It's decision time for Jack Del Rio as the Jacksonville Jaguars currently sit at the bottom of the AFC South with an 1-2 record and the mighty Colts coming to town. All players prepare for big games differently. Most will tell you they watch extra game film, while one 30 year old professional wide receiver will prepare for an upcoming game by spending time in the parents house of a 19 year old Jaguar cheerleader.
Kassim Osgood and Jaguar cheerleader Mackenzie Rae Putnal were watching television around 11 pm when her ex-boyfriend, Julian Armond Bartletto, 20, violated his restraining order and entered the room with a firearm. Bartletto proceeded to pistol-whip Osgood while also assaulting Putnal. Putnal managed to escape to a room downstairs where she grabbed a firearm. Putnal and Bartletto exchanged gunfire while Osgood jammed the door with a chair and jumped out of a second story window to run for help.
Kassim Osgood was signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2003 after playing college football at San Diego State. In seven seasons with the Chargers he caught 33 passes but only five in the last four years.
Despite being 6-5, coaches and scouts claimed he lacked both breakaway speed and flypaper hands to be an NFL wide receiver, but made a name for himself on special teams reaching the pro bowl on three occasions as a special teams representative. Despite these abysmal receiver stats, he approached Norv Turner about being more involved with the Chargers as a receiver. When Norv couldn't stop laughing, he joined the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2010, stating, "I'm going to be a great receiver some day – probably not in San Diego."
Unfortunately Osgood couldn't beat out Mike Sims-Walker, a 6' 2" receiver, who had 63 receptions for 869 yards last year. Nor could he replace Mike Thomas, a 5' 8", 2nd year receiver who handled special teams duties and finished last year with 48 receptions for 453 yards. This is a team where Jerry Porter and Torry Holt recently stepped off the plane at the end of their careers and were immediately labeled as starters.
Osgood currently has 2 receptions for 29 yards but 24 yards came on one catch. In week two, Osgood had a chance to prove Norv Turner wrong as the Jaguars played the Chargers, but instead of having a coming out party, he finished the game with zero yards, zero receptions. This season, Osgood has only been targeted four times, while Sims-Walker, Thomas, and tight end Marcedes Lewis lead the team with 22, 21 and 16 targets respectively. It seems the Jaguars can't find a place for Osgood on the field as a slot receiver either. Which is sad if you compare his numbers to the production of rookie Jordan Shipley of the Cincinnati Bengals, who's playing behind Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco but has still managed to grab 13 receptions for 161 yards this season.
Now the question is - what will Jack Del Rio do? Del Rio is on the hot seat as a head coach in a city where blackouts are the standard. After losing by 25 points in 2 consecutive games, Del Rio has to put on his disciplinarian coaching hat and show the team that poor decisions like Osgood's will not be tolerated. A few years ago, police found offensive lineman Richard Collier asleep behind the wheel at a McDonald's drive-thru window. His blood-alcohol level was .096. Collier was suspended two games and fined by coach Jack Del Rio.
Ironically, years later, Jack Del Rio hired Joe Cullen as a defensive line coach. In 2006, Cullen’s had a DUI just before the regular season began, preceded a week before by driving naked through a fast food drive-through.
In an unfortunate and unrelated incident, Collier was later shot several times around 2:45 am while waiting in his Escalade for women met at a nightclub in Jacksonville.
Jack Del Rio suspended Mike Sims-Walker for missing the team's curfew during an away game against the Seattle Seahawks in 2009. At the time, Sims-Walker was the Jaguars leading receiver. The Jaguars lost 41-0.
Marcus Stroud received a four game suspension for using a banned substance, Del Rio supported trading him to Buffalo, then Del Rio publicly criticized John Henderson by calling him soft and shipped him to the Raiders. The Jaguars once mighty run defense ranking began taking a steep dive.
The final dismantlement of a once proud defensive group was Del Rio's battle with linebacker Mike Peterson. Peterson, starter and team captain at the time, was demoted to backup middle linebacker, banned from practice and fined $10,000 for insubordination. Jack Del Rio established a new rule banning hats and hoods in meetings, domino-playing in the locker room, and made several players switch lockers afterwards. Peterson is having a stellar career for the Falcons. This ended the player-friendly Del Rio.
The team has acted swiftly by removing Putnal from their website because the team has a rule forbidding cheerleaders to date players. However, she can still be seen on the Roar's facebook page. With a losing record, and lackluster fan support, Jack Del Rio and the Jaguars organization will be expected to make an example of Kassim Osgood to show that any negative publicity will not be tolerated.
To Kassim, I suggest you become close friends with Trent Edwards. Invite him to stay at your place until he gets settled in Jacksonville. Get to practice 2 hours early and run routes. Stay 2 hours after practice and run routes. Then play Madden 2011 together and run routes. When Trent Edwards gets promoted to starting quarterback, perhaps you'll have that chemistry sucessful quarterback/wide receiver tandems possess. After 8 seasons, the time you have left to prove you can be more than a special teams player is running out.