T.J. Yeldon is coming to the Jacksonville Jaguars to be the workhorse back for the team. He’s expected to beat out Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart and be the definitive running back for the Jags. Last season the Jaguars were hoping Gerhart could develop from the backup to Adrian Peterson to a top flight starter and saw that fail. Instead, we all saw Robinson put in some surprisingly strong performances as a starter.
When we get down to it, however, Robinson and Gerhart just aren’t starting running backs for the Jaguars. They are intriguing options, but bringing in Yeldon enabled the Jags to ensure they had a true, starting caliber running back on the roster right off the bat for 2015.
So, barring injury, we’re all looking to T.J. Yeldon to be the top running back for the Jaguars in 2015. He’ll be given every opportunity to succeed.
Here are five reasons why I think he’ll live up to the responsibility and be successful this coming season.
Sep 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys tackle Jermey Parnell (78) watches a replay on the video screen during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
1) An Improved Offensive Line
Leaving Alabama for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014 arguably could have been a downgrade of an offensive line for a running back. Fortunately for T.J. Yeldon, he left for the Jaguars in a year where the team is revamping the offensive line. With two to three new starters and a healthy Luke Joeckel at left tackle, the offensive line for the Jacksonville Jaguars could be a strength for the team for the first time in a few years.
Brandon Linder proved he could pave the way at guard. Zane Beadles is serviceable at the other guard position but could be forced out of his starter spot by strong up and comer A.J. Cann. Luke Bowanko did enough in 2014 to justify a return at center but if he doesn’t shake out, the Jaguars brought in perennial Oakland Raiders starter Stefen Wisniewski to compete (and likely start) at that position. Jermey Parnell is locking down right tackle and Luke Joeckel may finally be playing at weight after two rough seasons to start his NFL career.
The new offensive line for the Jaguars isn’t just new-look, it’s new attitude, new approach, and new results as well. Yeldon will be able to find holes behind this offensive line. He’ll be able to use his high-level vision and find spots to exploit the defense behind this offensive line. For the first time since 2007/2008, the Jaguars are fielding an offensive line that could bully the opposing defensive line on each and every down. Expect Yeldon to see success as a result.
Next: T.J. Yeldon Will Get Every Opportunity to Succeed