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Do we really need to ask?


The question was posed to Tom Coughlin in a very direct way. "Does this team lack talent?" the reporter asked.

"I'm not ever going to say that," Coughlin countered.

But it was not an answer. Coughlin's response only served to inform the reporter that, regardless of talent level, Coughlin's expectations for any team he coaches will not waver. He expects to win. He expects this team to win.

It's what good coaches do; coach to win. Winter is the time for evaluating talent. Autumn is for playing.

So, we'll have to wait for our answer, but, in time, we'll have it. And that answer will be that this team does lack talent. We'll know that because the Jaguars' roster is going to change dramatically over the offseason, as this team looks for better players. Do you doubt that assertion?

The best thing that happened to this team this year is now the worst. That win over the Eagles in week five convoluted everyone's thoughts about the Jaguars and this obvious rebuilding season.

Don't feel bad if you're one of those fans who was so excited after that win over the Eagles that you allowed your enthusiasm to cancel your common sense. It happened to the best of us. It even happened to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, who covered the Oct. 13 game in Tennessee expecting a Jaguars win that would allow him to write a story about the 2002 season's "Cinderella" team. Since then, the Jaguars have lost four in a row. How do you think King feels?

The simple fact of the matter is this team does lack talent. You know it, I know it and Coughlin knows it. So does every personnel guy in the league.

That's not a slap in the Jaguars' face. Come on, last winter this team was in the worst salary cap mess in salary cap history. Its cap is loaded with "dead money" and its roster speaks of a lot of free agency "bargains," which is another way of saying players who were other teams' castoffs.

It's that way when you are repairing your cap and rebuilding your roster. Ask the Buffalo Bills, who experienced that same situation a year ago and struggled through a 3-13 season.

We're actually very fortunate. Whereas the Bills' season last year was over before it even started, the Jaguars over-achieved early enough and play in a division that's bad enough to actually give us a season that'll maintain our interest into December. Regardless of a team's record, as long as it's a game out of first place, it still has motivation to win and we still have reason to watch.

"I'm as disappointed as I've ever been," Coughlin told reporters this past Monday.

Yeah, a lot of fans were really disappointed, too. But, come on, aren't we smart enough, logical enough and football-savvy enough to have figured this out? Yes, the Jaguars lack talent. Do we really need to ask?

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