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I choose not to scream


You may ruin your holidays season, if you wish, but I am not going to ruin mine by fussing and fuming over kickers.

They're kickers!

As we turn into the final month of the season and the growing holocaust of discontent, it's important for those Jaguars fans of sound mind and emotional control to maintain proper perspective. And what is that perspective? Well, the same as it should've been when the season began.

This was and still is a rebuilding year. Anybody who thought it could be anything else was either thinking with their heart or incapable of thinking.

Some dared to dream. Wayne Weaver made that mistake. I did not. Of course, that's because I tend to be pessimistic, according to some people. But I prefer to think of myself as realistic.

Come on, folks, look at this roster. It has undergone massive change and, in many cases, those players who've taken the places of players who were forced out by the salary cap qualify only as stop-gap measures until time permits a more permanent replacement.

Yeah, yeah, I remember back to last spring when every Jaguars bargain free agency signing was met with another volley of "it worked for the Patriots," but I never bought into that. That's why I'm going to enjoy this holiday season. My expectations were low, just as yours should've been.

When the Jaguars upset the Eagles, the attitude should've been, "Do you believe that?" instead of "We're for real, baby." Come on, folks, 3-1 was just a tease; you knew that.

What was real was the serious nature of the Jaguars' roster reconstruction and salary cap repair. This season was dedicated to those two endeavors from the moment the 2001 season ended.

Now, here's the good news: The Jaguars have succeeded at each. They have identified young, core players for their future, and they have made strides in repairing their salary cap that could never have been expected. I won't tell you I'm satisfied with every salary cap decision they've made, but by and large their cap is fixed.

And here's the really good news: The situation should be expected to improve even more next year. Now that's what's important to me. I wanna know the big stuff is being done right. I wanna know about responsible cap management and sound drafting and player development. Screw those up and I'm gonna scream. But cut a kicker? He's a kicker!

Folks, I never expected the Jaguars to make it to the Super Bowl this year. I didn't expect them to make it to the playoffs and, quite frankly, I didn't expect them to be as competitive as they have been. Given their salary cap mess, I would've traded rosters with just about every team in the league.

If you like to scream, go ahead. I choose not to do that because it gives me a headache, and I'm not going to give myself a headache over kickers.

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