Columnist: Jags should dump Del Rio now
The Jacksonville Jaguars managed to find a way to lose again on Sunday, even with the Houston Texans down to a third-string rookie finishing the game at quarterback.
Jacksonville Times-Union columnist Gene Frenette, for one, has seen enough and called on Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver to pull the plug on Del Rio's time in Jacksonville with five weeks left in the season. When asked about Del Rio's job status, Weaver replied, "That's for another day."
Frenette admits that the 3-8 mess that is the Jaguars is not all Del Rio's fault. And he's right. There is plenty of culpability to go around in the organization. In January, Weaver announced that Del Rio would return this season, but needed to make the playoffs or else in order to survive. Weaver then declined to extend any assistant coaches' contracts, essentially making them lame ducks for 2011.
Also, Jaguars GM Gene Smith, who turned down a contract extension himself, traded up to draft Blaine Gabbert as the team's quarterback of the future. Gabbert was supposed to sit and learn, until the Jaguars decided to gas starting QB David Garrard the week of the season opener. They briefly handed the reins to Luke McCown, but then threw Gabbert into the fire two weeks later, clearly before he was ready, and without any measurable weapons in the passing game to throw to.
The results have been predictable, and Gabbert was even pulled from Sunday's loss, though he is expected to remain the starter. It has added up to a major mess in Jacksonville, one that is almost certain to result in a coaching change and maybe even go up the chain of command to the front office as well.
There is some good news for the Jags, though. One of the NFL's other dysfunctional messes rolls into town next week as the San Diego Chargers come to Jacksonville for a Monday Night game that promises to be a ratings blockbuster
Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com