The Jaguars have suffered through an unimaginably poor start to the season. After one close win over the Titans, the Jags have gone on to give the next four games away. Against the Jets, they didn’t give themselves a chance, throwing the ball away four times and giving up a safety. Against the Panthers, they couldn’t hold onto the ball and another safety. Against the Saints they couldn’t cover the speedy Sproles or the tight end Jimmy Graham (a common theme for the Jaguars over the last few years). This past Sunday, the Jaguars special teams lost the game for the Jaguars. This week, we’ll assess what needs to be fixed in order for the Jaguars to start winning games.
- Special Teams — Wow. Just wow. The Jaguars went from having stellar special teams play last year to being awful this year. Much of this can be attributed to the fact the special teams aces Kassim Osgood and Montel Owens have been injured for the majority of the young season. Also, Deji Karim has played pretty well too. Scobee is perfect so far, so can’t complain there. The problems lie with the punt game. Turk has stunk it up, Cecil Shorts has struggled returning the ball and the coverage hasn’t been great. How can this be fixed? Bring in a punter, put Mike Thomas back at returner and hope to God Owens and Osgood get healthy soon.
- Wide Receivers’ Woes — The wide receivers have been bad. Drops, bad routes, a general lack of production. All descriptors of the Jaguars receiving corp. Is Jarrett Dillard still even on this team? How can this be fixed? All of the Jaguars receivers should receive a healthy dose of the Jugs machine after practice. Cecil Shorts and Blaine Gabbert need some extra practice together. Jason Hill needs to take the cement blocks off of his hands. Even Mike Thomas needs to figure something out. Another solution? GET THE TIGHT ENDS INVOLVED? I have a hard time believing that Marcedes Lewis isn’t getting open. Throw him the ball.
- Tight ends not being covered Tightly — The defense is play great. It’s held four of the first five teams to under 300 yards of total offense, but they are struggling in one definite area. Covering the tight end. Dustin Keller, Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham, Jermaine Gresham. They have burned the Jaguars (Gresham less so, but he was uncovered in clutch situations). The fix? Put a safety on the tight ends or Daryl Smith. While Poz isn’t playing extremely poorly, something else needs to be done to shut off the dump off valve to the tight ends.
- Old man “problems” — Brad Meester and Matt Turk are killing the Jaguars. Meester with his lapses in judgment and Matt Turk with his withering leg. The fix? Meester just needs to start paying attention and needs to play with some urgency. Matt Turk? Well they can replace him for all I care. You are a specialist. SPECIALIST — meaning you specialize in punting! I don’t care about the wind speed, a twenty yard punt in clutch time is unacceptable. Neither is mocking the crowds after such an atrocious game.
- Rookie growing pains — This brings Shorts back into the discussion. This also includes Blaine Gabbert, Will Rackley and Rod Isaac. Shorts has been invisible except when screwing up punt return opportunities or running the wrong route. Blaine Gabbert is growing into the starting quarterback role and will get better with more repetitions. Will Rackley keeps getting pulled and then put back into the starting lineup. Rod Isaac hasn’t shown much, if anything so far this season, even with the injuries at the CB position and special teams gunners. The fix? Repetitions. Plain and simple. rookies can only get better with practice, so people, have some patience with the young guys.
- MoJo Who? — Simple issue here. There is nothing wrong with MoJo. THe problem is, he needs the ball. He is currently fourth in the NFL in rushing yards. The fix? GIVE HIM THE BALL.
Topics: Blaine Gabbert, Brad Meester, Cecil Shorts, Daryl Smith, Dustin Keller, Greg Olsen, Jarrett Dillard, Jason Hill, Jermaine Gresham, Jimmy Graham, Kassim Osgood, Matt Turk, Maurice Jones-drew, Mike Thomas, MoJo, Montell Owens, Paul Posluszny, Rod Isaac, Will Rackley