Some people are fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars. This 2017 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Jacksonville Jaguars.
Your 2016 record: 3-13. Here now is a full summary of your season:
The Jaguars have lost 11 or more games for six straight seasons, and they’ve done it all without managing to secure the top pick in the draft even once during that stretch. At least when Cleveland loses, they go all out. By contrast, the Jaguars put on a cheap sheen of continuity and professionalism that renders them forgettable even when they’re steadily smashing records for hideous incompetence. Gus Bradley was 14-48 when the Jags finally, mercifully let him go. (In Jacksonville, they don’t fire you so much as grudgingly admit that they never should have hired you to begin with). That .226 winning percentage makes Bradley the second worst coach in NFL history. That’s the Jaguars for you: never quite bold enough to be the absolute worst.
It goes on. The return unit got owned by a punter. The team’s best young defender got owned by Steve Smith. The Titans, their spiritual Thursday Night Football brothers, crushed them on national TV and have an actual future. Oh, and the “Steal the show” lady? Turned out she was homeless. Is there nothing this area of the country cannot make horribly sad?
Your coach: Oh look! It’s WIDELY RESPECTED mall dad Doug Marrone! You probably remember Marrone, seen here formulating a game plan, from the time he quit the Bills thanks to a strange contract clause that let him collect $4 million even if he opted out. Marrone was banking on getting another head job right away only to quickly discover that a coach with a 15-17 record who bailed on his team for extra cash isn’t a hot commodity. Lucky for you Jags fans, the franchise…(wait for it)…pounced on Marrone (BOOM!), gave him a piddly-shit job coaching the line for an awful team, and then promoted him when they couldn’t find anyone better to hire. Buffalo’s loss is now your future loss! Congrats! You should hope the Jags play as hard as Marrone played himself.
Anyway, this is the exact kind of uninspiring, bland hire the world counts on from Jacksonville. They are the Democratic party of football, trotting out one respectable loser after another. The only time they make a splash is when one of their fans grabs his nuts in the stadium pool. HOWEVER, they did make one notable hire after anointing Marrone permanent interim head coach…
(Ford Crown Victoria door flies open)
OHHHHHH SHIT YEAH HE’S BACK! Yes folks, the glory days of the Tom Coughlin era are here once more. Early meeting times! Hands on hips! Yelling! Red cheeks! Players forced to play through horrible injuries! Training tables with two different kinds of All-Bran! It’s all here. Now instead of going 3-13, the Jags will go 4-12, but also be EXHAUSTED by the end of it. The old man has already gotten in trouble for pulling his whole “You’re late if you aren’t early” horseshit, so that’s a promising sign!
Coughlin will be in charge of overseeing (i.e. screaming at) personnel and the coaching staff. I say by Week 4, he storms down to the field, rips off Marrone’s headset, and forces him to do 50 pushups right there on the sideline. DISCIPLINE DISCIPLINE DISCIPLINE.
Your quarterback: Ageful wonder Blake Bortles. Let’s see how those mechanics are going!
Fantastic. This was the year for Jacksonville to bail on the Great Bortles Experiment. But noooooooooo. No, these guys decided to fuck this chicken yet again and roll out with a quarterback who looks exactly like Tom Coughlin’s LAST Jags quarterback does right now. The Vatican moves with more swiftness than this team. Look how old Bortles is. Even Lorde is like JESUS THAT GUY IS LYING ABOUT HIS AGE. But the disturbing oldness of Bortles is arguably his least alarming quality…
This play is hardly an anomaly. I can put on a game tape, close my eyes, hit STOP at any random interval, and still land on footage of Bortles being a basket case on the field. It’s astounding. To say Bortles regressed last season is an insult to other things that have regressed, like Twitter, and rock music, and the United States of America. Bortles went BEYOND regressing and found a new and wondrous crevasse to fall through. His TD total fell dramatically. His yards-per-attempt fell dramatically. Do you want to know the most disturbing part? He was sacked 17 fewer times last season and was STILL worse. And he’s not even finished cratering, given that he’s spent these early practices doing his best Ryan Fitzpatrick impression. This is why there’s still a hidden subset of Duval holding onto hope that the Jags will sign Tebow as a franchise QB in like 2026.
So are we, Bort. So are we.
What’s new that sucks: You’re not gonna believe this, but the Jags signed a lot of free agents! Shocking, I know. This year’s Golden Parachute recipients included Barry Church, A.J. Bouye, and tackle Branden Albert. Will any of these men make a difference? LOL FUCK AND NO. Albert retired YESTERDAY. One look at Jags training camp and he was like, “Well this is hopeless.”
I’m not sure any Jags free agent has actually ever ended up playing a down. I just assume that whenever the Jags sign a free agent, they lock them in a sewer dungeon à la Melissa Leo in that Prisoners movie. It doesn’t matter if the Jags bring in a slew of free agents annually (free agents always come in slews). They will vanish. It’s magic.
Also, they drafted Leonard Fournette, which would have been a crazy awesome thing to do exactly one year earlier. Now it’s like they drafted Greg Jones II.
What has always sucked: Dave Caldwell is still here! How the fuck do you let Gus Bradley go but keep the architect in charge of all this futility? They brought in Tom Coughlin but somehow forgot to can this guy…
What the fuck? I swear to God, Shad Khan’s appendix could burst and it would take him eight weeks to visit the hospital. This is why the Jags will always be the official team of Thursday nights. They keep around the same leadership to hand out the same wasted money to field the same shitty product year after year for a bunch of hot tub yahoos who are too loaded to give a shit either way.
Did you know? By area, Jacksonville is the largest city in the United States. I live in Maryland. But technically, I ALSO live in Jacksonville. I’m not happy about it.
What might not suck: At least you won’t lose any fights to a Bears fan.
HEAR IT FROM JAGS FANS!
I almost rear-ended the car in front of me when my eyes rolled into my head after hearing a local sports radio host say, “I’m THRILLED the Jags are going to get to practice with the Patriots up in Foxboro this offseason. The young guys, the veterans, they’re all going to get so much out of that. Not every team gets that kind of opportunity.”
There are few things more sad to me each and every single off-season than when the first Jacksonville sports radio host utters one of the following kisses of death:
“I know I said this last year, but I’m telling you, I really like our chances this year”
“I’m looking at this schedule and I don’t see how we win less than 8 games this season”
“The Texans are really the only team in this division we’ve gotta worry about”
“I love what I’ve been hearing about (insert shitty quarterback)‘s off-season workouts and training”
“With (insert returning player guaranteed to underwhelm) back from injury this season, we’re going to see a lot of improvement on offense/defense”
And then, unique to this year:
“With Tom Coughlin back, there’s just a new energy in the locker room and front office that WILL make it onto the field”
The goodwill afforded to our “cool owner” is largely dependent on an extremely sweet hairstyle/mustache combo. Outside of personal style he has shown incredibly suspect judgment. It’s bad enough to wait until Week 15 to fire the loserest coach (Jaguars word) in the history of the modern NFL after everyone knew he should have been canned in the previous offseason. No, that is fucking Oliver Wendell Holmes judgment compared to the fact that our owner is a foreign born Muslim-American who supported Trump, then was SURPRISED that Trump actually meant all that shit about banning Muslims. Being a Muslim-American is a lot like being a Jaguars fan. For an immigrant group/expansion franchise we’ve been decently successful in America/the NFL, but every time you want to cozy up to the establishment you get abruptly cast as a disease on this country and/or sent to London.
Our quarterback has been laughing nervously every time Johnny Manziel’s alcoholism has been brought up over the last several years.
Tom Coughlin is our coach now. Well he’s not really our coach, but he’s the GM. I mean he’s not the GM either but the coach and the GM are supposed to do exactly what he says otherwise there’s going to be some trouble. AND BY GOLLY WE’RE GONNA QUIT CODDLING THESE PLAYERS AND FRONT OFFICE NERDS. I don’t see what could possibly go wrong with this scenario, particularly when Coughlin dies of a heart attack after seeing our QB’s throwing motion for the first time.
My fondest memory as a Jaguars fan was watching Chris Hudson return a blocked kick for a touchdown to beat the Steelers on Monday Night Football in 1997. I was only able to catch the second half, and I had to watch it at home, because I spent the first half doing laps around Altell Stadium looking for Section 429. It turns out Section 429 didn’t exist, and my hard-working single mom had drained her savings account to buy us fake tickets and $50 parking (on her own birthday, to boot). So, yea, even my fondest Jaguars memory is a nightmare.
I have several friends who have had season tickets for years. This year, none have renewed. It’s like they’ve given up. Totally conceded that the team will not be good as long as Blake Bortles is their quarterback. It is the worst kept secret in the league that Bortles fancies an adult beverage or two and that he does not care for the team or the city in any way. On Saturday, after he threw 5 interceptions in a single camp practice, he left the field in a huff and yelled “GO JAGUARS” to some rowdy fans in the crowd. Someone yelled back “SEE YOU AT LEMON BAR!” which is a popular beach bar that Bortles is always at.
The most exciting thing to happen to this team in the last decade is that they brought back a bad, old, crotchety coach who got shit-canned to come in and save the day.
The team hasn’t had a winning season since the iPhone came out.
At least Shad Khan has a sweet mustache and a sweeter yacht that is ALWAYS PARKED DOWNTOWN.
We get it. You’re rich.
I was seven years old when we got the Jags and since the Dave & Buster’s lothario himself, Steve McNair, whipped our ass at home in the AFC title game after the ‘99 season (a season in which we lost three games total... all to the Titans, fuck me), it’s been all downhill from there.
Since those glory days of the Tom Coughlin led Jags in the 90s, we’ve employed some of the worst GMs and coaches in NFL history. To illustrate, let’s remember some Jags first round picks since Coughlin was fired:
Reggie Nelson (who became a Pro Bowler only after we traded him to Cincinnati)
I mean, look at that shit! Not to mention that yes, we drafted a punter before 5 picks before Russell Wilson.
So since we’re all out of ideas and we’ve tried everything else not to suck, Coughlin is back baby! Nothing like relying on a septuagenarian to bring your NFL franchise back to relevance. I knew we were fucked once we drafted Fournette 4th overall, in an era when you can manufacture a competent running game out of pocket lint. Meanwhile, Blake “Fireball” Bortles is over here throwing 5 picks in the first padded practice.
But because Jacksonville is a place for the simple and slow, the locals lap it up and continue to buy season tickets and support this hopeless franchise. Not me though. No sir. Fool me 9 times, shame on me. I’ll be watching from home, taking a shot after every Bortles pick 6 like a respectable person.
Fuck me with Justin Blackmon’s court-ordered breathalyzer
All teams in need of a quarterback are cowards about not bringing in Kaepernick, but Jacksonville is by far the worst. The team, from the ownership down, is so fucking concerned about potential criticism from the redneck cesspool of local fans (not all Jags fans, but definitely not a small number), that I’m sure the thought of simply exploring the option of signing him hasn’t even crossed their minds. Jesus Christ, this is Jacksonville! No one outside of northeast Florida gives a fuck what happens here. Ticket sales definitely would not decline. Hell, they may even increase seeing as how no one around here is excited about this season anyway (why would you be?). It might even be good for Blake to have a little competition from someone who is certainly better than him. Right now, the only push he’s getting is from a washed up Chad Henne. More than anything, however, Blake would be forced to spend a little more time trying to get better, as opposed to spending all of his time getting shit-faced in Jacksonville Beach and making guest appearances on Barstool.
But no, instead of seeking players that could help out on the field and maybe bring the team slightly back to relevance, they decided to bring back crusty-ass Tom Coughlin (discipline!) to fill a management position and just be an all-around pain in the ass for anyone under the age of 50. Eat shit Jaguars and fuck you Shahid Khan.
Their last two quarterbacks are punch lines or cautionary tales for incompetence at that position. Their 2015 first round pick blew his knee out against air in his first rookie practice. Their entire 2013 draft class is gone. Over the past decade their only Pro Bowl quality player was a kicker (Josh Scobee) and they got rid of him for a guy who missed 10 extra points in two years. But the ultimate “get off my lawn” crotchety old fart is the answer.
His name is Blake Bortles. That’s a rough-draft character name Stan Lee came up with before settling on Norman Osborn, because Blake Bortles sounds too stupid for a comic book character, let alone an NFL quarterback.
Hey, Blake! You’re 25 years old and you look 50. It’s Florida; you grew up here. Use some sun block. You can get it, literally, anywhere. It’s sold at liquor stores. And stop throwing interceptions and then looking surprised the guy was there. Why didn’t you know the guy was going to be there? Dipshit Tom Brady knew the guy was going to be there. Aaron Rodgers knew the guy was going to be there. Jameis Winston knew the guy was going to be there. He didn’t give a shit, but he knew.
Also, Tom Coughlin is back as VP of Undermining the Head Coach. Unless, Coughlin isn’t the psycho control freak he’s been every moment of his 70+ years on this Earth, which is totally possible. Just look how much the office of POTUS has changed how Donald Trump acts. Yeah, this is going to be another great year.
Looks like I picked the wrong NFL season to quit drinking.
My wife and I ended up as Jaguars fans a couple years ago as a compromise right before we got married. We don’t even live near Jacksonville. The only good thing about this is that there is no way our marriage will be as bad as rooting for the Jaguars. Our quarterback looks like he’s older than my dad, our new running back is probably the next Eddie Lacy, and our defensive end can punch a guy in the face and his victim sustains “no injury.” How is that possible? What a bunch of fucking turds.
1) Our quarterback is Blake Bortles.
2) Jacksonville is the largest anonymous city in the western hemisphere. Let’s play some word association with other small-market sports cities. Green Bay - cheese-head. Kansas City - BBQ. San Antonio - The Alamo. Jacksonville - ........ Jaguars, just the goddamn Jaguars. Our city is only associated with an anonymous, yet consistently atrocious team - fitting for an anonymous, yet consistently atrocious city.
3) Quick, name our top performer last season? You guessed it, our mascot, Jaxson DeVille, and even that guy is inferior to his predecessor who was in the suit two years ago
4) This city blows donkey dick. The downtown is decrepit and any establishment there with any semblance of quality closes at 5PM. Do you like culture? Too bad, you’re not going to find it. Anything trendy that graces the city comes four years after it was cool and is usually gone within a year. I’ve lived here almost all of my life and I’m resigned to the fact that I will likely die in a place that is so much of a void that our local “North Florida Cultural Magazine” is called .... you guessed it Void Magazine. I hope they bury my bones below the intersection of I-95 and I-10 because at least I’d be on the road to a place that makes people happy.
5) Our quarterback is Blake Bortles.
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