Jacksonville Jaguars: Don’t forget this is a rebuilding year

HC Urban Meyer and GM Trent Baalke of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Imagn Images photo pool)
HC Urban Meyer and GM Trent Baalke of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Imagn Images photo pool) /

After the Jacksonville Jaguars lost their second game of the 2021 season, head coach Urban Meyer asked fans “to hang in there” and pledge to turn things around. It was a nice gesture, as he knows Jags fans have endured plenty of losing over the last ten years. However, it’s too early to take the pitchforks and the torches out. After all, this was always going to be a rebuilding year.

Of course, nobody likes to lose willingly. It’s not a pleasant feeling but you can’t expect the Jaguars to become a playoff contender overnight. At least not with the roster Meyer inherited. The head coach himself has previously acknowledged the team had talent last year and he isn’t wrong. Running back James Robinson, linebacker Myles Jack, and center Brandon Linder are some of the players that will play a key role in the rebuild. However, most position groups needed upgrades, and one offseason wasn’t enough to address all of them.

The Jags need more contributions from their rookie class but that’s another issue. The whole point is that this was always going to be a developmental year, and the team can’t be solely measured in wins and losses. In fact, the case could be made that Meyer is being pressured to deliver results too early in his tenure in Jacksonville. Then again, he must know fans are fidgety. Otherwise, he might not have asked them not to jump ship just yet.

Keep in mind that Jaguars players seem to be buying into Meyer’s approach, regardless of what outsiders may say. In case you thought they aren’t on the same wavelength as their head coach, punter Logan Cooke echoed Meyer’s message and asked fans on social media to be patient, “Stick with us, Duval. Big things coming!

The Jacksonville Jaguars must show progress through the year.

The Jaguars lost in Week 2 despite the fact that they put together a great drive in their very first possession of the game. On the bright side, they displayed signs of progress. They committed fewer penalties and didn’t miss as many tackles as they did in the season opener. It’s possible that defensive coordinator Joe Cullen made it a point of emphasis to work on that area in the days ahead of the matchup. Also, Jacksonville tried to feed James Robinson the ball a bit more against the Denver Broncos after abandoning the run the week before.

The Jaguars still have to find the right balance on offense and need to do make sure Trevor Lawrence keeps improving to the year. The defense has consistently applied pressure but hasn’t forced any turnovers yet. That should be a point of emphasis ahead of Week 3. Also, they need better execution from all their players. They can’t afford to miss field goals, the wide receivers need to do a better job of getting open, and the cornerbacks need to keep opposing skilled-position players covered a bit longer.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have gone through a lot over the last few years. Fans are rightfully frustrated even though only two games have been played this year. But call out Urban Meyer if the team lacks direction after three years at the helm, not after two losses, even if they sting. As Lawrence recently pointed out, the Jags are making progress and it’s a matter of time before they win a few games.

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