In another opportunity to make things right, Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell must prove he can turn this team around.
Sometimes, thievery is the best form of flattery. So I am letting everyone know my colleague John Buhler here at FanSided.com gave me the idea to write about Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell after reading his latest story regarding Cleveland Browns new head coach Kevin Stefanski.
Did the Jacksonville Jaguars get it right by giving Caldwell the reins again to rebuild this franchise after the debacle of the past two seasons under Tom Coughlin?
While both Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone have taken the heat this offseason for the destruction that was caused the past two seasons and the tearing down of the Jacksonville Jaguars roster since March, is there enough positive progress so far in this project to see the franchise could be a contender if not this coming season, then certainly in the near future?
It’s a question that hasn’t been answered yet. There have been other extenuating circumstances this organization has dealt with in the offseason to get a real feel for how the 2020 season will play out. Forget the projections.
Forget the lack of continuity yet because the players and coaching staff have not been in the same building as a group. Forget the fears of COVID-19 that still rage amongst players wanting answers, including wide receiver Chris Conley.
Any modicum of success this season for this organization will tilt toward Caldwell, who was instrumental in signing Calais Campbell, Barry Church, A.J. Bouye and Tashaun Gipson, who were instrumental in the defense that helped get the 2017 roster to the AFC title game.
It was Caldwell who was the negotiator and finalized deals.
Could he have that same kind of impact three seasons later with a free agent class that might fly under the radar in 2020? The Jaguars are a 50-50 proposition this season – either this team is really bad or it surprises many of the naysayers with more than five wins. The probability of the team making the playoffs is about the same of me winning the Florida lottery.
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But Jacksonville Jaguars fans can hope for a miracle. The front office, which means Caldwell, wants to see progress. How much progress determines his fate and the coaching staff. Yes, there is a lot riding on this season. But in a vacuum that happens almost every season in Jacksonville. One winning season in eight under Caldwell’s charge causes that kind of anxiety.
All of the collateral damage that has been caused these past two seasons are the byproduct of 11 wins in 32 games. There is hope the team is moving in the right direction. Solid draft picks, depth from free agency. A new culture in the locker room. A new regime of control. A lot has happened since the end of December. We as fans and media would be foolish to think it won’t have some positive affect.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have talent on this roster. It’s younger. It’s new and it’s raw. It’s up to Caldwell and Marrone, the coaching staff and the organization to mold it like clay into a winning formula. It’s a bit different than the 2017 model.
Hold much success or change this team shows will determine if Caldwell got it right and in turn if owner Shad Khan got it right by sidestepping change of his management team. Until then, we will wonder if the Jaguars got it right and if Caldwell proves he is the right man to make the sweeping changes of the Jaguars roster once again.