The Jacksonville Jaguars rebuild is a long, messy affair. Gutting a roster full of rot, establishing a new coaching staff, and somehow turning a franchise known across the league for blackouts into one of the hottest tickets in sports, all of these are major efforts by a franchise that is seeking a new direction and a new era of success.
The Jags haven’t had a winning season since 2007 and have only reached .500 once since then. That’s a long drought of losing for a franchise that set new marks for success as an expansion team.
So when we all look at the rebuild of the Jacksonville Jaguars, we need to keep some perspective. Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley are trying to slow the momentum of losing that established itself with the Jaguars under former general manager Gene Smith. 2012’s 2-14 was the low point. The 7-25 record the past two seasons marks the long climb back up.
The climb back up will be long, make no mistake. If we learned anything during 2014, it’s that a young quarterback with a big arm does not guarantee success. Blake Bortles’ struggles are indicative of both his need for progress and the progress of the entire team, from the offensive line to the defensive secondary. We learned that drafting the right players doesn’t mean the wins automatically roll in.
Instead, we’re going to see the Jaguars make progress again in 2015. Whether that’s a five win season or a seven win season, we’re going to see a more improved unit coming out of Jacksonville. Just don’t get your hopes up, no matter what that final record is because we’re going to see the rebuild continue past 2015.
The rebuild doesn’t end when the Jaguars contend more games. It doesn’t end when they reach their first playoff game. The rebuild ends when the Jaguars have a culture and track record of success in the NFL. One more season of progress isn’t good enough for that – even if the Jacksonville Jaguars find themselves at 8-8 or 9-7 miraculously.
Gus Bradley and Dave Caldwell will still have plenty of work left to do before this rebuild is over. Strap in, Jaguars fans. This is going to be a long climb back out of the hole.
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