Following Sunday’s 30-12 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, we were visited by Fred Taylor on our post-game coverage.
We couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Taylor was candid (as always) in his review of the Jaguars current situation.
“We’re a bad team. We have good players, we’re just not a good team,” Taylor said. “[Jack Del Rio] has a great message. In so many ways I agree with him. Obviously its not connecting.”
That’s a conclusion that Del Rio came to as well. Sometimes, the message is listened to, but not heard. For whatever reason, the thing that has been Del Rio’s greatest strength as a head coach–connecting with his players–has totally been lost.
“It is a mystery, I don’t know the answer,” Taylor said. “I do know that it’s not good. Sometimes when you have a nice pot of ingredients, keep it the same. Right now, the mix is not good.”
Taylor is clearly referring to the moves in the off-season that hurt the Jaguars chemistry. Part of that is about the players who were added. But a big part of that is also who was let go: solid veterans who were professional in their approach and who played with little or no ego. Players like Sammy Knight, Terry Cousin, Aaron Glenn and Ernest Wilford are all gone. The Jaguars miss their leadership.
Yes, the Jaguars have veteran leaders, many of whom wear the captain’s patch. But the second line leaders are important, too and there just aren’t many of those anymore.
And now, with the losing, come the complaints. Taylor says he’s still on board with Jack Del Rio, but he doesn’t care for his diminishing role in the offense.
“I’ve been playing football for 25 years, by passion remains the same,” Taylor said. “It eats me up inside that I’m not in the game, especially in crunch time.”
You usually wouldn’t hear Taylor complaining, but every palyer has a boiling point.
“I’m just about at that point, but I have to be a professional. I’ve never been a prima donna,” Taylor said. “It seems as if they’re trying to clear some space. I’m getting older and not getting the same kind of touches or even playing time. It’s not a secret, you can kind of see it going that way.”
Taylor has one more year remaining on his contract and he continues to say that he would like to play his whole career as a Jaguar, but he’s clearly aware that his future with the Jaguars is uncertain. But Taylor say’s he’ll play in 2009–somewhere.
“I will be playing football next year,” Taylor said bluntly.