The Jacksonville Jaguars are starting from ground zero after experiencing some futility over the past few seasons. First step is to build an organization, second step is to build a team, third step is to rebuild a fan base that’s been steeped in apathy. It’s housecleaning time. The Jaguars fired Mike Mularkey and followed that with the firing of GM Gene Smith. The new guy up top is Davis Caldwell and the new Head Coach is Gus Bradley. Caldwell leped build the Atlanta Falcons into their present power while Bradley was a big part of creating an excellent Seattle Seahawks defense.
You’ll still recognize some of the names on the roster of the Jacksonville Jaguars roster. While many believed that Blaine Gabbert would be a casualty of the new regime, reports are that Gabbert will be given another season to prove he can be an NFL starting quarterback. He’ll get some help in his backfield if Maurice Jones-Drew returns to health. A broken foot kept Jones-Drew out for much of last season and his return is a big boost to a Jaguars offense that desperately needs dependable producers. Gabbert also is in dire need of his best two receivers but he won’t have them in the early going. Justin Blackmon will be serving a suspension at a bad time. But the Jags will have Cecil Shorts and Blackmons absence means Mohammed Massaquoi will get an opportunity to earn a starting spot.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Bradley can create the same kind of defense he built in Seattle. Jacksonville has some players that may be able to help. The offseason signing period rebuilt the interior of the line while Jason Babin and Andre Branch are expected to provide an outside pass rush that will improve on the last place sack totals. Meanwhile the secondary is almost completely new. The Jaguars will start rookies in Johnathan Cyprien , a safety out of FIU, and Dwyane Gratz, a cornerback from Connecticut. NFL fans will remember Marcus Trufant, who looks to man the other corner.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will have a formidable challenge just playing within the division. But anything close to a .500 season is going to a victory for a franchise that hasn’t seen even a break even season since 2012.