Whimper release a good sign for Jaguars

Guy Whimper, released Wednesday by the Jaguars, was somewhat of a symbol of stubbornness to me.

Jacksonville -- with, I believe, deposed general manager Gene Smith at the head of the line -- insisted Whimper was an NFL-caliber player. The evidence screamed otherwise.

The offensive tackle was brought in on Nov. 2, 2010 as offensive line depth. A third tackle at best, he would up starting 22 of a possible 40 games.

That was far more than the Jaguars ever envisioned they would need from him.

In a miserable 2-14 season that got both Smith and coach Mike Mularkey fired, Whimper caught a touchdown pass as a tackle eligible in Green Bay. But he was central in another tackle-eligible moment that might encapsulate the disastrous year more than any other.

In a 24-3 loss at Miami, officials said he botched a crucial play.

What I wrote about it that afternoon:

The worst, most symbolic moment of the game came after Jacksonville sacked (Ryan) Tannehill, forcing and recovering a fumble. Chad Henne threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Justin Blackmon that should have put the Jaguars ahead 10-3. But tackle Guy Whimper, who’d come in the game and lined up as an eligible player running a route, failed to report and was flagged for an illegal substitution. Later, the drive ended without even a field goal as Henne failed to convert a fourth-and-1 run.

Whimper said afterward he reported as he was supposed to.

The Jaguars need to get a lot better on the offensive line. I’m not sure the new brass yet realizes the extent of the deficiencies, though David Caldwell recently acknowledged the team probably has blanks at left guard and right tackle right now.

It was time for Whimper to no longer be in the mix. The Jaguars also released quarterback John Parker Wilson and defensive back Brandon King.