Sam's Commentary

November 10, 2014 Commentary Archive

Jaguars Close to the Tipping Point

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted November 10, 2014 ===========================================================================

I'm not sure what to make of the Jaguars 1-9 record here at the bye week. While I didn't think they'd be a playoff contender this year, I also didn't think they'd be this bad. You knew with a young team they'd struggle at times but to look completely out classed in so many situations is pretty unnatural.

What it takes to win in the NFL is a good organization, a coach who knows how to get the best out of his players, talent on the roster, the will to win, and just the occasional bit of luck.

With Shad Khan at the helm, the Jaguars organization seems to be healthy and vibrant. This past week in London when I asked him about winning in the near future he said, "It's important that everybody knows what Gus and my expectations are." Which is the kind of culture and leadership they're building: Here's what we expect, do your job and we expect results.

In Gus Bradley's first head coaching job in the NFL, he appears to have the job reined in enough to get his message across to the players and coaches. Some guys ascend to the top of the coaching ladder and aren't suited for it at all. The job's not too big for Bradley. His philosophy has worked as a coordinator and it follows what they're doing in Seattle. It's a bit cutting edge and experimental but you can see by talking to the players that if it takes root, it'll flourish. He doesn't seem to be getting the players best these days but it's hard to figure out if it's a lack of talent, youth, or his coaching philosophy isn't working. It's probably still too early to definitively find the answer.

The players are frustrated and angry, mostly with themselves. "I think that's a testament to the character of the guys we have in this locker room" Zane Beadles said after the 31-17 loss to Dallas in London. "Each guy knows they can play better. I know I can play better. We need to put that into action and see hat e can do individually to play better and help the guy next to us. Get away during the bye week and come back ready to go these next six weeks.'

That's the thing about the Jaguars roster in 2014. With a few exceptions, this group of guys says the right thing and tries to do the right thing, sometimes to their detriment. Instead of just doing their job, they try to do to much. Maybe that's the hallmark of a young team, or perhaps they still have a few pieces that need to be found and inserted into the lineup. The players believe the answer is among the guys currently on the roster, that they're going to get it together.

"I really do like this group of guys," Gus Bradley said at his post game press conference. I"I don't worry about their effort, their courage, they're willingness to do the right thing. It's just the self inflicted things that are giving us problems."

But at what point do those "self-inflicted" things either stop happening or you move on to somebody else? That's the question coaches get paid to answer and if the don't get it right, they're out of a job. Bradley doesn't have to worry about that for now, but if the decisions he makes this year about guys being able to grow into solid players from talent rookies don't pan out as he expects, 2015 could be another year of change for the franchise.

Players like Jonathan Cyprien and Denard Robinson are the new faces of the Jaguars, but they're still in the learning process when it comes to professional football. I asked Cyprien if he took a bad angle on Dez Bryant that allowed the TD. He was forthright with his answer: "Took a bad angle, made a bad decision to try and tackle and him instead of shove him out of bounds. It's the kind of play that I'm better than but I need to show it. This isn't the kind of player I am."

Robinson echoed those feelings, admitting that the team believes they're better than what they're showing. "Oh, yeah, we're better than this, " he said after the London game. "It's those things were doing in games that hurt us. Mistakes, turnovers, we need to clean those up. We'll get this thing turned around and when we do, it's going to be something."

And that's what we're all waiting for, the development of young players like Cyprien and Robinson to the point where they don't take a bad angle and they don't fumble the ball on extra effort to keep themselves from succeeding. It's possible they're right; it's going to be something. But an equal number of teams have gotten to this point and just never made it to the top. Hard lessons are taught in the league. Whether those lessons are learned or not will play out over the next year.

Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

11-09-2014 - Jaguars Don't Get Better
11-09-2014 - Shad Khan: Making Jacksonville and the Jaguars a Winner
11-08-2014 - Jaguars Prep Cowboys on Saturday
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Arrive in London
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Make London Routine
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Focusing on Cowboys
11-05-2014 - Jaguars Road Trip: Play Anywhere, Anytime
11-02-2014 - Jaguars Mistakes Cost Them Again
10-29-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Florida Connections
10-19-2014 - Jaguars 1st Win: Beat Browns
10-19-2014 - Jaguars Browns Preview: Winnable?
10-13-2014 - Jaguars Let One Slip Away
10-12-2014 - Jaguars vs. Titans Preview
10-11-2014 - Top 20 Jaguars Personalities
10-06-2014 - Steelers Beat Jaguars But More Respectable
10-03-2014 - Simple Jaguars Solution: Play Better
10-02-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Rivalry Moments
09-29-2014 - Jaguars Lose To Chargers: Still Learning
09-27-2014 - Jaguars prep Chargers in San Diego
09-25-2014 - Bortles First Week as Starter
09-24-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Impactful Rookies
09-20-2014 - Jaguars/Colts Preview: Race to Maturity Needs to be Fast
09-14-2014 - Jaguars Lose Game, Ground
09-09-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 'Moments
09-08-2014 - Jaguars Fall to Eagles, Learn Lessons
09-06-2014 - Jaguars/Eagles: It's What's Up Front That Counts
09-06-2014 - Hotel Domestique: (Almost) Cycling Paradise
08-16-2014 - Henne Takes Control, Jags Move Forward
08-15-2014 - Keep Improving and Jaguars Have A Chance
07-12-2014 - Chasing Greatness: The Right Way
07-01-2014 - Team USA Brings Us Together: Again
06-08-2014 - A Special Day in Town
06-06-2014 - Jaguars Week 2 OTA's: More Progress
05-28-2014 - Jaguars 1st OTA: Plenty of Questions
05-17-2014 - Jaguars Rookie Camp: A Look At The Future
05-15-2014 - Jaguars "Sustainability" Seems Upward
05-12-2014 - Kaymer Wins Players: Wins Fans Too
05-08-2014 - The Players: First Round Update
05-07-2014 - Players Preview 2014
05-07-2014 - Players 2014: Who Can Win?
05-07-2014 - Players 2014: Will The Greens Be Up To Par?
05-05-2014 - Players 2014: Some Greens Still Closed
05-05-2014 - The Players : Wide Open
05-03-2014 - The Players Field Almost Set
05-03-2014 - Pre Draft Jaguars Ramblings
04-11-2014 - Jaguars Buzz is Real
04-04-2014 - Final Four Bigger in Big 'D'
03-28-2014 - Gators in Elite Eight: Want More
03-27-2014 - Gators vs. UCLA: Toughest Test Yet
03-26-2014 - Bradley Looking To Upgrade Team, Self
03-23-2014 - Gators Change Mindset, Beat Pitt
03-21-2014 - Gators "Survive and Advance"
03-20-2014 - Gators Ranking Doesn't Matter
03-19-2014 - Gators in Orlando For NCAA's
03-14-2014 - Jaguars Free Agency: Impressed, Not Surprised
03-12-2014 - Gabbert Gone
03-08-2014 - Gators Still "Chasing Greatness"
02-27-2014 - "Personal Foul" on the Dutch
02-22-2014 - NASCAR: Looking To The Past To Find The Future
02-13-2014 - Jax: An Events Town"
02-05-2014 - National Signing Day: "Mark Your Calendar!"
01-07-2014 - As Good As It Gets: FSU Wins National Championship
01-06-2014 - FSU vs. Team of Destiny
01-05-2014 - Fisher/Malzahn, FSU/Auburn Contrast in Style
01-05-2014 - FSU A Close-Knit Group
01-02-2014 - Jaguars Talking Vs. Doing:
Does Bradley's "Conviction" Mean Jaguars Wins Are On The Way?
12-29-2013 - Decisions to Make: Jaguars Need A Lot
12-23-2013 - Meester's Day
12-22-2013 - Jaguars Don't Have Enough
12-20-2013 - Jaguars: Who Wants To Be Here?
12-19-2013 - Meeter Retires: The REAL Pride of the Jaguars
12-15-2013 - Jaguars: Three Forward One Back
12-06-2013 - Jaguars Beat Texans Again: Learning How to Win
12-01-2013 - Florida/FSU: Different Directions?
11-18-2013 - Jaguars 2nd Half: "Better But Not Good"
11-14-2013 - Locker Room Culture: Off Limits?
11-10-2013 - Jaguars Victory: A Lot More Than Just One Win
11-03-2013 - Do We Worry About Blackmon?
11-02-2013 - Florida/Georgia: It's Never Easy
10-27-2013 - Jaguars in London: Fun & Frustration:Equal Parts of Both
10-26-2013 - Jacksonville's on a Global Stage
10-25-2013 - Shad Khan "Living The Dream"
10-03-2013 - Jaguars Building for the "Distant" Future
09-30-2013 - Jaguars: Not Getting Better Soon
09-23-2013 - Jaguars Results Not Unexpected
09-17-2013 - Jaguars Ups and Downs
09-10-2013 - Not What They Were Expecting
09-07-2013 - Jaguars Give Reason For Hope
08-25-2013 - "Better and Improved": The Jaguars Buzzwords
08-21-2013 - Jaguars 2013: It's Not About Winning
08-12-2013 - Jaguars Assessment: Is "Not Terrible" Fair?
08-01-2013 - Jaguars Camp: No Surprises But Not Routine
07-26-2013 - Gus Bradley's First Camp: "Slow Down!"
07-20-2013 - Big Thinking Khan Style
06-20-2013 - Its Summer, It's Hot, No Kidding!
05-31-2013 - The Ever Expanding "Season"
05-15-2013 - The Players: One Of A Kind
05-01-2013 - Tiger At The Players
05-08-2013 - Jaguars Needs: Everything
04-03-2013 - Golf in North Florida: It is & isn't all about The Players
01-30-2013 - Players Win Games

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