NFL Rumors: Breaking Down the Latest Buzz Involving the Jacksonville Jaguars

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NFL Rumors: Breaking Down the Latest Buzz Involving the Jacksonville Jaguars
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

A new logo, a new head coach, an entirely new coaching staff as well as a new GM has been the story from the Jags since the Super Bowl. Mike Mularkey was fired after the worst season in franchise history, leaving Shahid Khan with little choice but to let several key members of staff go.

General manager Gene Smith was unsurprisingly the first to leave after taking punter Bryan Anger over Russell Wilson in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft purely on the basis that Anger would be a starter for the Jags in the upcoming season.

His replacement, David Caldwell, was Atlanta's director of player personnel before his appointment in Jacksonville and was quick to confront two main issues. Tim Tebow becoming a Jaguars player has been spoken about long before he was drafted by the Broncos. Since his trade to the Jets has gone sour, the rumor mill quickly pencilled in Jacksonville as his likely destination after an 11th-hour bid by Jacksonville to outbid the Jets into trading for Tebow in March after Denver signed Peyton Manning (SportingNews.com).

Caldwell quickly denied all rumours with a statement in his opening press conference: "I can't imagine a scenario in which he'll be a Jacksonville Jaguar—even if he's released,"

After Caldwell's firing of Mularkey, rumors that San Francisco's offensive coordinator Greg Roman would become the head coach of Jacksonville after sharing a room with Caldwell at John Carroll University was a headline story (NFL.com).

But nothing ever materialised. Instead, Seattle's defensive coordinator Gus Bradley became Jacksonville's fifth coach in franchise history.

 

Cindy Ord/Getty Images
Jaguars GM David Caldwell

 

Bradley's appointment was a significant step in the progression of the franchise. He's a highly touted and well-respected man within the NFL. Monte Kiffin called him a "once-in-a-lifetime coach," which led him to the job at Seattle with Jim Mora in 2009.

The turnaround off the field at Jacksonville has been immense. But more changes were afoot from the franchise with a new logo being unveiled earlier this month to replace the previous logo, which had been the logo since the club's first season in 1995.

The exploration of new scoreboards for 2014 was also announced at the February 5 press conference.

The biggest on-the-field question going into the NFL Draft is at quarterback, with Chad Henne making a case to becoming the starter for 2013 after Blaine Gabbert missed the end of the 2012 season. Jacksonville has the second pick in the draft and with no Andrew Luck or RG3 in this year's draft, it's unlikely David Caldwell's first draft will start with a QB being drafted in the first round.

Matt Barkley has been mentioned as a potential pick in the second round, but it is unlikely that the USC quarterback will be on the board at the 33rd pick in the draft. Alex Smith and Matt Flynn might look to leave their current teams, with Bradley having plenty of time to access Flynn last season in Seattle.

 

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Will Gabbert be starting in 2013?

Geno Smith was considered for the No. 1 pick early in the college season and Kansas City might still take the West Virginia QB with the first pick, but it is unlikely that Jacksonville will take such a "risky" pick.

 

A "boring" pick like Bjoern Werner of Florida State is a safe pick who would become a starter immediately.

Jacksonville might look into another wide receiver after trading Mike Thomas to Detroit and Laurent Robinson not living up to his wealthy expectations. Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts will be Jacksonville's go-to guys in the passing game. Another melodrama like Maurice Jones-Drew's holdout will hopefully be avoided, which might explain Jacksonville's new brand identity for this season: "Stand United."

Jacksonville's defence was one of the worst in the NFL, which will be addressed in free agency, in the draft and with potential trades. Just 20 sacks last season ranked Jacksonville last in the league and makes the Werner pick in the upcoming draft all the smarter.

The next few months will allow David Caldwell and Gus Bradley a chance to access the players and build for a future. They'll put the 2-14 season in the rear-view mirror with a new brand, new staff and a game in London to prepare for in 2013 against San Francisco, the current NFC Champs.

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