The bye week has ended for the Jaguars and they returned to practice today. They got into the film room, they got on the field, they worked the plays, and above all they focused on the details.
This can be seen from the perspective of guard Uche Nwaneri who said,
The times where we were successful everybody was on the same page. It’s something we repeat a lot, but at the end of the day, when everybody’s on the same page and everybody’s focused on the details, the plays look a lot better than they do when one person’s off on a block here, or one person doesn’t look like they understand exactly what their responsibility was. Those are things that can be corrected.
I certainly hope that the Jaguars will correct them. There is a major difference between something that can be corrected and something that will be corrected. Based on what we’ve seen from the Jaguars this season it doesn’t look like they are very good at executing what they want to do.
That said, Nwaneri had it absolutely right. When the Jaguars are on the same page the team looks good. When things are clicking the offense looks to be dominant (yes, even better than just average) and the defense looks competent (no, not as good as last year). There are simply too many plays where someone like Eben Britton misses a block or Justin Blackmon runs the wrong route or doesn’t see the same coverage that Blaine Gabbert does.
Head coach Mike Mularkey’s approach to this is to have the team focus on the details, focus on the little things. While I like this approach in training camp it isn’t exactly something you want midway into the season. Midway into the season those things should be second nature for the players. You don’t want fundamentals running through the players’ heads while they are trying to diagnose plays and figure out where they should be.
Unfortunately it’s pretty obvious that the Jaguars aren’t at a spot where they can move past focusing on fundamentals. The team isn’t as young as some other rebuilds, they aren’t as inexperienced as other rebuilds, but they have yet to really understand their own abilities and limitations. Who knows, maybe Mularkey just changed that in a week.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims