Some people are fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars. This 2021 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Jacksonville Jaguars.
If you ever wondered what it would look like if the Capitol Riot happened at an NFL stadium instead of the Capitol, here you go. Nice shirt there, Brad.
Your 2020 record: 1-15, featuring a scorching 1-0 winning streak to open the season. The Jags lost their last four games by a combined score of 140-51. Mike Glennon played vital downs for them. When the Browns or the Jets go 1-15, you remember it. There are all kinds of on-field boners and locker-room uppercuts to make that 1-15 sparkle. For the 2020 Jaguars, all I have is that one play where they were coached by the ghost of Chuck Pagano.
Do you know how hard it is get the play-by-play guy to take a shit on you? Announcers are paid to whitewash every last coaching fuckup in existence, so when you’ve got the PBP guy pulling a Jim Rome and crying out “WHAT WAS THAT?”, that means that dialing up a halfback option pass from six yards behind the line of scrimmage on fourth-and-1 was probably ill-advised.
This was the worst season in Jaguars history. I know you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, that can’t be right. I swear I watched the Jags go -4–87 at least five times when I was a child.” I understand your confusion. Since their inception, the Jaguars have been a somehow-less-flashy version of the Lions, so it stands to reason that any fan—be they diehard or my mom—would believe 1–15 to be the WINNINGEST season in this team’s history. But no! No, sometimes the Jaguars win actual games. These spare victories come on a Thursday, and you’ve resorted to drinking lighter fluid while watching them unfold. Watching the Jaguars is like having your least favorite relative visit. Substance abuse is the only option.
Thankfully, the 2020 season marked the end of the Jags not-dynasty that landed them in the AFC title game three years prior. You did it, Jacksonville. You drove away every goddamn player from that team (except for Myles Jack, who is gonna snip apart his own hamstrings once his new reality sets in) and now have absolutely nothing to show for it. Tom Coughlin would be so proud.
Your coach: Gone is GM Dave Caldwell, along with WIDELY RESPECTED consumer of spoiled bologna Doug Marrone. Why did the Jaguars keep both of these men aboard even after firing Tom Coughlin a year earlier? Because life is shit. But this offseason, owner and bumper magnate Shad Khan got serious and hired a new GM in Trent Baaaaaaaaaaaalke, and then snatched the hottest coaching candidate of 2007 off the market!
If this unfolds anything like Baalke’s last partnership with a heralded former college football coach, I think we’re all in for a rockin’ good time. You might remember Urban Meyer from the time Aaron Hernandez busted a random man’s eardrum and then Urban finessed the victim into not talking to the police about it. Or you might remember the time Meyer was suspended for three games as head coach at Ohio State for not only keeping spousal abuser Zach Smith on his staff, but then claiming that Smith’s wife, Courtney, personally recanted her accusations to him in a private meeting (which Courtney Smith says never happened). Or the time Urban bailed on Florida because the Illuminati had implanted futuristic shock chips into his brainstem. Or the time he retired a second time to become a “character and leadership professor” at Ohio State, which is like Jim Jordan being hired to oversee campus safety.
Two years from now, after a 1–16 season, Urban will get bored and then have the Jags’ medical staff research a plausible fake diagnosis so that he can re-re-re-re-re-retire and magically reappear as the head coach of Texas a week later. He’s like a slightly classier Bobby Petrino. But for now, you Jags fans get to enjoy the honeymoon period with your new anger fetishist, whose ability to alienate people is even greater than his predecessor’s. New senior VP Karim Kassam left the team after just three months on the job, which counts as a quaint bit of dysfunction compared to this:
That was Urban praising his own due diligence in hiring former Iowa squat rack tender and documented racist Chris Doyle to his staff, before letting Doyle resign a few days later and hoping everyone would forget about it. And they did, right up until the moment a U.S. district court in Iowa served Urban papers over it two weeks ago. When Urban Meyer is your head coach, your next disgrace is only five minutes away. Good luck to new PR director Amy Palcic cleaning up all of his messes.
Your quarterback: Trevor Lawrence, who gives off Blonde Wiley Wiggins vibes with that hair and that brother of his. But trust me, Trevor Lawrence is a boring dipshit. Fantastic quarterback, but I’d rather spend an evening talking voting rights with Coach Doyle than listen to Trevor Lawrence master his Bradyisms in real time.
Your backup is Gardner Minshew. Remember Minshewmania? I swear this country needs better things to do.
What’s new that sucks: Plenty of teams are cynical enough to sign Tim Tebow for engagement or attention. Only Urban Meyer and the Jaguars would sign him to use him. Can’t think of any other former Gator coaching legends who thought they could magically duplicate their college achievements in the pros, no I can’t. Now, Tebow has a role model to look up to in Washington’s tight end, who just parlayed his QB-to-TE position switch into a fat contract extension. The difference, and this is key, is that Logan Thomas didn’t interrupt that switch for nine years and use that time to audition to be a Creed fan’s vision of Mr. Met.
Tebow is currently listed as a tight end and is playing behind former Panthers Chris Manhertz, whose addition to the Jaguars this offseason counted as a major free agent signing for them. But I’m sure Urban will ditch the whole tight end charade and stick Tebow in at QB in the Jags’ first vital goal line situation this season. Call it Week 6. Also new here are corner Shaq Griffin (the one with both hands), safety Rayshawn Jenkins, and wideout Marvin Jones. In other words, this team is as bad as it’s ever been. Outside of drafting Lawrence and surrounding him with 17 running backs, they did NOTHING.
The good news is that this roster of botfly eggs will be tended to by a coaching staff of guys that other fanbases have hated for LIFETIMES: Darrell Bevell, Brian Schottenheimer, Charlie Strong. I’m surprised Urban didn’t keep Marrone aboard just for the purpose of sadism.
This team makes me not want to watch football. They make want to read books to pass the time instead.
What has always sucked: Your stadium is sinking.
That’s right. Going by future climate models, the Jags’ home stadium will be the first to be claimed by the Atlantic Ocean, which means the swimming pool for fans there will be even bigger when that happens. DUVAL!
This ecological “catastrophe” will arrive just in time for Shad Khan, who’s already ordered his lieutenants to begin the Open Threats phase of the lease-busting cycle. The Jaguars will be leaving in 2030, and they will leave behind a legacy written in occasionally decent fantasy stats and afternoon blowouts presided over by Spiro Dedes. Past that, they’ll have left nothing at all.
Imagine if the Jaguars had never existed. It’s VERY easy if you try. Would your life be different in any appreciable way? Fuck and no, it wouldn’t. You’d still have some other team to root for, you’d still enjoy your life, and Zuzu’s petals would still be in your coat pocket. The Jaguars exist as a needless tax on greater humanity. They’re like the DEA, or defense contractors, or James Corden. They’re hideously expensive and demonstrably worthless. Their pro wrestling company, which has existed for exactly two years, is far more successful than they are. Nothing that Urban Meyer or Trevor Lawrence or Darby Allin do going forward will change any of that.
Worst of all, the Jaguars rep North Florida, which is the cradle of America’s worst ideas. The Klan Belt didn’t need pro football. There was already plenty of SEC football to go around in these parts. But nooooooooo. No, the NFL just had to let Jacksonville—a place I wouldn’t even go to even if it just meant I was connecting to another flight—have its own shitty, miserable team for a few decades so it could frack state treasury funds before fucking off to Düsseldorf. I want this team dead. When they finally move, the only tragedy will be that they didn’t do so in 1996.
Fuck Ron DeSantis with a used regeneron syringe.
What might not suck: James Robinson was a nice surprise as a rookie, so it’ll be neat to watch Urban give him the Jonas Gray treatment.
Ratto says: We are nearly at the stage where any Jaguars win should be voided simply on the basis of bad taste. Their love of gradient uniforms has not yet reached the players themselves, but they do have a tendency to fade into nothingness anyway. Urban Meyer has already been caught cheating in a sport where the players are already paid. I give him no throwgasms and three years. BEST NAME TO HEAR ON TV: Josh Imatorbhebhe.
HEAR IT FROM JAGUARS FANS!
Being a Jags fan is getting excited about drafting the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck and knowing it’s going to end the same way as long as he stays a Jag.
The owner’s son makes team personnel decisions in between doing promos for AEW on TNT. Fuck this team.
The Jaguars got the No. 1 overall pick for the first time in franchise history, in the perfect spot to take the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, and then hired Urban Meyer.
2017 is never happening ever again.
Only in Jacksonville does a team luck its way into a franchise quarterback, the type that comes out once a freaking decade, and then pair him with a coach that quits the moment he loses four games in a year.
At least the uniform is finally teal and not black.
The Kahn family owns the Jaguars, Fulham FC, and All Elite Wrestling. AEW’s relative success doesn’t so much tell me that pro wrestling is easier to run than a football team, but that if we had ever actually allowed Vince McMahon to buy an NFL team or Newcastle United, as had been rumored in the past, that team would be a SPECTACULAR dumpster fire of a franchise by now.
I’m still not fully convinced that the Jags were trying to tank last year, which is terrifying to consider. Yes, we traded every even halfway decent player before the season, but we also kept the same QB, head coach, and GM as the year before. Usually, rebuilds begin with firing the failing coach and GM, but that’s not the case in Jacksonville. Here, we allowed those horrible leaders to still carry out last year’s free agency and draft. Unsurprisingly, it did not go well.
I’m left with two possible conclusions: Either owner Shad Khan sincerely thought this team would be good (which, yikes), or he wanted them to tank yet still decided to give the architect of that horrible team the power to carry out the rebuild. Neither option makes any logical sense. I don’t get it.
Also, yes, I already ordered a Trevor Lawrence jersey.
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