Fantasy Football News

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hope for the Future: Jaguars Enter Full Re-build Mode

It's been four years since the Jacksonville Jaguars have made a playoff trip, and even longer since they've put up back-to-back winning seasons. In fact, the Jags have had just two winning seasons (2005 and 2007) since 2000.

Majority owner Wayne Weaver, who has owned the team since the very beginning when he bought the expansion franchise in 1995 after making big bucks off his shoe store chains, had a great start with Jacksonville.

He hired fiery and eccentric Tom Coughlin, then 49, to lead the newly formed franchise as a first-time head coach. Coughlin began his tenure by taking offensive tackle Tony Boselli No. 2 in that year's draft and simply building his team around the 6'7''/324 pound beast.

Boselli, five-time Pro Bowler in seven professional seasons, helped protect left-handed gunslinger Mark Brunell on their way to four playoff appearances in the franchise's first five years of existence, including two trips to the AFC Championship game in 1996 and '99.
But since the dismissal of Coughlin following the 2002 season, the Jaguars just haven't seemed to be the same. The hiring of Jack Del Rio was a great decision, but he was unable to take the Jags the distance.

The Rebuilding Process Starts...Now

It all started with the drafting of 22-year old Univ. of Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the 10th overall pick in this past April's draft, the franchise's quarterback of the future.

The Jacksonville rebuilding process took two more steps on Tuesday with Wayne Weaver firing Del Rio and selling the team to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan.

Earlier today yet another step was taken towards a fresh start as interim head coach Mel Tucker prepares for the Jags upcoming matchup with San Diego on Monday night. Tucker, who will be considered for the full-time job after he completes the remainder of the five games on the 2011 schedule, is still the team's defensive coordinator as well. Other possible candidates for the job–according to rumors–have been swirling around the 'net and includes Dallas Cowboys' defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

Former Baltimore Ravens head coach and Super Bowl champion Brian Billick has reportedly been ruled out by ProFootballTalk.com, who quoted Billick in saying "They're looking for young and cheap, and I'm neither."
Well, there goes that idea. There's no reason for me to believe that former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher would be interested seeing as he has already repeatedly stated it will take a team 'ready to win now' for him to return to coaching. I really don't see him leaving his job with CBS to take over the hapless Jaguars in this stage of their rebuilding process.

Rob Ryan would be a great option, but I think (depending on how well his 'tryout' goes, of course) that Jacksonville will stay in-house and hand Tucker the permanent gig once the season is finished and in the books.

But only time will tell.
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Jaguars franchise by the numbers:

Seasons: 17 (1995-present)
Head coaches: 3 (Tom coughlin and Jack Del Rio)
Starting quarterbacks: Mark Brunell, Byron Leftwich, David Garrard, Blaine Gabbert
All-time regular season record: 136-131
Pro Bowlers: 20
All Pros: 4
Playoff appearances: 6 (last appearance was '07)
Playoff record: 5-6
Highest-ranked offense: 3rd (1997)
Highest-ranked defense: 1st (1999)
First draft pick in team history: OT Tony Boselli

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