Well, if you missed all of the news out of Jacksonville today, you either live under a rock, a tree fell on the power lines outside your house, or you're on sabbatical right now. Regardless of why you don't know what everyone else who is even aware of the NFL's existence already knows, here's a recap of what happened today in Jacksonville.
- The first bombshell was that Jack Del Rio was fired. While everyone at this point knew it would happen at some point, the timing caught me somewhat off guard. Luckily, the Jaguars have a long week as they play on Monday, not Sunday, against the Chargers in prime time.
- That news was followed by word that Gene Smith received a 3 year contract extension as the Jaguars' GM. Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union reported this news simultaneously with our last explosive nugget of truth...
- The Jaguars' long time owner, Wayne Weaver, has sold the Jaguars to Shahid Khan, the same guy that attempted to buy the Rams in 2010. The sale apparently contains an agreement by Kahn that he'll keep the team in Jacksonville, something Weaver has been adamant about since he founded the team.
Now I want to talk for a bit about the firing of Jack Del Rio. Was it time to move on? Probably. In fact, it had a very Jeff Fisher feel to it. By that I mean that it wasn't that he was a bad coach (although many would disagree with that statement). It was time for a change. Really, Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country was right when he thought the time for change was last February, but that's not what happened. Personally, I loved Del Rio's aggressive style of play. Going for it on 4th and 1 near midfield became a signature move of the Jaguars under Del Rio. I, for one, appreciate everything he did for the city and the team. He's a great person, and he'll land on his feat.
As for the rapid changes that are taking place in within the organization; I'm very excited. The whole situation has the distinct feel of a fresh start for the Jaguars. Gene Smith will be allowed to continue to work on the roster that he's put together (may I suggest starting at the WR position?), and a new coach can make this team his own.
Yes, this season has been a bitter disappointment, but I have a distinct feeling of optimism when I look at it. There are major questions to address once the season is over, but for the remainder of the Jaguars' 2011 campaign, I'm going to stop bitching, sit back, and watch a young team continue to grow and develop. I suggest you do the same.