Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 Ways Jack Del Rio Can Save His Job

Justin UseltonContributor IOctober 5, 2011

Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 Ways Jack Del Rio Can Save His Job

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    Let's be honest, Jack Del Rio isn't a terrible coach. Rich Kotite was a terrible coach. Bill Callahan was a terrible coach. Not Jack.

    Despite a 1-3 start, all hope is not lost for Del Rio. He seemingly still has the support of the players and the support of owner Wayne Weaver.

    For now.

    In addition, who really wants to see Del Rio fired? Jack is a nice enough guy who knows the game as a long-time NFL veteran himself. He's still young, and it's reasonable to presume that, with a franchise quarterback finally at his disposal, his best days as an NFL coach could be ahead of him.

    We might have to think outside the box to see how Del Rio turns around a lost season, but here are the top five ways Jack Del Rio makes it back in Jacksonville for 2012.

Gabbert Grows Up Quickly

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    The Jacksonville offense is on life support, and it stands to reason that the first candidate to breathe life into their attack is the one person who has the football in his hands on every play.

    Blaine Gabbert.

    Great quarterbacks make bad receivers average and make average receivers good. Gabbert is surrounded with mediocre receivers, but he has the talent to help that.

    If Gabbert can make a step (or seven) in his development over the next few weeks, the Jaguars may have a fighting chance to reach .500 and warrant one more year for Del Rio.

Maurice Jones-Drew Explodes

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    With the Jaguars defense playing decent football, they need something to compliment them offensively to have any chance at success.

    Deji Karim isn't any good, so the plan to relieve Maurice Jones-Drew's workload is going to soon be off the table.

    If Jones-Drew can have a colossal 12-game stretch and dominate opposing defenses, the Jaguars could shock enough teams and drain enough clock to finish respectably enough to bring Jack back.

    No pressure, Jack. Your star running back only needs about 450 carries and 2,000 yards to save your job.

A Wide Receiver Emerges

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    The entire complexion of the Jaguars offense will change if just one receiver on the roster can start making plays.

    We know what Mike Thomas and Jason Hill are, so this surprise threat needs to come from the bench.

    If Jarrett Dillard, Cecil Shorts or Chastin West can emerge, the Jaguars will suddenly become a competitive team in the AFC South race.

    Dillard has been hampered by injuries, but has shown flashes, while West was recently signed from Green Bay's practice squad. He exhibits the ability to get some separation, something the Jaguars desperately need.

    Shorts, the Mount Union rookie, has been the Jaguars primary punt returner, but will have the opportunity to make plays in the passing game once his understanding of the offense improves.

Defense Dominates

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    The arrow is clearly pointing up for the Jacksonville defense.

    It is a group that has been together about six weeks, but the Jaguars are finding success stopping offenses. If the offense can't find life, Paul Posluszny and company will have to find an extra gear to keep the Jaguars competitive.

    Jacksonville's defensive newcomers are showing signs of gelling, as the defense limited New Orleans to 23 points one week ago.

    This could be a dominant group by season's end, if only the secondary holds up.

Situational Mercy

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    Jacksonville owner Wayne Weaver is a nice guy. Very nice.

    He is so nice that he has let Del Rio hang around despite poor performing teams who have had late-season collapses the last three years.

    Something makes you think that Del Rio could sell his current situation with a new quarterback as a reason for him to have one more season.

    The only reason Weaver bites, however, is if the Jaguars become competitive, win a few games and show steady improvement throughout the season.

    if Jacksonville tanks to a 4-12 season, start shopping for a new coach, Jaguar fans.