Jack Del Rio was fired by the Jaguars 5 years ago but that didn’t stop the Oakland Raiders head coach from visiting his ex, eating all her food and forcing her to clean up the mess after a 33-16 loss.
The loss puts current Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley at an overall record of 14-40. And if you’re asking, yes, that’s the worst coaching record in the modern era of the NFL.
This Jaguars franchise has experienced years of a losing culture but two players who don’t share this mindset are newcomers, Jalen Ramsey and Malik Jackson. And it shouldn’t come as a coincidence that they were both ejected late into Sunday’s embarrassing game.
this is a great point: two guys in Malik and Jalen aren’t used to losing but were the only guys ejected. https://t.co/kXELPm5pht
— Blythe Brumleve (@blythebrum) October 23, 2016
Some fans, and even the defensive captain of the team, lit into Jackson and Ramsey for losing their cool and ultimately forcing their own ejections.
But these naysayers are directing their anger in the wrong place.
Complacency is the forerunner of mediocrity and if the actions of Jackson and Ramsey upset you, I’ll direct you to this quote from former NFL offensive lineman Damien Woody who was the Russillo and Kanell podcast last week.
Around the 38-minute mark:
Danny Kanell: “What was the worst team you were on?… Because I’ve played on a lot of bad teams too and you just knew when guys would get back on the plane like ‘where’s my check’ and it becomes very much like work [but] when you’re winning it’s fun.”
Damien Woody: “When I was with the Lions…and I hear a lot of Lions fans like, ‘Dude you stunk it up with the Lions’ and I did. I will be the first one to tell you I did.”
“Why? Because I got lax. Because I got paid. Because I hit free agency. My first year I played very well. After that it just felt like I was brought in like ‘you gonna be the guy that gets this thing turned around’ but when you’re one guy going up against 50, 60 years of just losing—a losing culture. It just takes more than one person to get that thing turned around and it was just a case of all that losing…it just wears on you. It wears on you professionally. It wears on you personally. It just gets to a point where it’s like, man I don’t even care.”
The cliche of “don’t let your emotions get the best of you” could ring true for the ending of the Jaguars-Raiders game but I’d argue emotional outbursts by Jackson and Ramsey is culturally a good thing for this franchise.
Why? Because it shows they still care.
For the better part of a decade, a loser mentality has overtaken this franchise to the point a veteran player is more upset about emotional outbursts than the worst head coach of all time and a quarterback who doesn’t know his own plays. And if the fresh faces on this team don’t want to accept that line of thinking—it’s essentially the only bright spot at this point.
Because as much as it sucks that the Jaguars season is over in October, again, it’s encouraging that once the Jaguars get a new coaching staff, they’ll have passionate players who refuse to accept complacency. And they can show the door to players ok with losing year after year.
@blythebrum @RussilloKanell @espn it's possible but losing culture hard to change overnight
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) October 24, 2016