There is plenty of anger to go around in Jacksonville today, just 24 hours removed from another embarrassing Jacksonville Jaguars home loss to the division rival Indianapolis Colts. However, most of the anger is being misdirected at the Jaguars current brain trust.
Instead of placing blame on Jaguars current general manager David Caldwell, the lion share of the blame for the poor excuse for a football team that has been constructed lays squarely on the shoulders of former general manager Gene Smith.
Smith was fired following the 2012 season after he inherited the Jaguars roster in 2009. Over that time the product on the field got progressively worse, but for some odd reason Smith was gifted a golden parachute contract extension from former owner Wayne Weaver prior to selling the team in 2011. Smith legitimately believed that the 2012 team he constructed that lost 14 games was close to competing. In retrospect it was an embarrassing level of delusion on the part of Smith.
Smith didn’t have just a problem with delusion though, he was also a terrible drafter. Of the players that Smith drafted in his four years as general manager, only nine remain on the current Jaguars roster and several of those guys appear to not have a significant future with the team. It is completely impossible for an NFL franchise to compete when they are missing on so many draft picks. Perhaps the best example of Smith’s terrible drafting acumen was his decision to draft punter Bryan Anger in the third round despite having glaring holes all over his roster.
What Caldwell inherited this offseason did not resemble anything close to an NFL roster, but more like an out of control grease fire that needed to be put out completely and rebuilt from scratch. Caldwell has the support of the Jaguars owner, Shad Khan, knowing that he is planning on rebuilding the roster with the idea of having sustained success. However, to do that the immediate results are not going to be pretty.
The Jaguars appear destined for an 0-16 season and the first overall pick in next year’s draft, but the results are going to improve year-by-year if Caldwell is given the proper amount of time to rebuild after the storm that was Gene Smith.
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