The 2009 season was the beginning of a new era for the Jacksonville Jaguars, a season in which the team began to rebuild following their collapse from the previous year, which ended with a 5-11 record.
The offseason included major organizational shake ups, including the firing of longtime General Manager James "Shack" Harris and the promotion of long term scouting department director Gene Smith to his position.
The Jaguars made a number of roster moves designed to free up money, and in the process, put together a younger team. Aging veterans like linebacker Mike Peterson were released, as well as the team's all-time leading rusher, Fred Taylor.
The team also cut ties with free-agent busts Drayton Florence and Jerry Porter, and let go of underachievers like wide-receivers Reggie Williams and Matt Jones.
The Jaguars did not make much of a splash in free agency, but they did add future Hall-of-Famer Tory Holt to bolster the receiving corps. In April's NFL Draft, the Jaguars selected their bookend tackles of the future: Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton, and then added cornerback Derrick Cox, wide receiver Mike Thomas and defensive tackle Terrence Knighton, all of which would prove to be key contributors to the Jaguars' future.
The Jaguars opened the 2009 season against the rival Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, losing 12-14 in a hard-fought game. The Jaguars would lose their home opener the next week against the Arizona Cardinals, but then went on a two-game winning streak and had high hopes going into week five in Seattle.
Unfortunately, the Jaguars lost that game, getting blown out 41-0. The game in many ways set the tone for the rest of the season, as it was filled with ups and downs.
Despite the Jaguars' ups and downs, the team entered week 15 with a 7-5 record and a good shot at a playoff berth. Unfortunately, the young team collapsed, losing their last four games to finish last in the AFC South division with a 7-9 record.
The 2009 Jaguars had problems on both offense and defense, but the team's pass rush -- or lack their of -- is historically considered their biggest weakness. The 2009 Jags only registered 14 sacks as a team during the 16-game season, one of the lowest totals in NFL history.
The biggest bright spot of 2009 came in the running game. Diminutive Maurice Jones-Drew -- who barely stands 5'7, rushed for a career-high 1,391 yards in his first season as a full-time starter. He also added 53 receptions and 16 total touchdowns, generating the bulk of the Jaguars' offense.
Perhaps the Jaguars' greatest failure in 2009 was the inability to sell game tickets. All but one of the Jaguars' home games were blacked out on local television, with attendance dipping beneath 50,000 for many games.
Despite the Jaguars struggles in 2009, the team had playoff hopes entering the offseason prior to the 2010 NFL season.