1.) With the Broncos selecting Tim Tebow in the draft, do you get the feeling that a lot of Jaguar fans have turned into part-time Bronco fans?
Are there part time Bronco fans because Tim Tebow is a Bronco?
Understand the love this city has for Tim. He grew up here. He belongs to the biggest church and represented them well. He went to Florida and became a star. They have followed him since he was a high school junior. They are absolutely completely in love with him. They love Denver for taking him in the first round. They hope for the best for him and his new team. So will the Denver team be well received in Jacksonville? Yes and we love you for bringing him home on opening day. From those of us in Jacksonville, may you have a blessed season and may Tim lead you to greatness starting with the second game of the 2010 season.
2.) The Jags followed a similar season ending skid that the Broncos did. They were 7-5 and very much in the playoff hunt until they lost their final four games of the season. What happened?
The Jaguars played Miami and Indianapolis in a 4 day home stand. Rashean Mathis was out and Tyron Brackenridge started in his place. There was no pass rush and a new person in the secondary. Chad Henne went something like 13 pass completions in a row and ate Tyron up. Even still, the Jaguars played hard until the end and almost pulled it out. Then, 4 days later, the Colts came into town and the Jaguars had a fourth quarter lead 31-28. They couldn’t hold it against Peyton Manning. Reggie Nelson shoulder bumped Dallas Clark and Dallas laughed at him and kept running for a touchdown. Two very physical and emotional losses in a week. That was all they had left in them.
The season was lost, Christmas came and then a road trip to the Patriots. No one believed in that. Then a frozen game in Cleveland no one showed up to play. They quit before they came out of the locker room. It was too cold for the Florida boys, similar to your closing game against Kansas City, just a mental quit.
The truth is, the Jaguars teetered on the brink of disaster all year and tried harder than they had talent for. We respected them for the effort, but understood they reached and didn’t have the horses to keep it up. The collapse was not as surprising as some of the victories were. Beating the Jets in NY was a big moment for us.
3.) Do you think QB David Garrard is going to have a better season and is this his last chance to prove himself as a viable starter in this league?
Despite what you hear, David is a viable starter. In 2005, he replaced Byron Leftwich midway through the season and went 5-1 to deliver a playoff spot. In 2006 he replaced Byron again and had two really bad games that caused him to be replaced but in 2007 he posted the miracle season and had a QB rating over 100, better than Peyton Manning. He was fantastic.
In 2008 the team melted down and he was the most sacked most hit QB in the league. His receivers were horrible and on their way out of football. In 2009 he had new receivers and was still the most sacked most hit QB in the league. He had rookies on each side of him and Dwight Freeney twice a year. He was hit 20 times more than the next most hit QB. Kyle Orton was hit 62 times in Denver, David was hit 128 times in Jacksonville.
Through it all, he remained strong and positive. He made the pro bowl last year after 8 other guys bowed out, but he was there. He has not let this team down except for two games in 2006. Seriously, he is a good quarterback. You will see for yourself.
Will he be better in 2010? Against Denver and the all out blitz? If his offensive line learns how to block again. If the receivers are on the same page. A lot is in his favor in 2010 and I think he will be fine. He always has been fine, the team around him hasn’t.
4.) What would getting a week 1 win mean to the Jaguars season?
OMG, it would be huge. Here is the history as to why. The 2007 season was a miracle season. The whole team played well and the city couldn’t get enough of their Jaguars. Trying to get a ticket to get inside the stadium was hard. In 2008, the management did everything wrong. They refused to pay some, paid others, brought in head cases, gave Jack a big contract and everything fell apart. The offensive line fell to injury. Stories of a free agent driving a new car to every game and bragging about it. The team belonged on a Jerry Springer show. The city was so turned off, they walked away in disgust. In 2009, Kurt Warner was setting the NFL completion percentage record in the Jaguar home opener. The crowd opened up and vented on the team for the 2008 performance and the horrible start to 2009. The Jaguars were booed off the field at half time by 42,000 fans. It was ugly. The Jaguars spent all of 2009 trying to make believers out of the city. They played hard and it started to be fun again.
In the off season they have done everything they could to rekindle the love. They are 6,000 season tickets away from a sellout in every game. They have reached out and the city has responded. We want to believe again. So after that, what do you think a season opening win would mean? It would spark the love affair again.
5. ) Based on what you know about the Broncos and your expertise on the Jaguars, who has the edge offensively, defensively, on special teams, and in the coaching department?
On offense – let’s look. I would take David Garrard over Kyle Orton. I would take Maurice Jones Drew over Knowshon Moreno. I would take Marcedes Lewis over Tony Scheffler. I don’t know who is left as a receiver in Denver other than Eddie Royal and I love him for what he did for me in a fantasy league. So, at the risk of sounding like a homer, I like the Jaguar offense over the Denver offense right now. That is assuming the Jaguar offensive line can block again.
Denver has the defense. On paper and in performance, you guys are soon to see the Orange Crush again. Hands down, Denver defense. The Jaguars struggled and fought to stay in every game. Denver dominated some people. Why it fell apart, I don’t know, but get it back! Now Jacksonville will not be pushed over when you come to town. We are working on it!
Coaching? Don Martindale new Defensive Coordinator. Josh McDaniels still a bit fresh faced. I am no Jack Del Rio fan, but I think we have a bit more experience over here and I give a slight edge, out of ignorance, to Jacksonville.
Special teams? We have nothing. You can win that one if you want.
The question will come to this on game day… can your defense show up and crush the Jaguars. That is where your victory will come from, if it comes. We are ready and waiting. Of course, if you do fall behind, and you need the crowd on your side… number 15.
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