Marcedes Lewis, the longest tenured player on the Jacksonville Jaguars roster, knows that things are never built and tries to impart that wisdom before the 2017 season.
When Jacksonville Jaguars fans were told “it’s built” after just two years into a massive roster overhaul, fans were excited and believed it. As it turned out, that was just some more coach-speak during the Dave Caldwell-Gus Bradley era.
While Caldwell remains as general manager, the Jaguars are now under the demanding guidance of executive vice president Tom Coughlin. Bradley has been replaced by Doug Marrone at head coach.
With Coughlin in place, the narrative has changed as well. Marcedes Lewis has become one of the more reliable mouthpieces through which that narrative is shared. In his latest interview with Lakisha Jackson in her “Oklahoma Drill” series, Lewis brings some tempered wisdom and reinforces that things are never completely ready to go.
“I think it’s important to go out there and understand that your road to success is always under construction. You always have to be working on whatever your weaknesses are,” he told Jackson. That is something that Lewis has lived.
It’s unlikely that Lewis bought into Bradley’s “it’s built” comment when it was stated in 2015. He has been a part of a “built” team before in 2007 and even 2008 and seen the different results. The Jags, already a solid team back in 2007, went from an 11-5 record to a 5-11 record the next year. Even up to 2010, the roster was competitive and finished 8-8 before the wheels started to fall off.
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Through that process, Lewis knows that a team’s road to success is never a built thing. Teams can’t simply call it good. Great teams never stop striving to be better and prove themselves to be successes year in and year out.
And with that changing narrative comes a change in perspective as well. When the New England Patriots fail to reach a Super Bowl, it isn’t a successful season. The Jaguars are still far from that level of competitiveness, but it is important to recognize that even a team like the Patriots is likely following a narrative more in line with Lewis than with Bradley.
If the Jags stay hungry and keep thinking about building that road to success, they may just end up with a stretch of competitiveness that could put them in line to reach the playoffs or even the Super Bowl.