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Jags GM Caldwell says team won’t lose games to improve draft position

Cecil Shorts AP

A month ago the Jacksonville Jaguars appeared to be a lock to be selecting with the No.1 overall draft pick in next year’s draft. The Jaguars had lost their first eight games of the season and had just been thumped by the San Francisco 49ers 42-10 in London.

However, the Jaguars are no longer a punchline. Jacksonville had rattled off three wins in their last four games with all three victories coming on the road.

AFC South rival Houston is now in the pole position for the No. 1 overall draft pick as the only team with just two victories through the first 12 weeks of the season.

Despite their improved play, the Jaguars are still a flawed football team and require upgrading at several positions throughout their roster – most notably at the quarterback position. Jacksonville may be better served in the long-term to have continued their losing way in hopes of landing the top pick and their choice of the best quarterback available (Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater being the consensus favorite at the moment) to lead their team into the future.

However, general manager David Caldwell brushed away any thought of Jacksonville dropping games intentionally to improve their draft status.

“I don’t think that’s in anybody’s mindset that has ever stepped into an NFL franchise, and if it there is, they’re probably in the wrong industry,” Caldwell said in an interview with Alex Marvez and Bill Polian of Sirius XM NFL Radio.

Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley saw his former team, the Seattle Seahawks, find their starting quarterback in the third round a season ago. While finding the next Russell Wilson may not be realistic later in the draft, the point is teams can find productive players beyond the No. 1 overall pick. The Jaguars are just focusing on getting the players they have to play to the best of their abilities now.

“There is no guarantees (in the draft),” Caldwell said. “Shad Khan pays us on a daily basis to make this the best franchise that we can do and then in the draft he pays us to make good decisions wherever we’re picking and make the best of that situation. We’re focused on becoming a better team here and hopefully that translates into wins.”

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20 Responses to “Jags GM Caldwell says team won’t lose games to improve draft position”
  1. micknangold says: Dec 3, 2013 11:51 PM

    The Jags wouldn’t need to find the next Russell Wilson if they drafted him instead of a punter in the 3rd round.

  2. skittlesareyum says: Dec 4, 2013 12:02 AM

    No coach is going to agree to lose games on purpose, and players certainly are not. An NFL career is very short for the players and they want to win. The coach might not get another shot and he’s not going to willingly blow an entire season and have a 2-14 record hanging over his head.

  3. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 4, 2013 12:03 AM

    Well it’s always fun to toy with the idea of losing in order to get a better draft pick, but that’s where it has to stop, as a fun idea. The rule is that you have to play to win the game. Well maybe that isn’t literally in the rulebook, but it should be, just in case somebody gets a clever idea to circumvent true sportsmanship. It doesn’t count if you get better by losing on purpose. That’s the worst attitude that no team should ever aim for.

    Doesn’t mean you can’t dump vets like crazy before the trade deadline though. I think these guys still think they can make the Super Bowl. Well they still do have a math chance. Go out and get another win and make the glut of pretenders knock you out instead of quitting.

  4. loyalraven says: Dec 4, 2013 12:18 AM

    The Jaguars lose when they need to win and win when they need to lose. Ineptitude at it’s finest.

  5. gojags says: Dec 4, 2013 12:30 AM

    The NFL should award draft status based on the last 2-3 years wins or losses. This would discourage the team losing out the season and provide competitive games. The “Suck for Luck” campaign can no longer be discouraged by this.

  6. bigwii says: Dec 4, 2013 12:36 AM

    As a resident and season ticket holder for the Jaguars and will be until I graduate I want to see them turn it around as fast as possible. That being said they’re not as far away as they seem.

    One they have a top-15 ranked secondary full of rookies, and two they have a bunch of good underrated young receivers. Their talent is masked by they horrible offensive line and bad QB.

    They definitely need a QB and help on their offensive and defensive lines. As they are invisible this year. But here the good part.

    They will get a top-5 pick and they have 11 draft picks this year in a descent draft. They also have a lot of money they have to spend because of the new CBA rules. They’re also getting new upgrades on their stadium that look pretty awesome.

    Considering the way Bradley and Caldwell drafted this year and how they’ve developed these young players, they can do a lot this offseason. Bradley has done a good job developing that secondary. It will be interesting to see how they play this offseason with all the options they have.

    They may not get Bridgewater but it’s a good QB class and they should be able to get some real talent this offseason. I’m not saying they’ll turn it all the way around but if this offseason goes anything like the last one and they have twice as much picks and money they can impress some people.

  7. blue18hutthutt says: Dec 4, 2013 12:37 AM

    The irony is that the Jags once controlled their own destiny as to whether or not they would’ve had to have faced Luck for the next decade back in 2011 when they could’ve tanked the game against the Colts late in the last game of the season to knock them out of the #1 draft spot

  8. pmuraus says: Dec 4, 2013 1:42 AM

    You play to win the game! As a Jaguar fan from Slovenia I can assure you there is nothing more important then getting it done. I spent a lot of money to attend London game and was cheering on every first down 8not ot many times) and was shouting my luonges out when we scored the only TD. At that point I was being loughed at from all the fans around me, mostly 49’s fans. I didn’t care, it was my team making a play and I was proud of the players. There is nothing worse for a fan to have his team loose on purpose. I don’t care about draft all I care about is competing, getting better and winning.Go JAGS!

  9. sfm073 says: Dec 4, 2013 4:06 AM

    The jags need to keep winning and the skins need to keep losing. – signed a rams fant

  10. i10east says: Dec 4, 2013 5:26 AM

    In Caldwell we trust!!!

  11. eagleswin says: Dec 4, 2013 7:07 AM

    However, you could’ve gotten a decent draft pick for MJD. While this may have cost you a game or 2 this year it would’ve been better for the team long term.

    That’s a sign of a good GM.

  12. nflofficeadmin says: Dec 4, 2013 7:26 AM

    Dave Caldwell gets paid on a daily basis(?)…I hope he doesn’t get paid based on performance.

  13. marty2020 says: Dec 4, 2013 7:34 AM

    It’s really pointless because you cannot intentionally lose. The players aren’t going to lay down and play poorly just so you can draft their replacement, and the coaches aren’t going to ruin their reputations by intentionally making bad decisions.

    And what if Caldwell told Bradley, play Gabbert over Henne, we need to lose some games. How would the players feel about that? Would anyone want to play for a team that does such a thing?

  14. thommyberlin says: Dec 4, 2013 7:57 AM

    I will never understand people who think not doing your absolute best is an option. Lose on purpose for a maybe? Ridiculous.

  15. mackie66 says: Dec 4, 2013 9:15 AM

    If I were Caldwell, Id think real seriously about designing a good looking uniform w/helmet. They currently look like a CFL football team as do some other NFL teams. But the Jags uni’s are real ugly.

  16. gojags436 says: Dec 4, 2013 9:30 AM

    @ eagleswin – I don’t think they could have gotten a decent pick for MJD. Who’s going to give up a pick for a RB who was averaging 2 yards a carry at the trade deadline, who’s coming off a Lisfranc injury & in his contract year? Let me think – NOBODY!

    Caldwell got hired in January & has done a fantastic job starting the recovery from the horrible Gene Smith era. He hired Gus Bradley, he brought in mid-range but productive free agents like Sen’derrick Marks & Alan Ball. His first draft was awesome! We’re getting production from 5 of 7 draft picks and we’re starting 3 rookies in the secondary. Right now the Jags have 10 picks in the draft & I can’t wait to see what Caldwell will do with them. I also expect to see some money spent on the O-line. We need a new center BAD!

  17. emma333 says: Dec 4, 2013 9:54 AM

    @mackie66- Why the criticism of the Jags unis? It’s another way to pile on, and make jokes…Look at the Seahawks, lime green with birds? Why no hate, there? The truth is that we love the new helmet and uniform for the Jags, and love the way they are improving,….the uniform criticism is just silly…….(full disclosure, I love Seattle’s look).

  18. david10654 says: Dec 4, 2013 11:23 AM

    In the offseason I was disappointed to see Gus Bradley go, and I didn’t know how the defense would respond with Quinn as the coordinator. Fortunately the D hasn’t missed a beat, and Seattle has looked great. What I’m trying to say is, With Gus Bradley’s competitive fire and great defensive mind, Look at what he is building. You have 3 good rookies starting in the secondary, and Cyprien is turning into a stud. Posluzny is a fine linebacker, hes smart and has great instincts. You have 2 ok to solid OLB’S, and experienced d-lineman. However, this team is last in the league in Sacks, 30th in PPG, and 25th in YPG. This Defense is still far off from where it needs to be, but I believe the Secondary is sound. Also, when Pete Carroll and Gus Bradley took over, the L.O.B. was the first thing built! Outside of the receiving core the Offense is a mess, but give Gus Bradley and David Caldwell another 2 years. Im sure they will have this team sorted out by then, as it only took Gus and Pete 3 to build the Monster that I Love.

    GO HAWKS!

  19. joe.attaboy says: Dec 4, 2013 2:02 PM

    @mackie66:

    What makes you believe that the general manage of any team has anything to day about uniform designs? The GM’s job is player and team development. Not fashion design.

  20. popolover says: Dec 9, 2013 10:34 PM

    Bill Polian told me to say that.

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