With progress being made by the NFL and *NFLPA on a potential new CBA, I think it’s a good time to re-hash how the lockout has affected the Jacksonville Jaguars. With this projection, we’re going to assume two things. First, and most likely, we’re assuming the Jaguars will be starting QB, David Garrard for the duration of the season, and secondly, we’re assuming the lockout ends on or before Jim Irsay’s deadline of July 4th.
The most obvious statement I can make here is that the lockout favors teams that are returning most of their coaching staff from the 2010 season, specifically at the top. The Jaguars gain a quick advantage inside their own division when we consider the other teams of the AFC South. The Colts have seemingly lost former offensive coordinator, Tom Moore. The Titans will be operating with a new head coach as well as a new defensive coordinator, and the Texans are bringing in a new defensive coordinator as well. On top of that, the Texans are switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 system on defense, a historically rocky transition.
I think in terms of coaching, the lockout may actually favor the Jaguars more than any other team in the division, but that’s not the only factor we need to consider. We also have to consider how prepared the coaches are. There’s more good news on that front too. Mel Tucker, the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator, said that he felt “ultra-prepared” in an interview with John Oehser. That’s another check for the Jaguars.
Finally we need to consider the Jaguars’ schedule in 2010, especially the first half of the year. The Jaguars play, in order, the Titans, Jets, Panthers, Saints, Bengals, Steelers, Ravens, and Texans. That’s a lot of good teams that won’t have many problems with the lockout, but there’s also a few games that the Jaguars should have no problem winning.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re dealing with a lockout. Most analysts seem to believe that the lockout is drawing to a close, and thank goodness. Teams will be affected in different ways. No team will gain an absolute advantage from the lockout over a normal off-season, but that’s not what the NFL is all about. It’s all about comparative advantage, and the Jaguars may benefit from a shortened off-season. The only way to really find out is to wait and see.