, former defensive coordinator of the Jaguars. The head coach of the Jaguars is Mike Mularkey, former offensive coordinator of the Falcons. The offensive coordinator of the Falcons is Dirk Koetter, former offensive coordinator of the Jaguars. The offensive coordinator of the Jaguars is Bob Bratkowski, former quarterbacks coach of the Falcons. And what happens when coaches switch teams? They sometimes take their players with them. After Mike Smith went to the Falcons, ex-Jaguars just kept showing up on the Falcons roster: Mike Peterson, Brian Williams, Byron Leftwich, Vince Manuwai, and Luke McCown are probably the biggest names (If you’re wondering why more recent Jaguars aren’t on this list, you’re probably not thinking about the talent drought that has recently hit Jacksonville). Given the way Mike Smith has pursued ex-Jaguars, it would not surprise me at all if the Falcons made a run at Daryl Smith this offseason, especially since Smith starred for his defense for three years in Jacksonville. The only reasons why this might not happen would be financial (cap space) and the high draft pick
the Falcons have spent at the outside linebacker position in 2010
in Sean Weatherspoon
and Akeem Dent.
On the other hand, since Mike Smith left for the Falcons, the Jaguars roster has been pretty absent of ex-Falcons, with Grady Jackson as the only non-practice squad player (John Parker Wilson) that the Jaguars have had on their roster that came straight from the Falcons – and he only lasted one season with the Jaguars before he re-signed with the Falcons the following year. When you look at the pedigree and performance of the players and coaches involved with both of these teams, it’s clear to even the most casual football fan that this relationship is as one sided as a regular season game between these two teams would be.
Shahid Khan, refusing to be bullied by the Falcons and media alike. Source: US Presswire
But Falcons fans, Mr. Khan isn’t a man that likes to be bullied. That mustache don’t take no orders from nobody. He saw Mike Smith sniping former Jaguar players and decided he would put an end to this madness. Even though the Jaguars may have only one former Falcon on the team this year (versus the two they had last year in Mularkey and Bratkowski), he’s an ace-in-the-hole. What better way to reverse the direction of this imbalanced relationship than sniping the Falcons’ number two personnel guy? How Mr. Khan convinced a promising up-and-comer who was a premier GM candidate to take our 2-14 team and roster, I don’t know, but he probably deserves a medal for his powers of persuasion. We should also probably give one to Jets owner Woody Johnson for insisting that Caldwell take on the rambunctious Rex Ryan as his head coach.
Welcome to the new era of Jaguars football, Jaguars fans. To Mr. Caldwell, the Jaguars fans are a critical bunch, but you were the favorite GM candidate of not just Mr. Khan but much of Jaguar nation, and your signing received an overwhelmingly positive response from us on the web. Coming off a 2-14 season, our standards are as low as they’ll ever be, so in many respects, this will be the easiest chance you’ll have to win our trust. Even though you’re looking at a roster-deplete of talent, you can be calmed by the ease at which us fans can be won over in a post-Gene Smith era. Plus, righting this ship should be a piece of cake since you’re bringing Matt Ryan with you, right? (I’d settle for Sam Baker and Julio Jones.)
— Zain Gowani