Sunday, October 16, 2011

Jags' Del Rio on the Hot Seat

Entering his ninth season at the helm of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the 48-year old Jack Del Rio has officially reached Hot Seat Status–if he wasn't there already.

Prior to the Jags' Week 6 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Del Rio's squad is 1-4 and currently sitting in third place. If it wasn't for the absence of Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, the Jags would likely be sitting at the very bottom of the AFC South after five weeks of play.

Just before the season kicked off, Del Rio and his coaching staff let go of former Pro Bowl quarterback David Garrard, who missed just two games since the 2008 regular season began. That was just one more thing added to the list of why the Del Rio era needs to come to an end down south.
It's one thing if Garrard had been under-producing, but the thing is that Garrard was coming off one of his best seasons, setting career-highs in touchdowns (23) and completion percentage (64.5). The season before that, in 2009, Garrard was named to the Pro Bowl after completing his second consecutive 3,000 yard season.

There's no doubt that the wrong decision was made here. Rather than allow Del Rio and his crew to let go of one of the franchise's few (current) upsides, maybe the front office should have just ridden the players and fans of the head coach.

Don't get me wrong, I always kind of liked Del Rio. He was a great role player during his days, and he certainly brings fire and enthusiasm to this team. But this franchise is in dire need of a change, and I think a new head coach would bring a fresh start to Jacksonville.

If you're going to go with a fresh, young look at quarterback by releasing Garrard and starting rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert, why not start over with a new head coach and system at the same time?

Del Rio has failed to produce since being introduced as the head coach in 2003, reaching the playoffs just two times (1-2 record) and posting a 66-67 regular season record. During his reign, the Jags offense has ranked in the top 10 in points just twice, and offensive yardage twice. His defenses have been a little better, ranking in the top 10 in points and yardage three times each.

The bottom line here is Jack Del Rio's teams have underperformed, and the sooner Jacksonville cuts ties with him, the better off they will be.

Feel free to voice your opinion on this situation.

Photo credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images

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