Why is Weaver backing off expectations?

In 2008 the Jaguars bottomed out and finished 5-11. The rebuild began and they exceeded expectations finishing 7-9 in 2009 and again exceeded expectations finishing 8-8 in 2010. 

Based on that alone it wasn’t all that surprising when Wayne Weaver told reporters following a press conference in January that, “If we’re not in the playoffs (in 2011), it’s pretty apparent we’ll have a different coach.” It made sense. Why would a team full of young talent that went 8-8 be happy with anything less than playoffs in the following year?

So three months later Weaver is now saying that he wants the Jaguars to have an “opportunity” to participate in the 2011 postseason.

“We are realistically one or two drafts and one or two free agency periods away from being able to compete at the very highest level. That’s when we can realistically getting into the postseason and having the opportunity to bringing a Super Bowl championship to Jacksonville.”

Not exactly the same battle cry we heard when the season ended. Basically Weaver is saying the Jaguars will not be able to acquire enough talent this offseason to win a Super Bowl in 2011. Really makes everyone want to go buy season tickets, huh?

So what changed in these three months that makes Weaver feel like they need more time before they’re ready to compete at “the very highest level?” Well, absolutely nothing has happened.

The only theory I can wrap my head around that would justify backing down expectations so quickly is that he is expecting a change at quarterback. If Weaver believes that the Jaguars will draft a rookie quarterback and he’s thinking in terms of winning a Super Bowl with that player, it makes sense for him to consider the 2011 season a wash.

David Garrard is 33 years old and according to Wayne Weaver the Jaguars wont be ready to win a Super Bowl until it’s close to his 35th or 36th birthday. That just doesn’t quite sound right to me.

However, heightening expectations to the level of winning a Super Bowl with a rookie QB is something an owner probably wouldn’t find to be a wise decision. If Weaver believed that the Jaguars were prepared to draft a quarterback and move forward with them immediately starting with the 2011 season, he’d probably say something like the quote above. That’s my theory anyway.