Post Football Therapy  


Post Football Therapy: Jacksonville Jaguars



I had no idea what that meant when I approached the Bold City Brigade waiting outside of Radio City Music Hall for the 2014 NFL Draft. But it didn't take long for me to become smitten with this fanbase. Although, in fairness, I've long had a soft spot in my heart for Jacksonville because it is home to three of my favorite things in life: Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood, Lynyrd Skynyrd and TPC Sawgrass.

I figure at some point in my life, I will jump in the car with the family, hit the I-10 and never stop until I get to Jacksonville. (Well, I will make some time for New Orleans because, well, let's be serious.) But consider me a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Bold City Brigade.

Post Football Therapy

The 2014 season is in the books. For many fans, it was a rough one to watch. To help leave that season behind, we've got some reasons why 2015 will be a much better year for those teams that were left licking their wounds instead of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

So, you can imagine my disappointment when the team had another losing season. I even liked them to be a surprise pick for the playoffs, but yeah, that one missed the mark. But I'm not daunted by any of that. The future is bright in Jacksonville and here's why.

There are some nice pieces on defense

I talked to a couple of connected folks at the Super Bowl about the Jaguars and they did have some positive things to say. DT Sen'Derrick Marks absolutely destroys people up the middle. He had 8.5 sacks, which was a pretty good number for an interior lineman, and he's genuinely a pest up the middle. The corners, Demetrius McCray and Aaron Colvin, are also well thought of, too. So, the defense is just a few pieces away from making big strides this coming year.

And you guys will get a pretty good player at No. 3 this year, too. Leonard Williams goes to the Titans in a lot of the mocks I see, but that's cool. I mean, it would be cool to get Williams, who is a stud. I've loved watching him at USC. He's going to be dominant at the NFL level. I hope he drops to you guys. But Randy Gregory and Shane Ray are pretty good fallback guys, too. Ray seems to be one of those red (behind) guys who would thrive under Gus Bradley according to our Lance Zierlein. I agree with all of that. So, you will have some great pressure rushing the passer to go with some nice corners. That's a pretty good formula.

And is it me, or does it seem like Bradley is the kind of coach who will absolutely succeed? I love his enthusiasm. I see him just willing this defense to a higher level next year.

You have the quarterback, too

Blake Bortles struggled mightily last year, but that was supposed to be a redshirt season. I kind of wish he didn't have to stand behind that offensive line, but he was forced into action, so what are you going to do? He was asked to be a miracle worker out there.

I like the addition of Greg Olson as offensive coordinator. He helped Derek Carr develop last year in Oakland and should be a boon for Bortles. Plus, you have a lot of nice, young receivers. Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson looked pretty good in stretches. Just another piece or two on the offensive line and you're golden.

And finally...

My biggest takeaway from the Jaguars season will be the final NFL Network game of 2014. What a night. The team looked great. It was an amazing win over the Titans as Bortles battled through his injuries (and showed some savvy running ability). The crowd was awesome as always. And the stadium! I love everything about the pool deck and the video board! It's all amazing, and you were able to showcase everything you had on that fateful Thursday night.

I don't think it's as bad as people want to make you believe.


Adam Rank covers fantasy, NFL Madden and all parts of football for NFL Media. You can follow him on Twitter @adamrank.



The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop