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Titans’ Firing of Jon Robinson Should Force Jaguars To Do Deep Self-Reflection

After seven mostly successful years in charge, the Titans made a change at general manager. What lesson can the Jaguars learn from it?

Normally when a general manager is fired in December in the NFL he is, for lack of a better term, a loser. 

General managers get fired in the NFL for losing football games. For losing power struggles. For losing divisional titles. Rarely do they get fired as winners.

But that is exactly what the Tennessee Titans did this week when firing general manager Jon Robinson on Tuesday. 

Despite being three games ahead in the AFC South and likely just a few weeks away from a third-straight divisional title, Robinson was given his walking papers. 

Despite being given an extension 10 months ago, the Titans no longer employ Robinson

Despite never losing to the Jaguars in Nashville, Robinson won't see the Titans take on the Jaguars this weekend. 

Despite compiling a 66-43 record with zero losing seasons, Robinson is gone, and others remain.

Despite the ninth-highest winning percentage (.606) in the NFL since 2016, when Robinson took over, the Titans are cleaning here. 

Those are a lot of despites. A lot of wins ignored. And a lot of lessons taught for their AFC South rivals, especially the Jaguars.

"Since becoming controlling owner in 2015, my goal has been to raise the standard for what is expected in all facets of our organization," Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement. 

"I believe we have made significant progress both on and off the field through investments in leadership, personnel and new ideas. This progress includes the core of our business, the football team itself, which is regularly evaluated both by results (wins and losses) and team construction/roster building. I am proud of what we have accomplished in my eight seasons of ownership, but I believe there is more to be done and higher aspirations to be met.

"I want to thank Jon for his dedicated work to set this organization on an upward trajectory and I wish him and his family the best."

In short, good is not good enough for the Titans. They are clearly a Mike Vrabel-driven team, one that has made mistakes in the personnel department in recent years in both the draft (Isaiah Wilson) and trades/free agency (A.J. Brown). Robinson was seen as replaceable, and the Titans' ceiling was seen as higher than what it currently is. 

So if the Titans can think that way ... why can't the Jaguars? Why does general manager Trent Baalke's seat seem as cold as the Nashville December air after a 7-22 record as general manager? 

The Jaguars have been anything but well-run over the last two years. They have swung out in free agency with big-name free agents on both sides of the ball and currently field one of the NFL's worst defenses despite Baalke making it the second-most expensive unit in the entire league. They have the third-highest paid receiver room despite just one receiver who would start for most teams, and they poured resource after resource into the pass-rush and off-ball linebacker rooms, just for both to falter this year.

This isn't to call for Baalke's job. The Jaguars won just one game the year before Baalke was named general manager. He also had 2021 largely impacted by Urban Meyer. 

But it is fair to wonder if Robinson and his resume aren't good enough for the Titans, then why are Baalke and his good enough for the Jaguars? 

Perhaps the Jaguars take the jump in 2023, finally getting out of neutral. But with a team that looks to have plenty of holes and not an abundance of cap space in 2023, the Jaguars have questions they need to ask themselves before they let the same old routine take place. 

The Jaguars have a young franchise quarterback on their hands. There are pieces of young talent found throughout the roster. The time to strike in the AFC South should be now.

But it isn't. Not in 2022. Not for the Jaguars after two years of serious investments via the draft and free agency from Baalke.

Robinson didn't have that problem, and he is now out of a job. And as a result, the Jaguars and owner Shad Khan should look up at their AFC South rivals and start asking themselves some tough questions.