The Jacksonville Jaguars are committed to running the ball after selecting halfback T.J. Yeldon in the 2015 NFL Draft. Their second round stud of a running back has the broad shoulders the team needs to rely upon after so many disastrous years in which the running game fell by the wayside.
The passing attack may be all the rage in the NFL, but for 2015 the Jacksonville Jaguars may finally return to what made them such an iconic NFL team: the ground game.
While Blake Bortles is the future of the Jacksonville Jaguars, having at least a balanced attack and being able to use the run game as a support for the entire team will help the Jaguars offense to finally become a threat. The commitment to running the ball, as emphasized by general manager Dave Caldwell, is critical to the Jaguars’ development as a football team.
While Maurice Jones-Drew has only been gone for one full season, the Jaguars lost their way after he won the rushing title in 2011. The rushing attack just faded away and the team struggled to complement a worn-down MJD. After a year with Toby Gerhart and Denard Robinson attempting to lead the charge behind a broken offensive line, Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley jumped at the opportunity to bring in fresh legs and new big bodies up front.
The result in an offensive line with either two to three new starters (we’ll see when the season starts), a new workhorse running back with his best years in front of him, and a new offensive coordinator who understands playacting at the NFL level. Bradley knows what it takes to turn his struggling team into a winning organization and he’s doing everything he can to get things right. Returning to the running game is chief among them saying, “There is a heavier emphasis in run game even in our individual (drills)… think the players would feel a stronger commitment to the run game.” after the start of OTAs.
Emphasizing the run game and succeeding are two different things, but just allowing the offense to hand the ball off more will help bring the old Jaguars identity back and also enable the offense to stay on the field longer, putting less stress on a defense that could be great if they’re allowed a bit more time in between series.
It’s been a while for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but they may finally be putting everything together in year three of the Caldwell-Bradley regime. At a minimum, it’s a step in the right direction.
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