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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars effort-result Saturday begs…why didn’t they go to Marrone sooner?

Florida Football Insiders



Photograph by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire

As the final seconds ticked off at Everbank Stadium Saturday and the Jaguars celebrated snapping their nine game losing streak by dominating the Titans 38-17, one big question came out of it.

With the team obviously in need of a change at head coach mid-sesaon and getting rid of Gus Bradley inevitable, why did owner Shad Khan wait to try it?

To be clear, this isn’t 20/20 hindsight by us at F.F.I.

No, we wrote after their blowout on Thursday Night in October, that Doug Marrone had NFL head coaching experience, was the logical choice and Khan should do something.

Alas, after that Thursday night disaster in  Nashville, Bradley instead was allowed to “scapegoat” offensive coordinator Greg Olson in an attempt to jump start their play. It obviously didn’t work short term or otherwise and Blake Bortles and Co. went no where and losses continued to mount up.

To also be clear, mid season coaching changes aren’t exact sciences. Sometimes the team responds and sometimes the floundering continues. Look at last year as examples of both.

The Dolphins fired Joe Philbin after four games, when it was obvious that the losing had overtaken their building and players weren’t responding to him anymore (if they ever were). Interim Head Coach Dan Campbell, who had not been a head coach before, did help spark them with his personality and Miami not only won their initial game in Tennessee (irony for our Jags premise) but went on to go 5-7 total. Obviously, they didn’t make the playoffs, etc., but a different voice/leadership helped shake it up for the positive.

Those same Titans got off to an amazing start last year with rookie Marcus Mariota and bombed the Bucs week one in Tampa, but nose dived to six losses in a row and they decided to fire coach Ken Whisenhunt at that point. Mike Mularkey who was on staff was elevated because he had been an NFL head coach twice before, but the Titans only won twice more and finished 3-13.

Now, as a footnote, the Titans did retain Mularkey, have had a great bounce back season and were 8-6 headed into this past weekend’s loss to, the Jaguars.

Back to “the boys of North Florida,” as 2-5 became 2-6, 2-7, etc., it was obvious what had to be done with Bradley and yet Khan chose to stand by and do nothing to try to spark this season.

Then Saturday after making the move, Jacksonville motored down the field with the opening kick on a sharp drive of 75 yards and led 7-0, and would go on to dominate much of the first half leading 19-7.

As you probably know by now, the Titans lost Mariota on hit that broke his leg in the third quarter, and it all but ended their hope of winning the game and staying alive for the playoffs. Bottom line is: the Jags continued to play hard and when Jalen Ramsey sealed the win with his 30 yard pick six in the fourth quarter, a 38-17 victory was complete.

Was it all because of the firing of Bradley? Of course, not.

But, was it obvious that the Jags were playing harder, and smarter for four quarters and won easily over a good team? Yes.

You could argue either way that they would or wouldn’t have won much more had Khan made this move in early November, etc. We wrote about it because the Jags have too much talent to look as disorganized and uninspired as they were down the stretch.

Saturday’s one game sample confirmed that.

Unfortunately, you cannot fully evaluate if Marrone is a solution for next year, because you cannot go off two games for that.

That goes back to what Shad Khan didn’t do with his head coaching situation back in November.

And as the owner, he’s on the hook for that.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Why is Jalen Ramsey Twitter feuding with NFL Network analyst?

Florida Football Insiders



Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There is no mistaking that Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey is talented, and in 2017 he was named as an All-Pro by his peers and most recenlty in the player polled “Top 100.” So, that’s a validation that doesn’t need a whole lot else.

Yet, an NFL Network analyst and a former NFL defensive back himself, is questioning part of his game.

And, Jalen Ramsey got annoyed. Like, really annoyed.

It all began when, Bucky Brooks, who hosts a successful podcast and appears regularly on the NFL Network questioned another player, DB Casey Hayward of the Chargers, and whether he was a “transcendent talent” in coverage.

The exchanges with Hayward on Twitter Thursday went on for a bit and then, Ramsey jumped in here:


And, when Brooks tweeted about Ramsey and why he was drafted two years ago in the top five by Jacksonville, things cranked up on social media:

Next, Ramsey questioned whether Brooks believes Ramsey is only a product of the Jaguars “defensive system” and not of his ability to shutdown the opposing team’s top wideout, one on one:

Brooks referenced former fellow Noles All American and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders as one of those rare “lock down” corners, and of course, that someone that Ramsey, two years removed from FSU, wants to be compared to with his own game.

Brooks then explained further about his own analysis and teams/GMs/personnel executives thinking:

In the end, Ramsey, who is not bashful about expressing his opinions on or off the field, finally gave some props to Brooks for having an informed opinion:

The bottom line is that analysts get paid to analyze. And the good ones are always soliciting the opinions of others, who are actually coaching and working in the NFL Front office.

And further, if Ramsey keeps “locking down” the likes of the Texans DeAndre Hopkins, and the Colts T.Y. Hilton, who he sees twice a year, then he will continue to get the respect he wants. And, he’ll get the second contract dollars that come with it, too.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL Network will show Jaguars preseason game at Minnesota nationally

Florida Football Insiders



Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a tremendous surprise turnaround season that included a division win and two playoff victories, the Jaguars have everyone in North Florida buzzing for 2018. And the NFL Network is interested enough that it has announced it will be showing their second preseason game, at the Vikings, to the nation on Saturday August 18th.

This information was included in the NFL’s announcement that NFL Network will televise a total of 15 preseason games live, nationally:

The Jaguars will practice against the Vikings in Minnesota on Wednesday and Thursday (8/15-16) prior to playing the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Minnesota, who won the NFC North and made the NFC Championship Game last year, signed arguably the top free agent on the market last March. That’s when they inked former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins to a massive three year fully guaranteed $84 million deal.

Jacksonville will open the preseason the previous week against the NFC South champion Saints at newly renamed TIAA Bank Field in North Florida.

The good news in addition to the practice time with the Vikes, most of the starters on both sides of the ball will see action into the second quarter, if not halftime of the second preseason game.

This will be good work for QB Blake Bortles and his new assortment of targets like WR Donte Moncrief and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who both signed with the Jags in March.

And for the stout Jaguars defense led by DT Calais Campbell, LB Telvin Smith and CB Jalen Ramsey (all of whom made the Pro Bowl last year) will get a good opening half challenge from Cousins, and receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. It will also be curious to see if second year former FSU star running back Dalvin will be fully recovered from his ACL tear. And, we’ll see if the Vikings want to give him some work or rest him completely in August.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars DT Marcell Dareus involved in two sexual assault allegations

Florida Football Insiders



Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars traded for defensive tackle Marcell Dareus last year to re-unite him with former head coach Doug Marrone and give him a fresh start on living up to his first round draft pick expectations.

Unfortunately, less than a year later, Dareus is involved in not one, but two sexual assault complaints.

First, it was learned Wednesday afternoon that a woman in Houston, TX, has accused Dareus of having unprotected sex with her in April, while she was unconscious. And she further claims that Dareus gave her a sexually transmitted disease. The unidentified woman filed a civil lawsuit seeking $15,000 in damages.

“News 4” in Jacksonville reporter Chris Parenteau had more on that allegation:

News 4 reported on it’s evening newscast Wednesday that there’s no criminal complaint with Houston Police against Dareus at this time.

The accuser’s attorney did give this statement to the station Wednesday afternoon:

“There are civil and criminal laws in both Florida and Texas that address circumstances where someone knowingly exposes another to sexually transmitted diseases. As of now, we are not aware that any criminal charges have been filed in this matter. Our focus is on protecting our client’s right to recover damages for the severe physical and emotional harm that’s been caused to her.”

The situation is further confused by the accuser in the Houston case admitting to having consensual sex on multiple occasions with Dareus after the alleged incident.

Meanwhile, there is another allegation that came to light on Wednesday, involving Dareus and others, that an alleged sexual assault occurred at a Tampa mansion in January of 2017. In a civil complaint originally filed in December of last year, an unidentified Las Vegas woman says that Dareus and members of his “entourage” sexually assaulted her after a night of partying.

The woman accused Dareus formally in an amendment to her civil suit in Hillsborough County Court in January. Dareus and his lawyers are trying to get the lawsuit dismissed at an August 9th hearing.

Dareus played in 12 total games for the Jaguars after the trade with the Bills. He had one regular season sack, but excelled in the playoffs with sacks in the Pittsburgh win and the narrow loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. He had 10 total tackles in the three post season games.

The 28 year old Dareus, a first round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, is scheduled to make $10.2 million dollars this season in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars only comment to the media on Wednesday evening was that they were aware of the allegations and monitoring the situation.

Dareus’ agent had not returned calls or emails seeking comment from them or Dareus on the civil lawsuits and sexual assault allegations.

Obviously, in addition to the seriousness of the allegations, even in civil court, the NFL will likely be investigating the situation soon under the league’s personal conduct policy.

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