Justin Blackmon set to receive a pass from Chad Henne. The QB isn't pictured, but given that the ball is going to hit him in the hands, I feel fairly confident in my assumption. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE
2011 Recap: The had a terrible, chaotic season last year. They had hoped to improve on their 8-8 2010 season, but started a QB controversy right out of the gate. David Garrard was cut before the season, leaving Blaine Gabbert and Luke McCown to battle it out for the starting job. McCown "won" the job (we're using that term loosely), but then proceeded to beat our beloved . It went downhill quickly from there, as the team lost five straight games and Gabbert was forced to play by Week 3. With all the losses piling up, the Jags fired HC Jack Del Rio job and gave DC Mel Tucker a five game tryout. He didn't fare much better, and Jacksonville finished the season 5-11.
Offseason Review: Mike Mularkey was brought in as the head coach. His work in Atlanta with Matt Ryan should be commended, and the Jags are clearly hoping he can have that same impact on Blaine Gabbert. The team was fairly quiet in free agency, most notably bringing in QB Chad Henne and WR Laurent Robinson. DE Jeremy Mincey was also re-signed, an underrated player on a formidable defensive line.
Draft Review: Gene Smith has made some solid moves to be sure in recent drafts, but there are always a few picks that leave me scratching my head. This year really wasn't any different. The Jaguars moved up two spots to select WR Justin Blackmon. Some evaluators really liked him, but I don't think he has elite potential. I'm still not sold on his catching abilities. There was also that part about him having a DUI on his record, but that probably won't lead to issues as a pro, right? Thankfully the team didn't do something stupid like use their first round pick on a punter, instead holding off all the way until the third round. Now that's great value.
Most Dangerous Player to the Titans: Maurice Jones-Drew doesn't have a whole lot of competition for this section. He's continually productive in an offense that specializes in going nowhere fast.
Underrated Player: Dawan Landry has helped the secondary greatly since coming over from Baltimore a season ago. He's got good ball skills and is a solid tackler. That's a fairly generic statement, but it's hard to go into greater detail when you don't have a lot of tape to review.
Overrated Player: Laurent Robinson is a good receiver, but he got a pretty big deal from Jacksonville (5yr, 32.5M). I can't see him living up to that contract. If he was signed to a smaller deal and designated for the third receiver spot, I'd be a lot higher on the acquisition.
2012 Outlook: Their stout defense should keep them in a lot of games, unfortunately the Jaguars could learn a hard lesson: if you don't have a good quarterback, you're not going anywhere. Blaine Gabbert may improve this year, but he needs to get a lot better in a hurry if the Jaguars want to compete for the AFC South title. I don't have faith he can make that big a jump. Personally, I'd play Chad Henne, run the ball with MJD all year and hope to go 8-8. With Gabbert at the helm, I think they're headed for another 5-11 season.