Jaguars' Calais Campbell: 'I truly believe this team has every piece to the puzzle'
Apparently Campbell forgot about Blake Bortles
It's the offseason, which means it's that time of year again -- when we widely proclaim that this upcoming season will actually be the year the Jaguars break their playoff drought. On Thursday, it was newly signed defensive end Calais Campbell's turn to jump onto the Jaguars' playoff bandwagon.
According to Campbell, the Jaguars have "every piece to the puzzle."
"I truly believe this team has every piece to the puzzle," Campbell said, per the team's website. "We don't need anything else."
Obviously, Campbell wasn't going to trash his own teammates. He was never going to say anything negative about the team he just joined. So, let's evaluate his statement.
The Jaguars certainly have a ton of nice, playoff-caliber pieces on their roster. Their defense is stacked and might be ready to transition from a unit with potential to a unit that cashes in on that potential. A year ago, they signed Malik Jackson and drafted Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack. This year, they signed Campbell and A.J. Bouye. And don't forget about 2015 first-round pick Dante Fowler. So, most -- if not all -- of the pieces are in place on defense.
On offense, the Jaguars secured their running back of the future by drafting Leonard Fournette last month. They also drafted their new left tackle, Cam Robinson. They already boast two worthy receiver in Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson. So, the weapons are in place for a successful offensive breakout.
And that's it, right? We're not missing a position or anyone else, right?
Oh right, and then there's the quarterback position, which brings us to Blake Bortles. The Jaguars' decision to give Bortles another chance -- after three underwhelming years -- is probably going to be the reason why they miss out on the playoffs yet again. Unless Bortles suddenly and drastically improves in 2017, the Jaguars can expect their playoff drought to linger on. In Bortles' career, he's completed 58.8 percent of his passes, averaged 6.6 yards per attempt, and accumulated a 79.6 passer rating.
Here's the good news for the Jaguars: To a degree, Campbell is right. The Jaguars are loaded at a ton of important positions. And that should set them up to win in the future, especially if they experience yet another lackluster season. Because if that happens, the Jaguars will be in a position to take a quarterback in next year's draft -- and next year's quarterback class is supposedly loaded.
If a year seems like too long a wait, well, they've been waiting since 2007. Why not one more year?
In the meantime, maybe Tom Coughlin can reinstall that Ping Pong table to help pass the time.
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