For the first time in a while it feels like the Jaguars actually have some receiving threats in their wide receivers. Whether it’s Cecil Shorts III, Justin Blackmon, newly acquired Jordan Shipley, or even Kevin Elliott there is some magic that lingers over them. Maybe it’s just seeing the ball fly through the air and knowing it could be caught, dropped, or picked off and the holding of breath as you watch it float through the air…but that probably speaks more to the quarterback play.
On Sunday the Jaguar passing attack had a pretty decent first half. Things were clicking well for a little bit and the defense managed to give some great field position to the offense through turnovers…that led to all of three points. The receivers were good at times and they were bad at times.
Some long shots to Blackmon were poorly thrown and ill advised for the situation by Chad Henne. Some of them Blackmon could have made a play on. Yet the short out route seemed so much easier for Blackmon. Elliott dropped a sure first down twice but made up for it with a long 22 yarder. Shipley had a few get away from him, but he rebounded with a nice 55 yard performance.
My verdict from Sunday is one that probably isn’t too good for the young Jaguar team. Without Shorts, this unit looks like a developing unit. Almost all of them have no experience and they need a “veteran” to set the tone. Shorts provides that tone. Without him it is pretty obvious that there are a lot of things that these players can get better at. I don’t know if it’s just because I know the season is over so I’m growing more and more apathetic, but these receivers seem to be getting better despite the losses. A few weeks ago, Blackmon would have disappeared from this game. This week he had six catches (mostly in the first half).
I’m seeing development. Will these guys be around next year? Some of them, perhaps. But I like the steps that are, slowly, being made.
– Luke N. Sims