There are two streams of thoughts when it comes to what the Jaguars should do for these last games: win for pride or lose for a higher draft pick. Pride shouldn’t be a choice. Players should have that every game. It should be, win for next season. To tank or not to tank?
Wins help the team more for 2019, or does drafting top 5 or 10 ? Most believe the Jaguars need to draft a quarterback. At this point, there are three on the table: Dwayne Haskins, Will Greir and Justin Herbert.
There are three teams in the same boat as Jacksonville: Denver, Giants and Redskins. All three could finish with six wins. There are other teams with quarterbacks that may want to draft because of contract issues or age. However, do the Buccaneers and Titans feel one of these rookies is better than what they have?
No matter how you look at it, teams with rookie QB’s almost always tank. Most often it’s due to youth, but in addition, teams that draft quarterbacks at the top, have issues beyond a signal caller. This often is a toxic mix.
This season there were five QB’s taken in the first round and their records aren’t good. Browns finally got a good GM who made the right coaching calls, and now they’ve won because Mayfield was the missing piece to team that was loaded with talent, but needed better coaching. Before some house cleaning, they’d been drafting in the top ten for years without wins.
The Cardinals are 3-10, The Bills and Jets are 4-9. The Ravens are 7-6, but they drafted LAST.
Four quarterbacks drafted top ten and four have losing records, the one drafted last is on a winning team. Can it all be blamed on the young guns? No, because poor coaching or other issues plagued the teams going into 2018.
To tank or not to tank?
That is why it is NOT in the best interest of the Jags to tank. They need to show they can win the last three. The team has a very talented defense, but injures decimated the offense. Before the players started dropping like dominoes, Jax was 3-1.
Look around the league, KC lost last night and part of that was due to their secondary, which is hurt. They could lose the next two because of it and now become a wild card. The Redskins were up two games in the NFCE and then injuries struck.
The Texans started the season with a phone book of injuries, same for the Colts and then they got players back and they started to win.
The point is, good coaches find a way to win even with a depleted team. The Redskins are beatable. The Dolphins could be a problem, but the Texans could end up sitting their starters week 17. So, two or three winnable games left.
Another reason to win is cap space. Doug Marrone needs the rookies and second year players to ball out which allows Dave Caldwell to make cuts. While it’s always sad to see favored players leave, the team needs the future to step up.
In addition, despite fans wanting to fire everyone, it’s rare for franchises to hire new coaching staffs and then get to the play-offs the following season. It’s for three reasons: this typically happens because the franchise is a mess and/or they don’t have a good head coach or QB.
The franchises that have been successful at it, had a great quarterback like Peyton Manning who also acted like a coach. There is no Manning available to sign, or anyone remotely like him to come save this franchise if they lose the next three.
NE* hasn’t drafted in the top ten in a decade, and have had drafts without a first round pick and yet, every year, there they are, going to the playoffs.
COACHING IS EVERYTHING.
Many would say it’s because Brady*, but it was Belichick who found him, it’s Belichick who coached him, it’s Belichick who has players people never heard of, winning. If you believe it was all Brady*, where was he drafted?
Meanwhile, teams like the Browns and Jacksonville repeatedly have had top ten picks and where did it get them? We need Marrone to show he can motivate this team to keep their head in it. He can’t do much about having Kessler, but if they lose, it needs to be solely because of him, not the team lacking effort.
If this team loses the next three, the players are listless, and they need a new quarterback, the Jags won’t be winning for a while. Maybe three years from now. However, if the franchise is just missing a QB and a few healthy players, then 2019 should be a big improvement.
Will a rookie QB make the difference between making the play-offs and not? Extremely doubtful because it goes to coaching. A franchise must have a plan in place and be in full agreement on how to develop him.
The owner, president, VP, GM, head coach and offensive coordinator must be on the same page, have the same vision and commitment to their drafted quarterback. They also can’t pick a quarterback and then the next season bring in another new staff. If so, you have incompetent Denver who chose Paxton Lynch and wasted that pick.
If Jacksonville loses and does it by looking like they did in some of these games this season, then Shad Khan will need to clean house from top to bottom and I don’t believe there’s a franchise out there that put in a place a brand new staff, drafted a quarterback, and won the next season.
The fans need these wins if they want to see them next season. While they may not get the top quarterback, they could get the second best one and based on the drafts lately, that’s not a bad thing.
Better to have the next (healthy) Carson Wentz and a steady staff on the same page, than Jared Goff and a revolving coaching carousel. Goff, who stunk, until he got the right coach for him.
Speaking of which, the reason franchises that keep changing coaches tend to stink is because they change schemes, playbooks, and styles of players they like. Plus, they want their guys. Jon Gruden is in Oakland cleaning house so he and his coaches have who they picked.
This often means second and third year players are wasted and not fully developed because they don’t fit their new coaches’ preferences. Nor do coaching techniques or personalities mesh. When that happens, you end up with a boatload of dead money, wasted cap space and rosters of players riding the bench.
Readers, cheer for the win, not root for the loss in the dreams 2019 will be all better because the next Peyton Manning, or whomever drafted in the top ten is your GOAT., is walking through the door.
COACHING IS EVERYTHING
I’m cheering the coaches show they can be the answer next season. I’m cheering for a coaching staff on the same page when choosing the next quarterback, and they stick around to develop him. I’m cheering for continuity and consistency, a crucial key to success. I’m cheering Khan has made the right choices in front office staff. I’m cheering for #DUUUVAL to shine, not tank.
I’m cheering for WINS!