With the Arizona Cardinals in Florida to play the Jacksonville Jaguars, I took the opportunity to reach out to the editor of Big Cat Country, our SB Nation Jags blog.
I asked him five questions and he obliged with some great answers. Here they are:
ROTB: Just how great was it for the fanbase to get the win over the Titans?
BCC: It was fantastic for the fans to finally get a win. After going 2-14 and looking completely inept in 2012, it was a struggle through the first eight weeks of the season looking worse than they year before. Most Jaguars fans understand that the new staff is doing a complete rebuild job, but it's still taxing.
ROTB: The Jacksonville fanbase gets a lot of criticism about the support for their team and Carson Palmer commented on it. How fair or unfair is it to criticize Jacksonville as a football town and fans of the Jags?
BCC: Personally, I think criticism of Jacksonville's fan base is just taking the low hanging fruit. They're commonly linked as a team with blackout issues, yet they have had one in over four seasons. They had one really bad season that happened to coincide with the expiring of multi-year season ticket contracts, a ticket price hike, and the real estate bubble in Florida bursting where they blacked out 7 home games. Since then however, it hasn't really been an issue. It doesn't help that their stadium is too big for the market, leading them to tarp off some seats to bring capacity down to around 66,000 or the playing a game in London for four years, but that comes with the territory I guess. Fact is, attendance league-wide is down, multiple markets deal with ticket sales issues (including Tampa Bay and Miami, who are significantly worse attendance-wise than Jax, but you never hear about it). It's just a think we have to hear constantly and get tired of hearing, so it's definitely a sensitive subject to Jaguars fans.
ROTB: We don't see a lot of the Jags. Who should Cardinals fans expect to make an impact on the game?
BCC: As far as impact players for the Jaguars, they don't have a ton. On the offensive side of the ball there is always Maurice Jones-Drew, but he looks like a shell of himself after the past two seasons. Wide receiver Cecil Shorts however has still been a big play guy with or without Justin Blackmon on the field. On the defensive side of the ball defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks has been disrupting rushing the pass from the interior of the line and rookie corner Dwayne Gratz has been great when he's on the field.
ROTB: You grabbed a couple of players that were on the Cardinals. What contributions will Jamell Fleming or Kerry Taylor make? Likewise, what about Stephen Williams?
BCC: To be perfectly honest, I don't think any of them have been active yet and if they have it's been strictly as a special teams role. Williams has been dealing with an Achilles injury that has kept him out and Taylor is still picking up the offense after being claimed.
My thoughts: This should provide a little bit of perspective for Cards fans who thought very highly of Fleming. Despite the talent he showed, he hasn't even been able to crack the rotation on the worst team in the league. The Bruce Arians coaching staff might have been on to something. It's a shame.
ROTB: What has been the biggest surprise and biggest disappointment of the 2013 season?
BCC: The biggest surprise of the season for the Jaguars is just the realization of how bad of a roster the former general manager built. I think most fans expected the Jaguars to be bad, but I don't think the thought of 0-16 was in the cards. That can't happen now that they have a win, but, they've still been housed in nearly every game so far.