Among the many things the Jaguars are working on in training camp, their red zone offense may be the most important. The team finished dead last in red zone efficiency last season, scoring touchdowns on just 43.9% of their red-zone opportunities. They also ranked last in scoring with 247 points. Gus Bradley reiterated the team’s need to improve in the red-zone on Wednesday.
“I think we may need to increase our volume on the number of red zone plays we work. I know offensively we got better in the last six or seven games of the season (last year) in the red zone. But it was an area of emphasis for us. So you might see more red zone opportunities for us to at least practice and work,’’ Bradley said.
Needless to say the Jaguars are in desperate need of a red-zone threat, and they may have found one in the second round with wide receiver Allen Robinson. At 6’3″ 210 lbs. Robinson is the biggest target the Jaguars have at wide receiver. Robinson is a unique combination of size and athleticism (42″ vertical jump).
This unique skill set should make Robinson an ideal threat in the red-zone, so long as he can improve on his catching in traffic. At times, Robinson panicked and anticipated contact, causing him to miss catches he could have made. He has had 2 notable misses or catches he could have made in traffic so far this training camp. Robinson must learn to utilize his size better and physically dominate smaller defensive backs to maximize his potential.
Lee on the other hand may not be a big target in the end-zone, at 6’2″ 192 lbs, but he provides a dynamic, electrifying presence whenever he’s on the field. Lee is an extremely fast play-maker, able to reach top speeds in an instant. With Lee opposite Robinson, it will be more difficult for defenses to focus-in on just one of their unique skill sets. So far in camp the Jaguars have been creative with Lee, designing plays completely around him, allowing for him to create his own plays. Lee will step up more getting the Jaguars into the red-zone by making plays, taking pressure off of Robinson in any situation.
Tight end Marcedes Lewis is still a huge target in the red-zone at 6’6″ 276 lbs. Robinson and Lee will be able to spread the field and open up space for Lewis as well.
The rest of the options the Jaguars have are more like Lee, not much of a red-zone threat. Cecil Shorts (6′), Ace Sanders (5’7″) and Mike Brown (5’10”) are less than ideal, so the Jaguars will lean heavily on Robinson and Lewis in the end-zone, while they look for their smaller guys to spread the field. Robinson also offers speed to open up the field, which he utilized in college.
Whoever is at quarterback for the Jaguars will look to utilize Robinson’s strength to punch the ball in. The Jaguars will likely be very run-heavy this season, but look for them to experiment with Robinson and Lee, as they figure out how to properly fit them into Jedd Fisch’s offense.