‘Once it clicks I need everyone on board’
Losing can take a toll on a franchise. Losing consistently, year after year, can put a club at a crossroads after just two games.
That club is the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that hasn’t won a game since week 1 of latest season. Their struggles helped them land the consensus top prospect “Trevor Lawrence,” who was picked by a newly formed power duo made up of NFL head coach Urban Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke. Meyer’s seat is heating up after just two losses, and one of his newcomers, defensive back Shaquill Griffin, has already found it necessary to walk around the locker room cars.
âAs soon as we walked in I walked around the entire locker room saying to those with their heads down, stay in there, keep believing,â Griffin said of his response to the Jacksonville loss on Sunday, via the Florida Times-Union. âBecause once it turns, once it clicks, I need everyone on board. This is my message circulating in the locker room and I will stick to it. “
Two losses don’t seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Even taking playoff percentages into account – only 11.6% of teams that started 0-2 have reached the playoffs since 1990, according to NFL Research – there is still a very long way to go for the Jaguars. They didn’t just stumble and fall into the top pick either; Jacksonville was in a close race to the cellar with the New York Jets when it came to determining which roster was football’s worst.
Players like Griffin have arrived hoping to change that for the better. A three-year, $ 44.5 million bid also didn’t hurt to lure Griffin to Jacksonville.
So far, however, the culture shift and the resulting gains have yet to materialize. Jacksonville was knocked down by Houston on the road in Week 1, and although they were competitive, the Jaguars abandoned their home opener against the Denver Broncos in Week 2. These things Usually take time, and even the fastest rebuilds don’t just storm out of the gate 2-0 after an offseason.
Meyer, who came from an Ohio State college program that didn’t rebuild but reloaded (thanks to his excellent recruiting skills and those of his staff), brought his idealistic speeches to the professional game. He has spoken about the importance of unity, among other things, and is attempting to fight any future divisions by relying on players like Griffin, one of the team’s seven co-captains, to deliver that message.