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BOOK IT: 3 Things I Think about the Jaguars, Week 11

Source: NFL.com

1. I think that right now, the frustrating struggles we’re seeing on offense are keeping us from admiring what is a truly remarkable turnaround on defense. It’s an offensive league and the Jaguars drafted a rookie quarterback in the top 10 and had a highly publicized fallout with David Garrard just moments before the regular season began. That’s gonna turn some eyes towards the offense. But last year, fans and pundits were appalled at how soft and relenting our defense was – 28th in pass defense, 28th overall, and 30th in sacks after pledging to turn around the pass rush after the God-awful 2009 pass rush. The Jaguars defense was sieve and no one had trouble sleeping the night before playing us. With some infusion of free agent talent and some homegrown talent stepping up (Jeremy Mincey and Derek Cox especially), the Jaguars are one of the top 5 units in the league and are defending the pass and run with ferocity. 2. I think that help is not on the way for the Jaguars passing game. This is what Gene and Jack told us we signed up for when we drafted Blaine Gabbert – an extremely talent, yet very raw player with limited experience. He’s got a lot of fundamental flaws that aren’t improving as quickly as we’d all like and unfortunately, that’s going to take an offseason to start sorting out. Teams are simply too busy during the week installing game plans to have time to work on the fundamentals. And I don’t think I have to tell everyone that our receivers aren’t getting better…and WR coach Johnny Cox might be on the chopping block in January.

3. I think that even though we can’t help but get a glimmer of hope from Matt Schaub’s absence in Houston, it’s important to temper expectations. The Jaguars simply don’t have the offense to win six of our final seven games, which is probably the minimum it will take to win the AFC South. Our second half looks a lot less daunting than our first half schedule – which, now that we know who’s who in 2011, looks pretty horrifying in retrospect – and I think we’ll finish the season looking very much like a team on the rise. It’s almost impossible to ask fans to do, but I think right now we should keep an even keel about things and enjoy the little victories – enjoy every win we get, enjoy watching Blaine get better step by step, enjoy the defense’s return to a dominating presence, and enjoy Maurice Jones-Drew putting up a quietly absurd season, given the opposition he’s facing when teams know he’s our only weapon. Of course I still want it to happen and of course no one can stop me of daydreaming that the Jaguars pull the most absurd turnaround in recent NFL memory, but for now, I’ll be enjoying the little things.

- Andrew Hofheimer

Topics: Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars, Matt Schaub, Maurice Jones-drew, Playoffs

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  • KeenanJ

    The offensive struggles haven’t blinded me to the dominance the defense has been displaying. An argument can easily be made that this is the best defense in the league right now. I’d like to see a statistic showing how often the team each team’s defense has been on the field, combined against the strength of the the oppenents’ offense and then see how our defense is ranked. For them to be on field as much as they have been and still be Top 5 unit is truly extraordinary. At least to me it is. I remember after the fifth game of the season, all of my doubts of wondering if this was going to be a weekly totally disappeared, as I realized that the defense was for real.

    It may be minimum but Blaine is making progress, at least on the footwork and pocket prescence issue. I’m starting to see that glimpses of that perfect footwork Garrard displayed when he dropped back. That’s very promising. I’m also very happy with the progress Rackley is making. I hope he’s kept at left guard instead of moved to center like some have speculated. It’s clear that him and Eugene make a nice duo forming the left side of the line.

  • KeenanJ

    I don’t have much to say about the receiver position. At this point, it is what it is. All I’m going to say is that Chastin and Jarret deserves more opportunities, which is something we can all should be able to agree on. We’ll see if that happens or not.

    Lastly, I don’t mean to be a debbie downer here, but I don’t want us to make the playoffs. We’d more than likely be a one and done, only giving us a lower draft selection come April. I know some will disagree with that but that’s my stance on the whole situation. As you said, I’d be happy with watching Blaine take his baby steps and continue watching the defense churn out these dominant performances. MJD is MJD, so I didn’t expect anything different from him, as he’s always been a joy to watch. So here’s to the rest of the season that should be a very entertaining watch, even if no one else notices.

  • KeenanJ

    The offensive struggles haven’t blinded me to the dominance the defense has been displaying. An argument can easily be made that this is the best defense in the league right now. I’d like to see a statistic showing how often the team each team’s defense has been on the field, combined against the strength of the the oppenents’ offense and then see how our defense is ranked. For them to be on field as much as they have been and still be Top 5 unit is truly extraordinary. At least to me it is. I remember after the fifth game of the season, all of my doubts of wondering if this was going to be a weekly totally disappeared, as I realized that the defense was for real.

    It may be minimum but Blaine is making progress, at least on the footwork and pocket prescence issue. I’m starting to see that glimpses of that perfect footwork Garrard displayed when he dropped back. That’s very promising. I’m also very happy with the progress Rackley is making. I hope he’s kept at left guard instead of moved to center like some have speculated. It’s clear that him and Eugene make a nice duo forming the left side of the line.

  • KeenanJ

    I don’t have much to say about the receiver position. At this point, it is what it is. All I’m going to say is that Chastin and Jarret deserves more opportunities, which is something we can all should be able to agree on. We’ll see if that happens or not.

    Lastly, I don’t mean to be a debbie downer here, but I don’t want us to make the playoffs. We’d more than likely be a one and done, only giving us a lower draft selection come April. I know some will disagree with that but that’s my stance on the whole situation. As you said, I’d be happy with watching Blaine take his baby steps and continue watching the defense churn out these dominant performances. MJD is MJD, so I didn’t expect anything different from him, as he’s always been a joy to watch. So here’s to the rest of the season that should be a very entertaining watch, even if no one else notices.

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