Jacksonville Jaguars: Testing the “Less is More” Theory
Can the new regime of the Jacksonville Jaguars make players buy into the idea of less is more for the time being?
Something Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said last week in his Zoom conference with the local media was subtle, but it more sense as the front office moves closer to the start of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.
“We’re looking to bring people in that have that team concept, not a lot of drama,” he said in the middle of explaining to us how the virtual offseason program will work.
Given that the team is still trying to unload Yannick Ngakoue after this week’s Twitter tirade and has had conversations with other NFL teams about potentially trading running back Leonard Fournette, could the front office want to rid the organization of the very core of the 2017 roster that got the Jaguars to the AFC Championship?
- Dante Fowler, Jr. – Gone.
- Jalen Ramsey – Gone.
- Ngakoue – Wants out of Jacksonville. Has demanded a trade.
- Fournette – According to sources, members of the organization want to see him gone.
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It’s hard to comprehend the idea of stripping a roster to its core just three years removed from success, but even during the winning spirit in DUUUVAL, there were cracks in the foundation. Not all locker rooms are 53 players sitting at the dinner table with smiles on their faces. The stability of the franchise was just good enough to tease a Super Bowl run.
But once the air left the balloon, so did the goodwill of the players who were so much part of the AFC South championship team.
The Jacksonville Jaguars might be to a point where moving as far away from that one-year run will lead to more success in the future. Winning now rests on the arm of Gardner Minshew. The defense will ask a second-year rising star – Josh Allen – to be its ring leader. Executive Vice-President of Football Operations, Tom Coughlin, isn’t part of the toxic atmosphere inside the confines of TIAA Bank Field, but the ill-will of his decisions and how he allegedly treated players still resonates with those who were part of the titanic two-year slide.
On a smaller scale, it’s like breaking up the Chicago Bulls after six world titles. The 2017 Jaguars could have had a good run if not for disconnection with the front office. And there is where Marrone’s words ring so true.
Less drama. More focus. Players buying into a new system. A chance to rewrite a script that will struggle to get off the ground for another couple of seasons. But in the end, a happier ending than before. There is no doubt the Jacksonville Jaguars have had some extremely talented players on their roster of late, but even with talent and stardom, if there aren’t wins to back it up, then changes need to be made.
- Gone is Calais Campbell.
- Gone is A.J Bouye.
- Gone of Marqise Lee.
- Gone is Marcell Dareus.
The Jaguars may not see a roster like the one from three seasons ago in decades. But the lasting impact it had on the history here in Jacksonville is pretty remarkable. And it might take another decade before that euphoria is felt by this fanbase. For now, it is a shining memory that also leads to thoughts of how things are now and why they are that way.
Marrone’s desire to bring in players without the baggage of others from that past shows this is not a quick fix of an organization bleeding from different ends. If the head coach gets his wish, he could be here through the end of the 2021 contract. Sometimes, progress isn’t shown in just wins and losses. Sometimes, it’s the preparation for the future that becomes more significant.
The Jacksonville Jaguars front office hopes so. Now, let’s hope the players and fans feel the same way about the upcoming season.