Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars in Need of Wins, Not a Better Draft Position

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars in Need of Wins, Not a Better Draft Position

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette

There's no denying that the 2014 draft is a huge component in the Jaguars' rebuilding process. General manager Dave Caldwell must capitalize on the team's favorable position to acquire difference-making players.

However, any sentiment on the part of the fan base that wants the Jaguars to lose games to secure the No. 1 draft pick is totally misguided. That kind of mindset not only defies logic, it runs contrary to the fundamental purpose of being in the NFL: winning.

High draft picks guarantee nothing. For every Peyton Manning, John Elway or Andrew Luck, there's a No. 1 bust like JaMarcus Russell, David Carr or Tim Couch. It's a crapshoot regardless of the draft slot.

Whether it's the 1-9 Jaguars or any NFL bottom feeder, fans should never approach games down the homestretch of a season and root for losing to improve draft position.

Be very careful about broaching that subject with the Jaguars. They react about as favorably as if you've just insulted a member of their family.

"I think a fan would have a problem with me if I told him, 'I don't want to make plays because I want to lose [to help our draft position],' " said cornerback Alan Ball. "That's not the attitude we got to have. The best thing for this team is to go out and work hard, get better and try to get the results we want on Sunday.

"No matter what happens the rest of this season, the more wins, the better. What we establish now as a team, there are lessons that have carry-over. There are things we need to build on, things we need to change."

Topping that list of changes is putting some wins together. Do you realize the Jaguars haven't won back-to-back games since December, 2010? They did that every season for the first 16 years of the franchise, and Gus Bradley's team is now threatening to not do it for a third consecutive season.

So any Jaguars fan that hopes they lose Sunday's road game against the Houston Texans (2-8), to avoid a five-way tie for the NFL's worst record (Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Minnesota also have two wins), isn't seeing the big picture.

Bradley is trying to make this franchise relevant as soon as possible. …

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