Dave Caldwell was very open about several hot button topics surrounding the Jaguars franchise right now including his expectations for 2017. He openly said that he wants double digit wins in 2017, which essentially translates to a playoff birth. Now, we all know it's everyone in the NFLs goal to make the playoffs, but for the Jaguars General Manager to come out with such high expectations at this point in the offseason should be a positive sign for Jaguars fans.
Caldwell talked about much more than his expectations in terms of wins.
He was asked about new EVP of Football Ops Tom Couhglin's comments about mental toughness and had this to say on the matter:
"To finish out those 10 games where you're down by seven points, make critical plays in the last two minutes . . . Make a critical play to put the game away"
When asked about free agency Caldwell shared:
"There's maybe one player at each one of the positions that we would kind of like to have . . . and then there's a drop off . . . We're not going to fill all our needs on March 9th . . . We may fill one or two (on the first day of free agency)."
"The players that we like we'll be aggressive for and we'll take our best shot and hopefully we land them and if you don't then you have to circle back."
"I'm not a big fan of free agency, we've been forced to do it to say competitive."
"It's a bandaid."
Caldwell clearly doesn't like how active the Jaguars have had to be in free agency, but understands that it's a necessary evil.
Caldwell was asked which young players on the roster they would like to keep around.
He quickly mentioned the Jaguars two young tight ends Ben Koyack and Neal Sterling. Just after talking about those two he turned his attention to A.J. Cann, who he believes can be a "top level guard at this level". After the first three he quickly rattled off several names that included Brandon Linder, Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson, Abry Jones, Telvin (Smith), Aaron Colvin, Jalen (Ramsey). Caldwell isn't far off here. All of the players he mentioned have shown signs that they can become elite players and some of them already are. Cann was a major disappointment in 2016 so Caldwell's high praise of the soon to be third year guard was a little bit surprising.
On Myles Jack being on the field more:
"He will be and probably should have been last year."
On defensive personell:
"Our LEO is a basic 4-3 end and our OTTO is a basic SAM linebacker . . . The changes might be more so in the name then what they actually do."
Caldwell was very candid and seemingly rarely held back his honest opinions. He seems to have a very high level of confidence in this team and how effective the front office will be this offseason.
MORE FROM GENERATION JAGUAR
The Jaguars should consider a QB in the 2017 NFL Draft
Coughlin speaks for the first time since he was introduced as EVP
Is Branden Albert truly an upgrade
GENJAG FOR YOUR EARS
The GenJag Podcast ep. 19: Money