Hey it’s me again. I know I must seem like a broken record asking for the same thing year after year, but I have become extremely heart-broken and desperate. Yes it’s the Jacksonville Jaguars, again.
I know you provided a gift during the draft in April as defensive end Josh Allen fell to the seventh spot for the Jaguars. And I appreciate him and what his future holds.
But it’s been another awful year for the Jaguars and it’s getting old. There has been the distraction and drama of cornerback Jalen Ramsey earlier in the season. The inability to find a playmaker at tight end. Suffering through games with an over-priced and underachieving offensive line. And a defense that has been gashed by the opposition’s running game. It is a sad state of affairs. Again.
Santa, basically I am asking for only three things this offseason. But I will take two out of three as not to be greedy. Yes, it is understood it will take some shuffling of players and money, and it is unknown who will be making those personnel decisions. But if Jacksonville wants to save a generation of fans, the franchise needs a better product on the field.
Gift One: Tight End
Whether the quarterback is Nick Foles or Gardner Minshew in 2020, a productive tight end is imperative for their success. The third round selection Josh Oliver had zero impact in the passing game this season. He could be the answer because of his metrics. However he has been on the sidelines all year with injuries. Therefore his potential of production remains unknown.
Looking ahead in free agency, there appears to be a couple of upward-trending tight ends that could be available. Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper top the list for 2020. Unfortunately they will most likely be retained by their current team. Perhaps you could throw a few candy canes or some chocolates towards the Buccaneers for O.J. Howard. He seems a bit disgruntled in his current offense and would be a welcome asset in Jacksonville. He would certainly see his fair share of opportunities with either Foles or Minshew taking snaps.
Whoever it is, the current tight end Nick O’Leary is not the answer. It’s time for Jacksonville to join in the fun and utilize the tight end as a weapon. And not just another position on the field.
Gift Two: Linebackers with Fundamentals
It is a fact that you cannot teach or coach speed. But you can coach tackling and positioning. This season the Jaguars linebacker corps has not wrapped up ball-carriers at first or second contact. Also, the group has over run plays and they continue to take horrific angles, yielding in extra yardage. Time to get back to the basics. What good is speed for a defender if he is in the wrong place?
The lack of success for the defense in 2019 has fallen on defensive coordinator Todd Wash. So much criticism pointed his way. For example, he blitzes too often or not enough. Also he has received criticism for the defensive scheme being vanilla and predictable. However it is not all his fault.
But face it, Wash is playing with the cards he was dealt. Those cards include an overpriced middle linebacker who has regressed in his second year at the position. The cards dealt also include youth and inexperience at weak outside linebacker. Conversely, the cards do not include key pieces from the 2017 unit that gave the Jaguars an identity. Something Wash has struggled to overcome.
Gift Three: Leaders that Want to be a Jaguar
Overall there is a lack of veteran leadership combined with a lack of accountability. As the season winds down, it is apparent that defensive end Calais Campbell will be moved for salary reasons. Campbell has been a model of professionalism on and off the field during his three years in Jacksonville. He is a nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year for 2019. But it is not enough for this locker room.
The locker room is full of players more interested in likes on Instagram than winning games. Newsflash-fans don’t care about your candle making or your disrespect from authority figures.
Yes it starts at the top with the coaching staff, but bad vibes spread like wildfire. In order to squash the negativity, players turn to one another. But this team has turned away from each other.
They do not play together as a team and they are too busy promoting themselves for the next contract. This is evident with the amount of league-leading penalties (115 accepted for 1,019 yards) in 2019. No passion or drive.
Santa, please help me. I don’t think I can watch this train wreck much longer.
P.S. I left out some milk and cookies if that helps.
Sincerely- Sadness in #DUUUVAL