Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Extensions for Jags assistants good for JDR
By Paul Kuharsky
Had the Jaguars finished better, even without a playoff bid, the predictable storylines would have come with less sting.
But that day after capping a good season with a fourth consecutive loss, the conversation was about righting the ship and not selling the team.
Wayne Weaver shot down a report that the Jaguars are for sale, maintaining the tone he’s always used on the topic. I choose to believe his overriding theme -- that he’s a civic-minded guy who wants to make it work in Jacksonville and isn’t looking to sell.
I understand skepticism when you’re talking about millionaires' business transactions, which are hardly transparent as they build. But Weaver gets the benefit of the doubt until we see a reason he doesn’t deserve it.
As for Jack Del Rio, certainly the $15 million he’s owed over the next two years is a significant boon to his job security. (See this post on Gary Kubiak from Monday about extending coaches too early for some context on how I feel about that.)
The coach said after a week off team brass will gather to plan.
Weaver did not commit to Del Rio, expressing dismay over the team’s record during the coach’s term. But Michael C. Wright reports that the owner quietly signed Del Rio’s assistants to extensions during a three-game winning streak in November. An owner does not do that if he’s planning on changing the head coach, obviously.
That’s a nice gesture, it does well for good feelings among the staff taking away stress and uncertainty that wears on the coaches and their families, and that’s got value. But it does not leave you room to react to a bad finish in whatever direction you choose. Things change fast in the NFL. Why handcuff yourself?
“We’ve been average the last seven years,” Weaver said. “Being average is not acceptable. We’ve got to get better. We had a great draft class, a lot of young players. For the most part, they all produced. Building off this last draft class and going into the offseason, I think we’re a team that’s ascending. I don’t expect to be sitting home in January next year [during the playoffs]. I’ll tell you that.”