Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gene Smith and wide receivers

Since Gene Smith became the Jaguars' general manager, we've seen exactly zero very good receivers wearing teal on Sundays. Is it his fault or was he just busy fixing other problems? Well, the answer, like many problems, is a little bit of both.

Gene Smith has repeatedly voiced the opinion that the Jaguars' young receivers just need to step up and prove themselves, and the Jaguars have repeatedly suffered as a result. former Senior Writer, Vic Ketchman used to say that good receivers are "a dime a dozen." Frankly, I used to buy into that doctrine, but no longer.

Wide receivers are like any other position in the NFL. To get the best, you have to be willing to pay for them. The Jaguars have been sheepish about bringing in top-dollar receivers since the Jerry Porter incident of 2008. The Jaguars went for a big name free agent, and they got burned. That's no reason to shy away from big name guys in the future. It's just a reason to be more diligent and as careful as possible. After all, personnel decisions in the NFL are anything but a fine science.

So, when I hear the Jaguars are looking to improve their receiving corp. through free agency and the NFL draft in a similar way they approached the defense a year ago, I hold my breath. The Jaguars haven't had any very good receivers since Jimmy Smith retired. I really hope that changes soon, because great receivers can do wonders for a quarterback, and after all, the Jaguars are trying to develop a young QB by the name of Blaine Gabbert.

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