2015 Offers the Jacksonville Jaguars Plenty of Growth Opportunities
By Luke Sims
The Jacksonville Jaguars finished last in scoring offense for the second season in row in 2014. The team finished 31st in offensive yards produced, again for the second year in a row.
A young team, the Jacksonville Jaguars are not producing where head coach Gus Bradley would like them to. After two years at the helm, the Jaguars remain stuck as a team that can’t quite do enough to get out of the cellar.
Things like points, yards, and other rankings shouldn’t be seen just as a terrible rut for the team, though. They should be seen as opportunities for growth. As Gus Bradley and the rest of the front office look forward for the Jacksonville Jaguars, they need to recognize that these abysmal numbers are all places where the Jaguars can grow as a team in 2015 and beyond. The only way to go is up when you’re at the bottom, after all.
It isn’t just offensive production that offers growth, though. The team also needs to improve its points against (26th), yards allowed (also 26th in the league), first downs allowed (330 last season), first downs produced (just 271), and plays (100 below what the opposition ran last season), among many other things. The Jags improved marginally as a defense last season, jumping up a couple of rankings in points allowed and one ranking in yards allowed. Those are baby steps, but they represent growth all the same.
These same growth opportunities could also be pitfalls. The Jacksonville Jaguars, being a young team, must avoid making so many mistakes that they regress in many areas, like their total offensive plays (988 in 2014 compares to 1020 in 2013) that could suggest the offense being forced off the field too early. The team simply cannot afford to miss opportunities for growth and instead see them become liabilities.
Too often we only look at what is dragging the team down and don’t move past that observation. As we enter Bradley and Dave Caldwell’s third year at the helm, we need to start assessing the growth opportunities for the team, finding the spots where it is feasible for the Jaguars to progress in year three. There may not be many and some could simply be based around speculation that young players will get better with another year under their belts, but they do exist and the Jaguars need to exploit them.
Next: Is Brandon Linder the Best Player on the Jaguars?
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