The Jacksonville Jaguars look like a much improved team, at least on paper. There is expected to be as many as eight new starters in 2015 and it's necessary, as the roster was forced to be gutted from the misdeeds of former general manager Gene Smith.
The Jaguars much needed renovation occurred mostly through free agency. The big prize signing was Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas formerly of the Denver Broncos, who will serve as a field-stretcher over the middle. Add in new right tackle Jermey Parnell, center Stefen Wisniewski and running back Bernard Pierce and the Jaguars did some free agent shopping on the offensive side of the football.
General manager Dave Caldwell didn’t stop there, as he fortified the defense by adding defensive end Jared Odrick, linebacker Dan Skuta, cornerback Davon House and safety Sergio Brown.
How much can you depend on free agents to work out?
Most teams will admit that if half of them work out, that’s a pretty optimistic figure. With potentially eight new starters via free agency, there are two ways to look at this. If half work out, that’s four new starting pieces that were better than a season before. You can also say that’s a lot of wasted money on four potential busts.
Paying backups starter money doesn’t make them better players, in fact it usually does the opposite. A lot of the Jags acquisitions were backups in other places and now must play bigger roles.
The Jaguars have a better roster than a year ago, but by how much is the question.
The two divisions that the Jaguars will be playing are the AFC East and NFC South. The AFC East features three teams in the Bills, Jets and Dolphins that have improved themselves considerably. The remaining team won the Super Bowl. The NFC South saw a sub-.500 champion last season and that figures to be a little bit of a break for the Jags.
So what does a good season look like?
10 wins? 8 wins? More wins than last year?
Although we see teams go from worst to first almost every year, this doesn't look like that type of situation.
How happy would Jaguars fans be with a .500 season? Coming all the way from three wins in 2014, a five-win improvement will probably mark the biggest in the NFL.
Realistically, if the Jaguars can double their win output from a season ago (go from three to six), and quarterback Blake Bortles continues his development, that should be enough for Jaguars fans to believe in the front office and what they're doing.
What Is A Realistic Goal For 2015?
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