“Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again. Most of us adults are so afraid, so cautious, so ‘safe,’ and therefore so shrinking and rigid and afraid that it is why so many humans fail. Most middle-aged adults have resigned themselves to failure.” ― Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X
I admire Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The man has poured his own money into giving the franchise the biggest scoreboards in the NFL, the fans in Duval a pool to distract from the misery on the field and cabanas so nice outside the stadium that you might just forget going inside to watch the game altogether. He’s doing all the things an owner is supposed to do for a franchise mired in mediocrity, with a smile on his face and an impeccable mustache to boot. I mean, how could I not check the odds on Betphoenix.ag and bet on the Jags making the over (7.5) on projected wins this season?
My wager didn’t even make it to December.
Khan’s wager might not be a lost investment, but five years into his master plan, the Jaguars are arguably just as mediocre as when he acquired them. Here’s a quick rundown…
Gus Bradley: You ever been playing Madden on the PlayStation and your four-year old nephew wants to play with you? What did you do? You gave him the second controller and either: A) the controller is broken B) the controller isn’t plugged in C) you actually let them play. I actually think Bradley is option B, because this team, while not perfect, isn’t broken. The problem is that Bradley thinks the controller is broken and the game is cheatin’.
this exchange … whew pic.twitter.com/d2xLHGcVcC
— Made By Tim (@MadeByTim) November 28, 2016
Blake Bortles: Here are two new factoids I learned about the beleaguered Jaguars quarterback after this weekend…
ONE: Courtesy of Elias Sports, Bortles has now thrown 11 pick-six interceptions, the most by a QB through his first three seasons in NFL history.
TWO: Courtesy of Big Cat Country, Bortles has now thrown more pick-sixes (11) than he’s actually won games (10).
…maybe Bortles is the broken controller?
Jalen Ramsey: The Jaguars best defender is a sassy, neck-wiggling, eyeball-rolling dynamo defensive back who has no fear of anyone (Not even Steve Smith, Sr., which is insane). Ramsey, and the other young defensive stars in the making like Telvin Smith, Dante Fowler, Myles Jack and Yannick Ngakoue, deserve your respect and attention. Jacksonville’s defense is ranked 4th in the league (although I imagine some of that is because the Jags offense is so mediocre that other teams squat on the ball but whatever) and Ramsey is the catalyst.
Here’s Ramsey shadowing one of the fastest humans ever.
Here’s Ramsey doing things he has no business doing.
Plus, Ramsey was out here crying after a tough loss, and I’m here for it. Although he might be your nephew after the game, and you win 88-0, and he then starts crying and tells your mom that you cheatin’. Then you have to take him to Baskin Robbins to get him some ice cream. Then he tells you that he knew the controller was broken the entire time, and he just wanted to get you in trouble and get ice cream. Then you wonder if the devil is a four-year-old put on earth to torment you forever (Love you Puddy).
*****ORCHARD PARK, NY – NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Gus Bradley of the Jacksonville Jaguars talks to Dante Fowler Jr. #56 during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on November 27, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
This is a real quote from Jacksonville’s head coach back in September, courtesy of Big Cat Country:
“I think you look at things that need to be changed and say – what is that definition of insanity? ‘Repeating over and over again and expecting different results.’ We want to make sure we are not doing that.” — Gus Bradley
The Jaguars have an ambitious owner, one who is steadfast and diligent in his core beliefs. Even he has to recognize that change must come. Bradley’s 14-46 record now qualifies him for the worst head coaching record through 50 games in the modern NFL era. Here’s the thing: Khan could literally do anything to create change, and it would be better than what’s in place now. I made a list just to highlight the potential awesome that could be on the way.
- Trade for Tony Romo: Have you seen the quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft class? You trusting one of them? If the Jaguars offered Dallas the No. 3 overall pick in exchange for the best quarterback on the Cowboys roster…who says no?
- Draft Deshaun Watson: I mean, I know the draft class for QBs ain’t the best, but if he’s there, get him.
- Hire Tom Coughlin: Coughlin still remains the greatest coach in franchise history by a longshot. Coaches who return in their elder years seldom are able to reclaim their glory years, and Coughlin got better as a coach in New York for being more player-friendly with his team. The Jaguars need the old Coughlin from back in ’99, where physical football and a discipline ruled the roost.
- Hire any other coach not named Bradley, Gus: Seriously, I don’t care. You could hire Lane Kiffin for all I care; it’d be an improvement.
- Sign Kirk Cousins: Listen, the Washington Racial Slurs are better with Captain Kirk…if they gave him $20 million to come to Jacksonville…man, I dunno.
- Sign Ryan Fitzpatrick: But…
- Sign Jay Cutler: Okay, that’s enough.
- Hire Josh McDaniels, Todd Haley or Darrell Bevell: Maybe the Jaguars have the quarterback of the future on the roster, and if that’s the case, Jacksonville has to find someone who can kickstart the Blake Bortles rehabilitation project. I’d consider trusting one of those guys.
It doesn’t matter really. Khan is going to do whatever he pleases. He’s the owner. That’s what they do. Me? I’m tired. All Jaguars fans are tired. Hell, fans of football who swore that the Jaguars could be worth a damn in the future are tired too. It’s time to not be terrible Jacksonville. We’re ready for the rehabilitation project to begin.
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”