Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Coach Deserves an Extension under His Tree

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Coach Deserves an Extension under His Tree

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Freeman

Hold on to your girdle: I'm about to say something nice about Jack Del Rio.

To some in these parts, that's akin to treason, a felonious affront, a snatch-my-gifts from-under-the-tree offense.

It has been a half-decade since the Jaguars made the playoffs. In recent years, pro football fans in this town looked forward to the months of December and January the way they did a bad case of food poisoning. Now, there is buzz. Now, these games mean something.

Del Rio is turning the program around. He still must make the playoffs, which shouldn't be difficult because the team's remaining schedule is full of ice-cream sandwiches and buttermilk biscuits disguised as football teams, but if the Jaguars enter the postseason, doesn't Del Rio deserve a pat on the back and a contract extension?

I admit I'm not the sharpest piece of cheddar in the 'fridge, but even my teeny-tiny cerebral cortex can process that 11 or 12 wins -- a destination the Jaguars seem headed -- is pretty good.

Sometimes, we do too much picking apart of this team and this coach, and at moments, the complaining is akin to saying Halle Berry isn't attractive because she has big feet.

Who would you rather be: a San Francisco 49ers fan watching that disgraceful monstrosity of a team or a Jaguars fan doing calculus in your head, figuring out the latest playoff scenarios?

Del Rio has his knucklehead moments. The overall picture looks grand, however. In a few days, the Pro Bowl voting will wrap up, and John Henderson, Marcus Stroud, Mike Peterson and Rashean Mathis could be making the AFC team. Not a bad representation. The salary cap isn't a ticking time bomb as it is with other franchises. …

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