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Southern second-year coach hopes Jaguars have the discipline to improve
Southern coach Stump Mitchell has few complaints about the talent-level on the Jaguars’ roster.
Yet, after two decades as a player and coach in the NFL, Mitchell has learned that it often takes more than that to win.
“We have some talented guys at Southern who I know are talented enough to play in the NFL,” said Mitchell, who enters his second season as Southern head coach. “The toughest transition is for these guys to accept discipline. … Because of the lack of discipline we had (in 2010), the results were the way they were.”
Mitchell, who took over for former longtime Southern coach Pete Richardson, went 2-9 in his first season with the Jaguars.
That was not what Mitchell envisioned when he left his assistant coaching job with the Washington Redskins, but he found a measure of encouragement in the fact that three of Southern’s losses came by a touchdown or less.
“We’re a much more disciplined football team,” he said. “We’re a team that has a lot more experience than we had in the past and I think that’s going to be valuable to us.”
Southern has a number of play-makers on offense, Mitchell said, and he needs to come up with ways to get them the ball.
Dray Joseph is the likely starting quarterback after spending last season as the backup, but getting action in the two games Southern won.
Mitchell said he has three exceptional receivers in LaQuinton Evans, Charles Hawkins and Jared Green; three strong tight ends led by Javon Jordan; and a pair of solid running backs in Brandon Rice and Dallas Fort.
The defense has six starters back, but there could be a number of changes on a unit that gave up averages of 360 yards and 33.8 points last season.
A 2011 Southwestern Athletic Conference title is already out of the question because of an NCAA- and SWAC-imposed postseason ban related to poor academic performance. But in the Jaguars’ case, there’s lot of improving to do before that punishment even comes into play.