Jags Right and Wrong

The Jaguars had an up-and-down season in which they lost their first two games and their last four. In between, they were 7-3 but they finished 7-9 to miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

The Jaguars were 7-5 and in control of their playoff destiny going into the final four games against the Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns but they lost all four of them.

They now head into the offseason with a lot of questions because there's been much speculation in the national media that the team could be for sale and that coach Jack Del Rio's job could be in jeopardy. Odds are Del Rio will get at least one more season because it would cost the Jaguars more than $15 million to fire him this year.

And with the league facing a potential owners' lockout of the players in 2011, Weaver might be reluctant to bring in a new coach whose second season would be marred by a lockout.

Del Rio has three years left on his contract.


WHAT WENT RIGHT:

The Jaguars had a good draft in the first year Gene Smith made the calls as four rookies, offensive tackles Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton, cornerback Derek Cox and defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, were starters. And tight end Zach Miller, a converted quarterback, also showed a lot of promise by catching eight passes in the finale.

Coach Jack Del Rio was so pleased by the play of Britton and Knight that he made them co-captains for the final game against the Cleveland Browns.

Another positive was the play of running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who showed he could carry the load with Fred Taylor departed. Jones-Drew was voted to the Pro Bowl while gaining 1,391 yards.

Linebacker Daryl Smith was a consistent player all season who spearheaded the defense.


WHAT WENT WRONG:

The Jaguars lacked a pass rush, finishing with a league-low 14 sacks. They didn't get a sack in their final three losses to the Colts, Patriots and Browns.

The lack of a pass rush also put too much pressure on the secondary as several opposing quarterbacks picked them apart. Kurt Warner completed 24 of 26 against them and Tom Brady completed 23 of 26. They were two of the top 10 most accurate games in the history of the league.

Even the run defense, usually a team strength, broke down on occasion. The Titans ran for 305 yards against them behind Chris Johnson's 228 yards. In the final two games, the Patriots rushed for 197 yards and the Browns rushed for 214 yards.

Then there was the inconsistent play of quarterback David Garrard, who got a $60 million contract extension following the 2007 season after leading the team to the playoffs and is 12-20 since then. He finished this season with an 83.5 passer rating with 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In 2007, he had a 102.2 rating with 18 touchdown passes and three interceptions. Inn 2008, he fell to 81.7 with 15 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions.

Garrard is also due to make almost $8 million in base salary next year and the Jaguars have to decide whether to ask him to take a pay cut. Garrard has to be more consistent in the future if the Jaguars are to become a playoff team again.


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