The Jacksonville Jaguars' are beyond quick fixes. They don't need miracles.
They are a franchise in need of a serious makeover.
Here are five ideas that may get them started on the yellow brick road to Oz. That is if Oz is a technicolor land of wins.
5. Not Tim Tebow
This isn't a knock on Tebow. I have nothing against him. He has a remarkable ability to rise above his quarterback-like limitations.
But there is that circus that surrounds him. There is the fact that the cameras always seem to catch him being devout, kneeling, when we are sure there are many other players as devout, say Troy Polamalu. And then there is his inability to solidify his position as a starting NFL quarterback in two different organizations.
Are you bringing him in for the publicity? Are you bringing him in to play quarterback?
Jaguars' have an able quarterback. Blaine Gabbert isn't the problem. Gabbert currently possesses a 76.9 completion rating. And that is with his wide receivers dropping passes like they were a bad date.
Gabbert does have an alarming number of interceptions, six so far this year. This goes with nine touchdown passes. But when you are losing and pressing bad things happen.
The Denver Broncos passed on Tebow after he lead them to a playoff victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The New York Jets acquired his services, as head coach Rex Ryan explained, "We never brought him in to be the starting quarterback."
Jaguars' have a quarterback. They don't need a circus. Ask the Jets how that is working out for them.
4. Close the gap between home and away
There is a mammoth gap between the play of the Jaguars at home and the play of the Jaguars away. At home the Jaguars are a terrible team. On the road the Jaguars are a respectable team.
At home the Jaguars' have lost by an astounding 44-153 margin. On the road the score disparity is 83-93, including the only win against the Indianapolis Colts.
Someone somewhere needs to find out why?
3. Less Injuries
Every team is plagued with injuries. The Jaguars are no exception. They have an exceptional high number of team members on the IR report.
This year the injury plagued team would lose at one time or another: its leading rusher; its first round wide receiver; its million dollar free agent wide receiver; and its defensive ends, safety, linebacker, corner-back, right tackle and left guard.
All teams face injuries. The New York Giants won the Super Bowl with a significant amount of injuries. The question them becomes, why?
It is the depth chart or lack thereof?
2. Reliable Wide Receivers
The Jaguars' moved up two spots on draft day to acquire wide receiver Justin Blackmon. During free agency, the Jaguars' signed Laurent Robinson to a five-year, 32.5 million dollar contract. This was after Robinson's one good year with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Jaguars' wide receivers have dropped an astonishingly high 22 passes this year. That is second in the league to the Cleveland Browns.
STATS, Inc,. gives the Jaguars' 13 of the drops through the first six games. Robinson and Blackmon each had three drops apiece.
Playing the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, the Jaguars' dropped nine of the 47 passes Gabbert threw. Three of the dropped passes came on the final drive. Gabbert threw for a career high 303 yards against the Packers. This is with the drops by his receivers. The Jaguars' lost the game 15-24.
Even Tebow can't pass and catch the ball. Can he?
1. Draft Day
Enough said. During the 2012 draft the Jaguars' moved up two spots to acquire wide receiver Justin Blackmon. By most accounts Blackmon was the highest rated wide receiver in the draft. For the season, Blackmon has 26 receptions for 250 yards and one touchdown.
In the second round the Jaguars picked up Clemson's pass rusher Andre Branch. For the season Branch has 10 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and zero interceptions.
Third round the Jaguars surprised all by picking punter Bryan Anger. His stats are irrelevant. The Jaguars had allowed 44 sacks. In 2011 the offense ranked 32 in passing and 12 in rushing. This landed the prestigious position of being 32 in total offense. Even though they had the leading rusher in the league. They possessed one of the worst pass blocking lines in the league. And they drafted a punter in the third round.
Whether it is a failure to judge talent. A failure to develop talent. Or the inability to improvise and adapt to the uncertainties of a NFL season.
The Jaguars' have been weighed, they have been measured, and they have been found wanting. Yep, it's from A Knight's Tale.
It is reported Tim Tebow can perform miracles. This team doesn't need miracles. It needs a solid foundation.
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