Del Rio Passing the Buck

The only thing that has become more common in Jacksonville than Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver buying up his own tickets to avoid television blackouts is Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio getting rid of coaches in the offseason.

There's no telling how much of Nine West and Shoe Carnival's profits went to the "put the Jags on TV fund" this season, but we're pretty sure it's a significant amount.

And with the end of the regular season just one week away, Jack Del Rio will once again purge his coaching staff to try and justify blame of why a team with Super Bowl aspirations over the summer finished in last place. Mark Asanovich, the team's strength and condition coach and his assistant, Les Ebert, have been told they won't be back.

Asanovich was the only original coach left from Del Rio's inaugural staff in 2003. Del Rio has made off season firings a trend in Jacksonville on the coaching staff and apparently Asanovich will fall on the knife for the rash of injuries the team has had this year.

Asanovich and Ebert will likely be the smallest names on the Jaguars coaching and front office firing block as it is rumored that general manager James "Shack" Harris and defensive coordinator Greg Williams will not see next year. Special teams guru Joe DeCamillis, who has put together one of the best coverage teams in the league will likely be moving on as well.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams came to Jacksonville with just one year left on his contract from Washington and he'll be moving on. Williams will ultimately take the blame for some poor offseason decision making by the front office and some terrible play by 2007 first-round pick Reggie Nelson. Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis, reportedly turned down a contraction extension because he wasn't keen on the terms and he likely will be moving on along with some other assistants.

Jaguars vice president of player personnel Shack Harris routinely gets blame for the Jaguars underachieving first-round picks over his tenure, but often fails to be credited for the free agent acquisitions who have worked out and the stellar second-round selections. Since Del Rio is armed with a five-year contract extension that he signed prior to this season, he currently has "the juice" and will survive all of the losing, despite him and Harris being the only common denominators from the beginning of the era.

Jack Del Rio has avoided much of the criticism that would follow any team which has performed as poorly as the Jaguars. What makes it more amazing is that he has feuded with veteran players, and most of the core players that got the Jaguars to the playoffs were veteran leftovers from the Tom Coughlin era.

Del Rio was "put on the map," so to speak last season when he dumped locker room favorite Byron Leftwich in place of career backup quarterback David Garrard just nine days before the season opener. That move paid dividends a year ago when Garrard was a great game manager and led the team to the playoffs. Even that move has backfired in 2008 as Garrard has regressed to the form of what made him a backup, and the Jaguars are stuck in a top-ten quarterback contract with a now below average quarterback.

With the Jaguars fickle fan base and a lack of star power in the 2009 home schedule, the days of television blackouts will likely be returning to Jacksonville. With the country currently in an economic crisis, it appears as if Wayne Weaver will have to seriously dip into his own wealth if his football team is going to have their home games televised in 2009. Can Jack Del Rio keep firing coaches to save his own job? He can this year, but if the team doesn't return to its' winning form next season, Weaver will have no choice but to part ways with his head coach.


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