It's been a long time, but Los Angeles has hosted many NFL franchises over the years, even sporting two teams at once a couple decades ago. But the Pro scene in Los Angeles is all but forgotten to all but the NFL execs who see Los Angeles as one of the top TV markets in the country - and one they don't get a piece of. There has been talk of expansion - although it seems crazy to add even more teams to the mix. Relocating then is the only option. This is how I see it. Get ready in 2011 for your Los Angeles Jaguars!
Jacksonville is the team to return the NFL to Los Angeles. Why you ask? I'm glad you asked...
Jacksonsville is among the worst teams - attendance-wise in the league. They aren't packing the seats, and bringing in the green. They would easily surpass their attendance figures in L.A. and a slightly new look and new home would really boost their merchandising revenue as well.
Except when Mark Brunell led the team to the AFC championship early in their history, the team has been largely unsuccessful. Of course, it's hard when you're playing against Peyton twice a year... But they're a young team, with a limited history. This will make it easier for the people of Los Angeles to embrace and assimilate the team as their own.
And let's not forget that Los Angeles can easily support a team - it has stadium in place that would suffice for a number of years while the plans are made for a new stadium. Of course, this might make people scratch their heads -- Los Angeles in the AFC South? What? It's not like the NFL hasn't been geographically challenged in the past. Short of swapping the Rams and LA Jaguars through conference and division - there isn't an easy way to make the geography work a little better. To be honest, might be a good idea...
Now - let's assume we're moving the Jags to LA in 2011. Assuming there's no lockout - what should they do?
Alter the uniforms - the subdued green sparkly helmet is terrible. A slightly altered uniform will keep the Jags history, but make it LA's own.
Jack Del Rio has to go. I mean, he's the coach in 2010. I understand, but barring a successful playoff run, he's gone and he knows it. This is the chance to lure a ring-bearing coach to LA to head the franchise because, make no qualms about it, the NFL has to hit LA will all it's guns to show them they want to be there and get the people of LA to buy into their new team with their souls. You can't do that with some no-name, never coached before question mark - or terrible never-successful retread. I'm talking Cowher, Gruden, or Billick. That's it.
You have the young superstars and rising stars the team can win with. Garrard in 2010 - fine, but I think the 2011 draft - the first for the Jags in LA - has to focus on a QB that LA can embrace as their own. But you can't miss with this one - you have to hit a home run here. It might be too much pressure on a rookie QB...but maybe the rookie sits most or all of 2011... If not, I think there's a young QB out there already who can make this work: Josh Johnson. Go back to my coach ideas. Gruden drafted Johnson as a project that he didn't get work on much. But Johnson is young and exciting, and Gruden is an offensive genius who gets the best out of QBs. He made a Gannon no one wanted into MVP. Johnson is the kind of young, exciting player that could get the people excited. There's a half dozen angles there too - Coach and his player getting second chances, Los Angeles getting this feel good story... etc. In addition, imagine what Coach Gruden could do with MJD, Walker, Hilliard, Jennings, etc.
NFL in 2011 with the Los Angeles Jaguars. It can happen, and it can be great.