Thanks again to Shane Clemons, who runs the fine Jacksonville Jaguars blog, The Jaggernaut. Shane joins us this week to give us a Jaguars viewpoint in this week's question and answer exchange. You can read my answers to Shane's questions on his site shortly. Following are his answers to our questions.
Total Titans: One of our regular readers, Scott, asks, "Like the Titans, the Jaguars failed to take a step forward this year. Both teams actually look like they are moving in the wrong direction and have multiple weaknesses. With that in mind, where do you see the team going in the draft? Is it time for another QB, or are they satisfied enough with the Gabbert/Henne tandem for at least another year?"
Shane Clemons: The Jaguars are in a very interesting position, likely drafting second. Geno Smith will almost certainly be taken by the quarterback needy Chiefs, leaving the Jaguars with over-drafting Matt Barkley, sticking with Henne/Gabbert or looking for someone in free agency. Ideally, Geno Smith would fall to second overall, but with that off the table, I expect the Jaguars to pursue a guy like Matt Flynn or Alex Smith in free agency. Both of those players are being paid way too much to be backups, and if they're not traded, they'll likely be free agents. Gabbert isn't the answer, and Chad Henne probably isn't either, but Henne isn't an expensive option to leave on the table at this point. The option many national analysts seem to kick around is the potential for Tim Tebow to land in Jacksonville, and even if he does, a competent GM and/or head coach wouldn't use him as the starting quarterback. He's a non-factor.
TT: To further complicate the quarterback situation, rumors are that Tim Tebow is done in New York and the Jaguars are the most likely landing spot for him. We all understand that ownership wants to increase ticket sales/put more butts in seats, but do the Jaguars make a deal for Tebow even if he isn't the best quarterback for them?
SC: The latest statistic I saw was that the Jaguars averaged nearly 65,000 tickets sold in their home games this season, more than notable teams like the Colts, Steelers, Bears and the Bengals. The Jaguars are currently ranked 20th in average attendance in the league, yet this perception that they can't sell tickets continues. It's true that owner Shahid Khan seems to like Tim Tebow -- a lot, but I don't think Khan is the type to take matters completely into his own hands. Last offseason, the Jaguars could have overpaid to bring Tebow to North Florida, but they wouldn't do it. Still, he may end up in Jacksonville, but as I said above, he won't be a major factor in the Jaguars' quarterback situation.
TT: There's no doubt the Jaguars have sorely missed Maurice Jones-Drew since his injury in Week 7. MJD has one year remaining on his contract and will be "too old" for a RB, at age 29, after the end of that season. Despite the issues of age, should the Jaguars extend his contract during the offseason?
SC: I don't see the Jaguars extending Maurice Jones-Drew's contract unless he's willing to take a pay cut. Jones-Drew has had some leg injuries over the past few years, and he was injured most of this season. There will be a running back needy team out their following next season willing to give him a deal, but I strongly doubt it will be the Jaguars.
TT: Evaluate first-round draft pick Justin Blackmon's play after 15 games. Can he be the receiver the Jaguars have needed since Jimmy Smith retired or do you need to see more of him before thinking that he could be?
SC: With Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, Blackmon was never much of a factor, but under Chad Henne, defenses have been forced to take him into consideration. In my mind, Cecil Shorts III has a better chance of being similar to Jimmy Smith, but Justin Blackmon also has the potential to be great. Blackmon has put together something of a productive season considering Jacksonville's offensive woes. He's not to the point of being a great target yet, but he's definitely on the right track.
TT: If there's anything else about the Jaguars that you'd like for Titans fans to know, please feel free to tell us here. Also. if you wish, it's prediction time: who wins on Sunday, and why?
SC: I'll be popping the cork off the champagne at the end of this toilet bowl matchup. If Titans fans would like to join me, feel free to do so. This season has been awful.
Thanks again to Shane for joining us. Titans fans, be sure to visit The Jaggernaut as your source for more Jaguars content and opinion.