The Jaguars drama has hopefully ended and it’s time to look forward to the 2020 season.
Enough drama. It’s time for the Jaguars to take on a new identity under a new team culture and get things moving in the right direction.
The Jaguars had created a great deal of drama and negative publicity for the past several years. They “cleaned house” and erased the alleged Tom Coughlin era and the locker room issues. The 2020 team is young and the focus is on high character guys.
The starting roster is potentially talented but the back-ups are a huge question mark. It’s obvious that the team wants to create a new image of a good place to play. There is no reason that Jacksonville can’t be a great destination for NFL players.
But why would players want to come to Jacksonville? Here are some good reasons.
Jacksonville is a great place to live. It’s a decently-sized city with great shopping and restaurants. The area has beautiful beaches and some very nice neighborhoods. Florida is a wonderful tourist destination with many theme parks and both family and adult entertainment.
Florida is a football-loving state with great college teams. It is also a retiree friendly state. Best of all, there is no state income tax!
Another good reason for NFL players to look towards Jacksonville is because the Jaguars have some very talented young players. A veteran free agent could become an instant mentor for young talent and has a good chance to earn substantial playing time. If the soap opera is over, a new member of the Jaguars could be jumping on the bandwagon of an up and coming team.
The coaching staff is solid. Head coach Doug Marrone is still a wild card at this point. His time in Jacksonville has been overshadowed by Tom Coughlin. As a college head coach at Syracuse, Marrone had a 25-25 record, nothing to really get excited about. However, he got the Buffalo Bills headed in the right direction during his short two-year stint, but left when the team was sold.
This is his year to show what he can do. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is an innovator and is known for his work with young quarterbacks. That will take some pressure off Marrone. Several assistants, including Keenan McCardell and Joe DeCamillis, have done a good job under less than ideal conditions.
A final positive is the AFC South. The division is always competitive and is winnable by any of the four teams in a given year. In the last three seasons, the AFC South had a wild card team in the playoffs in addition to the division winner.
It is unlikely the Jaguars will have a winning season in 2020 and most pundits state they have the least talented roster and may be in contention for the number one draft choice. Also, there are some hard feelings and angry ex-Jaguars scattered in the NFL.
Winning changes everything, and teams should never look back. The last two years have been very difficult but this is a new decade. Let’s look ahead with a positive attitude and hope for the future.