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Patience is the plan


His is the voice of reason. James "Shack" Harris speaks of the NFL draft and his approach to it with a sense of logic and patience, and it was the simple and truthful words with which he ended Tuesday's press conference that should be the Jaguars' guide through this weekend's minefield of available football talent.

"You can't fix it all in one year," Harris said.

Wow! In those words lies the kind of fundamental logic that would avert the kind of panic that would sabotage a team's draft effort.

"We realized we couldn't do it all in one season. There will still be some positions that will need upgraded," Harris added.

In that simple admission is this bold statement: The reconstruction of the Jaguars' roster will not be executed in one offseason of talent acquisition. Another winter of free agency and another draft, at least, will be required.

Why fool yourself into believing otherwise? You know what the immediate needs of this team are: wide receiver, defensive end, offensive line, linebacker, backup running back, nickel back, tight end, kicker. That's eight needs on a team with just seven draft picks. You can do the math.

Panic would be the worst reaction. All of a sudden you're trying to make every draft pick answer one need. You finish the draft needing only to find a kicker on the waiver wire to proclaim your team fixed. But it doesn't work that way. Is there any possibility one or two of those need-reaches won't pan out?

And in your panic to fix everything, you passed on a player or two who may become stars, but you didn't pick them because they didn't play at positions of need. So, next year, you may be adding a position or two to your needs list because you were so focused on addressing your needs this year.

But Harris is not of that kind of panic. He is a relaxed and measured man. Everything about his personality and demeanor speaks of patience. He has a plan; an ingenious plan born of simple logic: Take the best player and, in time, you'll have a roster full of them.

Some would say it's the slow way of doing it. But others would say the fast way is no way because it never gets it done. The Jaguars have been addressing their need at defensive tackle seemingly forever, yet, they still have need for depth at the position. They've drafted six defensive tackles in the last four drafts and nine in the last six drafts, and spent big in signing free agent Gary Walker, yet, only three of those players are on the current roster. If they kept addressing their need at defensive tackle, why didn't they stop needing defensive tackles?

Patience is the key. You can't fix it all. Just fix what you can.

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