The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off one of their most successful seasons in recent years but there are several things they must work on both on and off the field in the upcoming months. Re-signing their players is most likely their top priority with free agency less than two weeks away. However, they also must address several areas where they graded poorly in the NFL Players Association’s survey.
The NFLPA recently released its first-ever players survey and the Jags were one of the worst-ranked teams in the league. A rat infestation in the locker room and the poor care players’ families received at the facilities were among the chief complaints.
"When asked what the number one thing they want changed at their facility, the answer was unanimous – get rid of the rats! Players reported that for 3-4 weeks this season, there was a rat infestation in the locker room and laundry hampers.The second issue was the players’ feeling that the team can take better care of the players’ families. For example, because they do not offer a family room like most NFL teams do in their stadium, we heard of instances where players’ wives nursed their babies on the floor of a public restroom."
Other complaints the Jaguars got were that their weight room and their locker room weren’t nearly big enough. Similarly, the food service and nutrition earned a poor review. The report says that all three meals were provided to the players and 98 percent of them stated that there’s enough room in the cafeteria, so the grade must be a reflection of the quality of the food or maybe the personalized diet programs could use an improvement.
On the hand, both their strength coaches and training staff got high marks. Similarly, their travel experience was rated as slightly above average, noting that 89 percent of the players feel like they have enough room to spread out and there are a lot of first-class seats.
Here’s a breakdown of all the areas Jaguars players graded:
- Treatment of Families: F, tied for 28th
- Food Service: D, tied for 22nd
- Weight room, D+, tied for 29th
- Strength Coaches, A+, tied for 17th
- Training Room, D-, 27th
- Training Staff, A,9th
- Locker Room, D-, 28th
- Team Travel, B, 15th
The Jacksonville Jaguars must get rid of the rats and accommodate families
Rats spread diseases and cause property damage, so the last thing a player wants is to get to their locker room and find their headphones or any other gadgets have been chewed. Furthermore, it’s concerning that the organization can’t accommodate players’ families. The facilities should be big enough to make room for them.
Having to change a baby on the floor of a bathroom is not acceptable, especially when you take into account the Jaguars spare no expenses when it comes to making upgrades to their facilities and paying players. What’s stopping them from providing them adequate service and attention to players’ families?
The Jaguars don’t have to offer buffet services or shuttle to players’ families — although it would be nice — but having a lounge where wives and children can spend time while players practice or attend meetings sounds like a service every team should offer.
On the bright side, most of the areas in which the Jags graded poorly have an easy fix. Their new facility, the Miller Electric Center, is on track to open in the summer, so complaints about not having enough space in the locker rooms and rehab should be taken care of. Similarly, there will most likely be a waiting area for players’ families.
The bottom line is the Jacksonville Jaguars have the resources to fix all the issues that were brought up in their report cards. After all, making sure the players are happy to show up to work and their families are taken care of should lead to even more success.