Caldwell has spent the past month since being hired to replace former general manager Gene Smith watching tape on players that are currently on the roster and he feels that the Jaguars already possess a talented core of players. Whether Caldwell can supplement that talent through free agency and the draft will go a long way towards determining whether or not the Jaguars will be a more competitive team in 2013.
“We have work to do, but if we get a good draft class in here, we feel like we can be competitive quickly,” Caldwell said.
A solid draft class that produces five or six contributors is important, but if the Jaguars are going to see any significant improvement next season they are going to need to get better performances from the players already on their roster.
The most important improvement for the Jaguars must be at the quarterback position. The Jaguars are going into training camp with an open competition that will likely include third-year signal caller Blaine Gabbert and an additional one or two quarterbacks brought in through free agency or the draft. Caldwell has not been shy about his belief that Gabbert still has a chance to be a good professional quarterback, but he is going to make him earn his job by having a solid training camp.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Jaguars may benefit from a transition to new head coach Gus Bradley’s hybrid front defense. Some players who have been disappointing early in their career like Tyson Alualu and Andre Branch may be better suited to play in Bradley’s defense.
Caldwell has a plan that he thinks is going to make the Jaguars better immediately, but we will not see that plan start to fall in place until free agency opens on March 12 and the draft at the end of April.