You can point to a lot of reasons why the Jaguars are losing games this year: inconsistent offensive line play and a lack of a consistent running game. No deep threat at wide receiver. Losing the battle in the trenches. Giving up too many big plays. The list goes on and on.
But I can tell you this: something is missing from this year’s Jaguars. That “it” factor that the 2007 Jags possessed has become a “what?” factor this year.
Maybe the Jaguars lost something more than just a player when Marcus Stroud was traded to Buffalo. Maybe the defense hasn’t quite bought into Gregg Williams’ defense.
Maybe the chemistry has changed in the locker room.
Last year, the Jaguars proclaimed that they were a family. To me, the two area’s where you see evidence of a close team is in pressure situations (3rd and 4th down, fourth quarter, when the game is on the line etc.), and when there is controversy around a team.
Several times this year, the Jaguars have talked about a lack of defensive “fits.” To boil it down, that means that there are too many guys trying to make plays all over the field, instead of worrying about their assignment.
Not the sign of a team that trusts one another.
The next question is: can it be fixed.
Mike Peterson told us on the Post Game Show that yes, it can be fixed. But I think it’s more than just a missed assignment here or an overplay there.
Team chemistry ends when the season ends. Last year’s closeness was gone by the time the locker room was cleaned out after the playoff loss to New England. And this year, it hasn’t been replaced.
Maybe its what is missing (Marcus Stroud, Mike Smith, Terry Cousin et al) or maybe its what new (defensive scheme, free agent additions, draft picks). Either way, the Jaguars, who had “it” last year, are without “it” this year.
And without “it,” the season could wind up as a pile of that other “it.”