Aug 15, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) calls a play against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Keep Your Enemies Close: 5 Questions with SideLion Report

The Jacksonville Jaguars are heading into the most important portion of the preseason – the 3rd week – so we decided to get a little bit of inside intel on our opponents. We reached out to our friends over at the SideLion Report and managed to get editor Zac Snyder to answer a few questions for us. Here’s how he responded:

1. How are the fans and players responding to head coach Jim Caldwell?
Fans were mostly initially underwhelmed by the hire but a lot of opinions turned around after his introductory press conference and most seem very willing to give him a fair shot. Ultimately, fans just want a consistent winner.
The players seem to have taken to him very well. He has a calm demeanor but is demanding in his own way. Players have indicated he treats them like men, placing his trust in them to do what they need to do. That approach seems to be working with this group of players.
2. There’s been a lot of talk about Theo Riddick this offseason and his increased role in the offense. How does he fit in around Reggie Bush and Joique Bell?
Bush and Bell will remain the focal point at running back but Riddick will get some chances each game out of the backfield and in the slot. He had a big play last week that gave us all a glimpse at why the hype may be well-founded. His role will be limited enough where he probably won’t be a big fantasy football play on a consistent basis, but don’t be surprised if he has some highlight plays over the course of the season.
3. Ziggy Ansah was a guy people thought the Jaguars were considering in the draft last year. How has he looked so far in his second year?
Friday will be his preseason debut after starting training camp on the PUP list. As an inexperienced player and with a new defensive coordinator in town, Ansah was one one of the players who could least afford to miss time so I’m not sure what to expect on Friday. It’s hard to say he didn’t meet or exceed expectations as a rookie but that is because they were tempered by his status as a raw prospect. Hopefully we see a step forward this year, although his first game action of the preseason isn’t likely the place he’ll show it.
4. Matthew Stafford has always put up pretty good stats, and he seems to have even more weapons this year with Golden Tate and Eric Ebron. Could he have a record-breaking season?
He’s still young but already has a 5,000 yard passing season to his credit so anything is possible, but it’s hard to predict broken records. Stafford attempted fewer passes last year than he did in either of the two previous seasons thanks to playing with some leads and a better running game. The Lions will throw the ball a lot, but if things are going well, he won’t have to break his own record for attempts in a season.
5. The Lions were a playoff team in 2011 after missing out on the postseason for more than a decade. Are they going to make it back in 2014?
They have the talent to, but that was the case last year too but they sputtered down the stretch, ultimately finishing behind the Packers and Bears. Most Lions fans would readily admit that the Packers should enter the season as NFC North favorites but many of us feel the Bears are undeservedly getting more love nationally than the Lions for that second spot. Can the Lions make the playoffs? Definitely. Will they? Not so definite.

 

– Daniel Lago

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Tags: Jacksonville Jaguars Matthew Staffor Theo Riddick Ziggy Ansah

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