By: James Johnson
It was announced later last week by Jags beat writer Tania Ganguli that the team is in the beginning stages of building a practice facility. This comes as no surprise and is a upgrade, that is not only long overdue but very much a standard necessity. After a little research I found that the Jags are 1 of 8 teams without an indoor practice facility as seen on the chart below. (Note: The Redskins now have a practice bubble leaving just the Jags, Cardinals, Chargers, Oakland, Bucs, Bengals, Panthers, and 49ers )
(Chart found on ExtremeRedskins.com)
Now granted that Florida is the Sunshine state, hurricane season does intervene with OTA’s and Training Camp as we witnessed this month. There was a week long period of showers during Jags OTA’s this year. The Jags were force to move their practice inside the club area of EverBank Stadium. With a 90 man roster I’d imagine the Jags were limited to what they could do. Back in 2005 talks began for the Jaguars to possibly look into getting a practice facility, but for some reason never heated up. My guess might be for financial reasons, or maybe finding location for a facility. This year those talks heated up with a new owner at the helm and a head coach openly stated that he “wouldn’t mind a practice bubble”. Jaguars chief financial officer, Bill Prescott has yet to decide the location of the facility or decide on the type of facility (Bubble or building). Personally I’d rather have a building which will cost more but would be a more permanent structure, though it’s been said a practice bubble can withstand a category 3 storm. According to the team the project will cost an estimated 10 million dollars or more. Prescott also stated that the team will likely build the facility on site of the teams stadium (like the Patriots and Texans). He mentioned the south end zone (where the current Pepsi Plaza is) as a potential spot, but has yet to make it official.
Redskins indoor bubble
The high rollers
NY Giants – Timex performance center
How does this equate to wins?
While doing my research I came across an interesting webpage (Extremeredskins.com) that brought up a good point, and that’s teams with facilities seem to win an average of 4 more games than teams without practice facilities. Now I believe that the best team will win regardless, but it might be some truth behind these statistics. Below is a playoff bracket of the last couple seasons
I can’t exactly say if it’s a coincidence that each of these teams have practice facilities, but I also notice that.
*Of these teams the Eagles, Ravens, Colts, Jets, Steelers, and Patriots at the time were all consistently in the playoffs. In recent history the Saint, Packers and Falcons have gone consistently as well. All of these teams also have actual building facilities, not bubbles for what it’s worth.
* Most of these teams seem to average 2 to 4 wins over the Jags. Yes, they are better teams than we are, but once again I don’t know if it’s a coincidence that they all have indoor facilities.
Now for the 2011-2012 playoffs
* Last season 2 teams of the 12 playoff teams were teams without indoor practice facilities. Those teams were the Bengals and 49ers. Still not many.
*The Texans are the only team with a bubble to make it, but still they have a indoor facility.
* Even the playoff team with the least wins, the Broncos had 3 more wins than the Jags.
* Even all the wildcard teams with facilities won 4 or more than the Jags who had 5 wins last season. Those being the Lions with 10 wins, Falcons 9 wins, and Steelers 12 wins. The Bengals who don’t have an indoor facility won 9.
So my conclusion here is there might be some truth to the organization when they say that they have to spend some money to be competitors. Shad Khan sees that and appears ready to do what it takes to get the Jags there. I’ll have more on this in the coming weeks on what kind of facility to expect and exactly how much a decent facility will actually be worth.