Jacksonville Jaguars Offseason Scores A- by Sports Illustrated


The Jacksonville Jaguars have had a monstrous offseason, putting together veterans to pair with their young up and comers. While the overall roster is weak based on 2014 numbers, the anticipated progress in addition to the veterans should be enough to finally give the Jags a season to be proud of.

Some media outlets have noticed that the trend is upward, while others have not. An article on Sports Illustrated, written by Ben Eagle, recently noted how successful the Jaguars offseason has been. More importantly, he notes the promise that the offseason gives the Jaguars. Eagle gave the Jaguars an A- for their offseason report card.

Some key highlights among the article include the progress of quarterback Blake Bortles and the acquisition of defensive lineman Jared Odrick. On Odrick, Eagles notes that, “Odrick is a talented, versatile and much-needed piece up front. Able to play end or tackle, Odrick isn’t a pure pass-rusher, but he’s stout against the run, an area where the Jaguars really struggled in 2014.” There’s no question that getting a guy like Odrick reps is important for the Jags, especially since they have been using leftovers from the Gene Smith era and bandaid-type players for a while. The defensive line is one of the stronger pieces of the Jaguars and the Odrick addition makes it stronger.

The big question, however, is the development of Bortles. Can Bortles be the quarterback that the Jags thought he could be when he was drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He has a slew of young, talented receivers to throw to, he has a proven red zone threat at tight end, and he now has a workhorse running back to take some pressure off him. Tack on an overhauled offensive line and Bortles now has many more tools at his disposal to develop with. What he does with those tools is key. Eagle notes this as well:

"Mechanics, however, will only get him so far. As noted above, the offensive line was a sieve last season and the team failed to generate any real ground game. With an improved O-line and Thomas and rookie running back T.J. Yeldon in tow, the Jaguars’ offense in general should be better in ’15. Can Bortles rise to the challenge as well? The answer to that question will go a long way in determining Jacksonville’s fortunes in 2015."

Rising to the challenge is the theme for the 2015 offseason and the beginning of the 2015 season. So far, Blake Bortles is putting in the work and he seems to be doing everything right. We’ll have to see if he can continue that trend when the games start.

Next: Blake Bortles Thrived Under Pressure in College

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