I was so excited to take my 5-year-old son to the Jacksonville Jaguars' 2009 season opener. That excitement ended abruptly about half-way through the first quarter when Josh Scobee's field goal attempt was blocked and returned for a touchdown. From that point on, the game went into a downward spiral for the Jaguars.
Let's start with the offense. David Garrard should be downgraded to a second-string quarterback as soon as possible. He continues to make bad reads, and holds on to the ball way too long. Unfortunately, the Jaguars do not have anyone to replace Garrard, so what you see is what you get for the time being.
Maurice Jones-Drew did his best, and is the heart and soul of the offense. I loved the crowd's response to MJD when he was introduced to the crowd. "DREW!" was heard loudly as he ran out of the tunnel. It was a well-deserved reaction to his entrance to the field.
Torry Holt caught a few, but dropped a few, too. I respect him as a player, and reportedly he is nothing but a class act. However, I wouldn't be surprised if the environment that surrounds him will eventually dwindle his passion and skill to an all-time low.
Marcedes Lewis is somewhat of an enigma. I would really like to know what the coaching staff sees in this guy. He drops more passes than he catches, and unless he is a fantastic blocker, or washes and waxes his teammates' Escalades, I have no idea why he too hasn't been cut and listed as another first-round bust.
Troy Williamson is another long-overdue cut waiting to happen. How is this guy still on the roster? Put the team, fans, and anyone else involved out of their misery and pull the trigger; cut him now.
I will remain patient regarding the Jacksonville offensive line. Veteran Tra Thomas and rookies Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton are still finding their way. However, if they do not start coming into their own soon, Maurice Jones-Drew will see his yards per carry dwindle significantly.
Then there is the defense. What has happened to Jacksonville's defense? It hasn't been the same since Mike Smith left to take the head coaching job in Atlanta. The heart and passion that was trademarks of the Jacksonville Jaguars is no more.
The defensive line play continues to be mediocre at best. From my perspective there was very little pressure applied to Kurt Warner, and he picked the defense apart at will. When the Cardinals decided to run the ball, the linebackers were dropping back anticipating another pass.
The linebackers and secondary seemed lost throughout the game. Every time Warner dropped back to pass, there was always one wide receiver wide open. Warner only failed to complete a pass two times the entire game.
Coach Del Rio has fired several coaches during his tenure as Head Coach in Jacksonville, and now that the defense is playing as poorly as the offense, it may be time to bid him farewell. Frankly, he seems to lack the skills to coach and motivate his team to play, and it doesn't seem like things will get any better any time soon.
I don't know what the final attendance figure was, but I am quite sure that after today's performance, it will get worse for the remainder of the season. I figure I spent approximately two hundred dollars on today's debacle, and trust me, I did not realize the value I would expect for that kind of expenditure.
I, like many others, will not make the same mistake twice this season.
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