The Jacksonville Jaguars finished the 2011 season 5-11 and last made the playoffs in 2007. Since going 11-5 that year Jacksonville is 25-39 with two last place finishes in the AFC South. The Houston Texans are the class of the division now with the Colts and Jaguars rebuilding and the Titans good, but not great.
With that being said owner Shahid Khan, general manager Gene Smith, and head coach Mike Mularkey still need free agent acquisitions to supplement draft picks. How they are evaluating prospective signings has as much to do with life away from the field as it does with past performance on it and physical attributes.
The top members of Jacksonville’s brain trust have drawn a link between good football players and stable marriages. Gene Smith said he borrowed the idea from college recruiting, where a parent is always involved, but simply shifted the focus from parents to wives.
“If you’re happy at home with your wife at home, I think the energy level is higher,” Mularkey said. “It’s very important to me…There’s a lot that goes with being married. I just believe the happier you are with your wife, the happier you are on the field. I really believe that.”
Jacksonville recently signed quarterback Chad Henne and wide receiver Laurent Robinson. According to the WSJ Brittany Henne and Kat Robinson met with Mularkey’s wife, were given tours of the facilities, and taken to the beach and out to lunch.
Shahid Khan has been known to hold retreats for the employees of his automobile parts manufacturing company, Flex-N-Gate Corp, with spouses encouraged to attend so it’s apparent he’s a believer in a good family life as well. Those happy and productive employees have helped make the company enough money for Khan to be able purchase the Jaguars (and this yacht) so it’s understandable why he’s all in.
The idea sounds good in theory, especially with the recent news involving Deion Sanders and soon-to-be ex-wife Pilar. We’ll have to wait and see if it translates to a better product on the field and more numbers in the win column.