You Can Run But You Simply Can’t Hide
Monday Night Football brought us the spectacle of the Jacksonville Jaguars playing the Tennessee Titans in a pivotal AFC South divisional match up. And while I’ve come to admire Titans’ coach Jeff Fisher from afar I can’t but help think what might have been for this well respected coach within the NFL . He is now the longest serving coach by tenure in terms of longevity in the league and he commands the respect of his peers , fans and players alike . But in the competitive world of the NFL command and respect while meaning a great deal doesn’t count for anything unless you’re winning consistently and being thought of as a perennial contender for the Superbowl . Fisher while winning, has had his setbacks over the course of his career with this team and while he’s struggled he has often found ways to bring out the best in himself and his players.
The Titans this year might be considered to be one of the dark horses within the AFC and if they are to gain any traction and be thought of as one of the more dangerous teams within the conference then a victory over the likes of their divisional opponents the Jaguars would go a long way in cementing that thought. Chris Johnson the Titans’ running back might just be the best player in the league at the position at this moment in time. And his record setting year of last season where he amassed a whopping 2,006 rushing yards has set him up for what he says will be an even better year in 2010. And if his performance last night is anything to go by then Johnson might not disappoint his fans or for that matter Titans’ fans at all. Whether or not he can surpass the all-time single season total yardage for rushing in a season remains to be seen but if this was any indication and barring injuries then I believe that the player given the opportunity will try his level best at breaking Eric Dickerson’s record (2,106).
Though I’ve never really viewed the division as ever really being truly competitive albeit that it has remained the domain and personal kingdom of the Indianapolis Colts over the past few seasons. This might just be the year where either the Titans or for that matter the Houston Texans finally mount a serious enough challenge to take down the defending divisional champions , the Indianapolis Colts. And as good as the Texans appear to be and how well their season has started I still get the feeling that this team could self implode at any time. While there’s no doubt in my mind that they possess one of the more explosive offenses within the league led by Andre Johnson , Arian Foster and Matt Schaub ____ it is their defense that still seems to leave a great deal to be desired . And until head coach Gary Kubiak and his coaching staff addresses that situation I for one can’t take this team as a legitimate playoff contender.
The Jacksonville Jaguars to my mind continue to disappoint , with a declining fan base and the fact that this season a number of their home games will be blacked out it has me thinking what else can possibly go wrong for this Jack Del Rio coached team ? Well last night I got the answer I had been looking for as I saw the Jaguars simply get manhandled by the Titans on their way to a 30-3 rout of the Jacksonville team. The margin of victory would have been far greater had Tennessee sought to embarrass the Jaguars any further but alas it simply wasn’t to be . Chris Johnson had a field day amassing another 100 yard rushing game on his way to a touchdown. Titans’ quarterback Vince Young also had a good game until he had to leave because of an unforeseen injury suffered during the game. His backup Kerry Collins merely stepped in , the rout merely continued and the Jaguars simply had no answer for the marauding Tennessee Titans.
At this juncture I have to ask myself can Del Rio simply last the remainder of the Jaguars’ season ? It’s not simply about how inconsistent that this team has become but also about each time they seem to take a step forward they simply take two steps back with the most inexplicable ways in which they have a tendency to lose games. They’ll either simply give up a lead in a close game or get thoroughly blown out of the water by an opponent. It comes down to heart , the lack of preparation on all fronts by this team and while it’s quite easy to suggest that it’s down to the players and the on field leadership I do believe that the coach and his coaching staff has a role to play in this all. And for Del Rio, he seems to be at a loss and more of a hindrance to this team than first thought. It might to also help for the coach to now realize that quarterback David Garrard will never be viewed as a player who can ever lead this team to any semblance of desired success. At best Garrard is a run of the mill seasoned veteran who ought to be a backup rather than a starting qb in this league ! I know that for every Trent Dilfer there are several quarterbacks out there just like David Garrard who aspire to have achieved the Superbowl success of the former Ravens’ quarterback . With Garrard just being one of a mundane group of starting qb’s in the league at present who shouldn’t at all be starting. But much of this may well come down the lack of a player’s skill-set and the fact that the quarterback coaches around the league merely believe that the only prerequisite skill the players needs to have ……..is to be able air the ball out. The player (Garrard) does this fairly well but not as good as others but also when it comes to protecting the ball it can be as if he’s handling a hot potato.
David Garrard on his best day makes you simply want to revisit that very same issue as he’s become more of liability to his team because of his immobility and not being able to read defenses. And it certainly hasn’t helped that his offensive line can have these momentary breakdowns that leads to the quarterback to become a sitting duck. The Jaguars’ problems having been well chronicled and it has to be said that if anything Jack Del Rio has taken this team as far as is possible under his tenure. Team owner Wayne Weaver has stood by his coach steadfastly providing him all the executive and moral support needed but even that now is no longer enough. It is now time to cut the ties that binds Del Rio to this team rather than seeing things being dragged on further into an abyss. Whether or not it happens now or at the end of the season , even now Weaver knows that the sake of the fans and for the organization something needs to be done . And as drastic as it might seem the letting go of his coach , a marginally effective quarterback and rebuilding this team anew might just be the best approach to take if this organization is to remain viable competitively as well financially.
There’s not much more else that can be said after this latest episode of Monday Night Football but one thing is now becoming definitely clear about the NFL this season there are still a number of horrendously bad teams within league with the Jacksonville Jaguars being just one of a slew of them . Doubt my word, simply take a look at the divisional tables and the team stats to see what is I’m talking about ? If nothing else it should give you a clear indication as to how mediocre these teams really are . Albeit that we’re close to the midpoint of the season , truth be known for some of these teams …….. they may well be able to run but they can’t hide from for their problems .
Picture gallery .
For the Jacksonville Jaguars while their problems seem to manifesting themselves in a number of guises the same cannot at this juncture be said of the Tennesse Titans who seem to have finally found a way to play with some semblance of consistency while remaining relevant within the NFL .
How do you see the season panning out for the Jaguars and Titans ? And do you see by season’s end Jack Del Rio being relieved of his duties as coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars ?
Alan aka tophatal …….. 🙂
Eye candy courtesy Hiphopvidemodels.net Nicole Ricca .