Sam's Commentary

December 14, 2014 Commentary Archive

Jaguars Ravens Preview: Still Learning?

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted December 14, 2014 ===========================================================================

At 2-11 most NFL teams are already making plans for the future. Players are lining up vacation time, golf trips and how quickly they can get away after the final game. For the Jaguars, that doesn't appear to be the case. With three games to play, it was business as usual for the team this week preparing to play in Baltimore.

And some observers think that's the problem.

During the taping of the Gus Bradley Show this week, I asked the Head Coach if his "no stress" philosophy allowed him to put some heat on the players to perform.

"There's pressure," he quickly responded. "They know there's pressure and hopefully it's self-imposed. Pressure to perform, pressure to get results."

That's where the Jaguars have faltered, producing results in 2014 that were different than last year. Finishing with a 4-12 record in 2013, most people inside and outside of the organization thought this was a 7 or 8 win team this year. But the rebuilding continued and as my colleague Cole Pepper has noted, for the second straight year it was just an extended preseason. A chance to evaluate, for players to start to understand and get used to playing in the NFL and for the coaches to find a team identity.

Perhaps the evaluation continues and players are getting more comfortable, but a team identity hasn't emerged. Former Jaguars linebacker Tom McManus said this week on "Jaguars Friday Night" that he thinks that's a problem.

"You know what the D-Line's identity is, they get after you. The O-Line? Ehh? Who are they?"

Mostly, inconsistency has cost the Jaguars all season long, and some of that can be attributed to how young the team is this year. But that is starting to sound line an excuse and not a reason.

"They're not rookies anymore," former Jaguar great Tony Boselli said this week. "They've played 13 games, they've been through camp and meetings and all that stuff. They just have to get the job done now." They have started as many as nine rookie or first year players this year on offense, more than any team in the history of the league, but Boselli says the learning curve should be starting to flatten out.

"These guys are starting to see the same things for a second and third time. They should be figuring it out."

And that goes for Blake Bortles as well. He's thrown league high 16 interceptions to go along with his 10 touchdowns. He's gone through the "newness" phase and through the "don't turn it over phase" and now into the "I'm only in a light fog" phase. He's admitted "I'm killin' us" and last week felt the sting of unhappy fans when he and the offense couldn't get anything done in the second half.

While the Jaguars are still trying to compete and get better, the Ravens are starting a playoff push. In fact, this could be considered their first playoff game. Win out, and they're in the post-season.

Another good test for a young Jaguars team that will see how a very "professional" team operates deep into the season.

Hopefully they'll be learning enough to, as GM Dave Caldwell says, not have this same discussion next year.


Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

12-11-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Individual Performances
12-07-2014 - Jaguars Falter in 2nd Half, Lose to Texans
12-07-2014 - Jaguars/Texans preview: Keep the Momentum?
12-06-2014 - McElwain Introduced at Florida: Wins the Press Conference
12-03-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Comebacks
12-01-2014 - Defense Shines, Jaguars beat Giants
11-30-2014 - Jaguars Giants Preview: It's About Bortles
11-23-2014 - Jaguars Sputter vs Indy
11-23-2014 - Jagaurs vs. Colts Preview
11-22-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Teams
11-16-2014 - Muschamp Era Over: Where Now?
11-10-2014 - Jaguars Close to the Tipping Point
11-09-2014 - Jaguars Don't Get Better
11-09-2014 - Shad Khan: Making Jacksonville and the Jaguars a Winner
11-08-2014 - Jaguars Prep Cowboys on Saturday
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Arrive in London
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Make London Routine
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Focusing on Cowboys
11-05-2014 - Jaguars Road Trip: Play Anywhere, Anytime
11-02-2014 - Jaguars Mistakes Cost Them Again
10-29-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Florida Connections
10-19-2014 - Jaguars 1st Win: Beat Browns
10-19-2014 - Jaguars Browns Preview: Winnable?
10-13-2014 - Jaguars Let One Slip Away
10-12-2014 - Jaguars vs. Titans Preview
10-11-2014 - Top 20 Jaguars Personalities
10-06-2014 - Steelers Beat Jaguars But More Respectable
10-03-2014 - Simple Jaguars Solution: Play Better
10-02-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Rivalry Moments
09-29-2014 - Jaguars Lose To Chargers: Still Learning
09-27-2014 - Jaguars prep Chargers in San Diego
09-25-2014 - Bortles First Week as Starter
09-24-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Impactful Rookies
09-20-2014 - Jaguars/Colts Preview: Race to Maturity Needs to be Fast
09-14-2014 - Jaguars Lose Game, Ground
09-09-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 'Moments
09-08-2014 - Jaguars Fall to Eagles, Learn Lessons
09-06-2014 - Jaguars/Eagles: It's What's Up Front That Counts
09-06-2014 - Hotel Domestique: (Almost) Cycling Paradise
08-16-2014 - Henne Takes Control, Jags Move Forward
08-15-2014 - Keep Improving and Jaguars Have A Chance
07-12-2014 - Chasing Greatness: The Right Way
07-01-2014 - Team USA Brings Us Together: Again
06-08-2014 - A Special Day in Town
06-06-2014 - Jaguars Week 2 OTA's: More Progress
05-28-2014 - Jaguars 1st OTA: Plenty of Questions
05-17-2014 - Jaguars Rookie Camp: A Look At The Future
05-15-2014 - Jaguars "Sustainability" Seems Upward
05-12-2014 - Kaymer Wins Players: Wins Fans Too
05-08-2014 - The Players: First Round Update
05-07-2014 - Players Preview 2014
05-07-2014 - Players 2014: Who Can Win?
05-07-2014 - Players 2014: Will The Greens Be Up To Par?
05-05-2014 - Players 2014: Some Greens Still Closed
05-05-2014 - The Players : Wide Open
05-03-2014 - The Players Field Almost Set
05-03-2014 - Pre Draft Jaguars Ramblings
04-11-2014 - Jaguars Buzz is Real
04-04-2014 - Final Four Bigger in Big 'D'
03-28-2014 - Gators in Elite Eight: Want More
03-27-2014 - Gators vs. UCLA: Toughest Test Yet
03-26-2014 - Bradley Looking To Upgrade Team, Self
03-23-2014 - Gators Change Mindset, Beat Pitt
03-21-2014 - Gators "Survive and Advance"
03-20-2014 - Gators Ranking Doesn't Matter
03-19-2014 - Gators in Orlando For NCAA's
03-14-2014 - Jaguars Free Agency: Impressed, Not Surprised
03-12-2014 - Gabbert Gone
03-08-2014 - Gators Still "Chasing Greatness"
02-27-2014 - "Personal Foul" on the Dutch
02-22-2014 - NASCAR: Looking To The Past To Find The Future
02-13-2014 - Jax: An Events Town"
02-05-2014 - National Signing Day: "Mark Your Calendar!"
01-07-2014 - As Good As It Gets: FSU Wins National Championship
01-06-2014 - FSU vs. Team of Destiny
01-05-2014 - Fisher/Malzahn, FSU/Auburn Contrast in Style
01-05-2014 - FSU A Close-Knit Group
01-02-2014 - Jaguars Talking Vs. Doing:
Does Bradley's "Conviction" Mean Jaguars Wins Are On The Way?
2013 COMMENTARY
12-29-2013 - Decisions to Make: Jaguars Need A Lot
12-23-2013 - Meester's Day
12-22-2013 - Jaguars Don't Have Enough
12-20-2013 - Jaguars: Who Wants To Be Here?
12-19-2013 - Meeter Retires: The REAL Pride of the Jaguars
12-15-2013 - Jaguars: Three Forward One Back
12-06-2013 - Jaguars Beat Texans Again: Learning How to Win
12-01-2013 - Florida/FSU: Different Directions?
11-18-2013 - Jaguars 2nd Half: "Better But Not Good"
11-14-2013 - Locker Room Culture: Off Limits?
11-10-2013 - Jaguars Victory: A Lot More Than Just One Win
11-03-2013 - Do We Worry About Blackmon?
11-02-2013 - Florida/Georgia: It's Never Easy
10-27-2013 - Jaguars in London: Fun & Frustration:Equal Parts of Both
10-26-2013 - Jacksonville's on a Global Stage
10-25-2013 - Shad Khan "Living The Dream"
10-03-2013 - Jaguars Building for the "Distant" Future
09-30-2013 - Jaguars: Not Getting Better Soon
09-23-2013 - Jaguars Results Not Unexpected
09-17-2013 - Jaguars Ups and Downs
09-10-2013 - Not What They Were Expecting
09-07-2013 - Jaguars Give Reason For Hope
08-25-2013 - "Better and Improved": The Jaguars Buzzwords
08-21-2013 - Jaguars 2013: It's Not About Winning
08-12-2013 - Jaguars Assessment: Is "Not Terrible" Fair?
08-01-2013 - Jaguars Camp: No Surprises But Not Routine
07-26-2013 - Gus Bradley's First Camp: "Slow Down!"
07-20-2013 - Big Thinking Khan Style
06-20-2013 - Its Summer, It's Hot, No Kidding!
05-31-2013 - The Ever Expanding "Season"
05-15-2013 - The Players: One Of A Kind
05-01-2013 - Tiger At The Players
05-08-2013 - Jaguars Needs: Everything
04-03-2013 - Golf in North Florida: It is & isn't all about The Players
01-30-2013 - Players Win Games

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