I don’t believe in curses. I also don’t believe in coincidences. These two non-beliefs stare and then spit in the face of each other when pondering the current and recent past of the Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver position.
Is the curse of R. Jay Soward a real thing?
At first thought it seems pretty laughable that a team could be cursed (close your eyes Chicago Cubs fans). But when you look a little closer it seems like a little more than just bad luck when thinking about the woes that the Jaguars have had.
Of course this particular “curse” stems from how the Jaguars never cut ties with former first-round bust R. Jay Soward. Soward was a talented pass catcher from USC who the Jaguars drafted in 2000, the season following their AFC Title Game run (and last division title). Jaguars fans know the story, Soward had a major drug problem and completely flamed out as a pro.
Since Soward’s departure, the best wideout in team history Jimmy Smith battled his own drug issues that caused him to be suspended (and later jailed in his post-NFL career). The Jaguars then drafted first-round receivers in 2004 and 2005 in Reggie Williams and Matt Jones respectively, but both had their own issues with substance abuse and never came close to living up to their expectations.
The Jaguars wide receiver position became so much of a farce that then Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson had this to say following a game.
“(The Jaguars) wouldn’t know a wide receiver if one fell out of a tree and hit them on the *#&$ing head.”
It’s tough to argue with him. It really hasn’t been good.
Gene Smith tried his hand at drafting another talented wideout in 2012 as he traded up to select Justin Blackmon with the fifth-overall pick. After serving a suspension, Blackmon had a few monster games but alas, his personal demons have got the best of him and it would be a huge surprise if he ever played another game in the NFL as he’s currently suspended indefinitely.
So how are the current Jaguars wideouts doing?
Well, they’re getting plenty of rest. Cecil Shorts, the best of the Jags bunch injured his hamstring early in camp. Then rookie Allen Robinson, who was off to a great start, injured his hammy as well. Tandon Doss went down on the same day as Robinson with an ankle injury.
Undrafted rookie Allen Hurns, who received some good reps with seemingly half of the players at his position down, hurt his groin.
Did we mention that Ace Sanders will be serving a four-game suspension and has left the team to take care of his personal issues?
"I don't think it's jinxed," Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said after this team's scrimmage "We're looking to the future, not the past."
Again, I don’t believe in curses or jinxes, but how much bad luck can a team have at one position? The good news is that things can only get better….right? Second-round pick Marqise Lee is still healthy and he and a cast of castoffs will be available to the team when they open the exhibition season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday.
Curse? What curse?
Is The Curse Of R. Jay Soward A Real Thing?
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