Hellow Jaguars fans, it has been a long time since I have blogged. I recently graduated from the University of Central Florida and was lucky enough to land a job at a newspaper in Jacksonville, allowing me to move back to my hometown and start writing again.
The following is a memo to Santa Claus, or Gene Smith, or Shahid Khan, or anyone else who can fix the Jaguars this Christmas, or shortly thereafter.
1. Bring the fans of Jacksonville a head coach who can change the culture on the first coast. For too long have the fans in Jacksonville, sometimes including myself, complained about the media not caring about Jacksonville. For too long (nine years) have the Jaguars fans been acceptable to mediocrity. Bring the fans a coach that will demand perfection from his players, and nothing less. Bring the fans a winning culture to the town that so desperately needs it. Bring the fans something to look forward to besides more Division II players that nobody knows about – and that rarely pan out, more wide receivers who can’t catch the ball or more second tier lineman who can’t stay healthy and stay on the field. The fans need a change of culture in Jacksonville and it starts with the coach, whether it be a coach with a Steel Chin and fiery attitude, or a coach with a scary grin that remind you of a certain killer doll, or a soft spoken coach who teaches X’s and O’s. No matter what kind of coach you bring the fans, he needs be different.
2. Bring the fans of Jacksonville a wide receiver who can be a game changer. Not a receiver who couldn’t stay on the practice squad, not a receiver who is two steps away from the retirement center and has crooked fingers that don’t allow him to catch a pass, not a receiver who is too busy sniffing drugs to live up to his potential, and finally not a receiver who shakes his head to hard when he catches a five-yard pass that he gets a concussion. The Jaguars need a receiver who can go up and catch the ball at its highest point and then make a play with the ball in his hands; a wide receiver who isn’t afraid to demand the ball because he knows he is the better player when he lines up across from a defensive back; a wide receiver who has so much will to win so bad that he makes Tim Tebow jealous. If the Jaguars go into training camp in 2012 with the same type receivers next season, they will surely fail.
3. Bring Blaine Gabbert one (or all) of the following: confidence in himself to deliver a pass on target; lead feet so he can stop running for his life whenever a defender breaths too close to him; or finally a corps of receivers that can get open and actually catch the ball.
4. Brings the fans of Jacksonville a defensive end who can actually rush the passer. Not a defensive end from a school from nowhere that never produces, not a defensive end who is past his prime and cannot compete at a high level due to injury and not a defensive end that never lives up to his hype or potential. The Jaguars fans need and deserve a lunch pail defensive end who comes to work every play that is relentless when he rushes the passer and that is stout against the run.
5. Bring the fans of Jacksonville a new offensive playbook. Typically the playbook would be something the fans know nothing about, but in this case, the Jaguars fans are all too familiar with the same five-yard pass that is overthrown, underthrown or intercepted. Jaguars fans are too familiar with the same run, run, incomplete pass, punt drives. Jaguars fans are too familiar with the same play-it-safe play calling. Whether it be a new offensive coordinator or a new playbook, the Jaguars need to mix things up on the offensive side of the ball.
6. Finally, bring the Jaguars fans something to look forward to next season. Bring the Jaguars fans two victories in the final two games of the season instead of the same old losing streak to end the season. The old head coach who was used to that is gone, but the interim head coach is already one game in that direction. Right the ship and get the team sailing towards prosperity. Let the team finish on a good note.