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Late-season run raises personality concerns


We all know this is going to be an eventful offseason for the Jaguars. They are expected to take their first major steps toward correcting their salary cap problem, and there's no telling to what degree those efforts will effect changes we might not even expect.

Our minds are consumed by the thought of who will go and who will stay. We are anxious about what will happen; almost enthusiastically nervous. Change, after all, is good for the soul.

This reporter is consumed by another thought, and it is born of the Jaguars' late-season success. Winning is great, but, to be honest with you, this penchant the Jaguars have developed for late-season recovery is perplexing.

What is it about this team's personality that it tends to come up big when the circumstances are small? Why didn't this team come up big earlier in the season when the circumstances were big?

Does this team have a misshapen football personality, or are we to continue citing early-season injuries as the reason for a five-game losing streak that chased the Jaguars out of playoff contention for the second consecutive year?

If the Jaguars win their final two games and finish the season 8-8, they will be hailed for not having quit on their season when 3-13 was a distinct possibility. They'll be praised if they win one of their final two games and finish the year 7-9 by having won four of their last five games. But, the question will persist? Why didn't they do that when it "counted?"

In this reporter's opinion, this personality issue should be another item on the agenda for offseason review. Nobody likes a tease, and that's what this team will have done to us late in the season the last two years.

It's time to stop using injuries as a crutch; a one-size-fits-all explanation for losing. Yes, the loss to injury of Tony Boselli and Fred Taylor were major setbacks, but the Jaguars had the lead in several games in which the defense collapsed at crunch time, and Boselli and Taylor don't play defense.

Before this team begins cutting its roster to suit its cap, it might want to address the issue of its possible personality disorder.

Why is it now playing its best football of the season, when there is almost nothing at stake?

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