Jul 31, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Bernard Pierce (30) runs during training camp workouts at Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
2) The Jacksonville Jaguars running attack
Overlook the fact that T.J. Yeldon managed just 10 yards on eight carries during his one preseason game. Sure, we all expected better but he’s a rookie getting his feet wet in the NFL. It wasn’t going to be all roses all the time.
Instead focus on the fact that the Jacksonville Jaguars vs Carolina Panthers game is going to feature a Jaguars backfield that is stacked from the top to the bottom.
The Jaguars will feature four (yes you read that right) starting caliber running backs in Week 1.
Yeldon gets a lot of the attention because he’s expected to be the feature back for the Jags, but it won’t fall only on him.
Denard Robinson started nine games for the Jaguars in 2014 and racked up an impressive 582 yards and four touchdowns while averaging 4.3 yards per attempt. He did that behind an offensive line that could barely march toward one end zone together.
Toby Gerhart disappointed in his first year with the Jags, especially after being billed as the bell cow back we all wanted. Instead he faced injury in Week 1 and never got his feet under him. Even with his nagging injury and being surpassed on the depth chart, he managed to contribute 326 yards and two touchdowns through the season. We’d like to see his 3.2 yards per attempt rise nearer his 7.9 he had in Minnesota in 2013, and expect him to come out with a chip on his shoulder to do just that.
Bernard Pierce was shown the door by the Baltimore Ravens due to a personal conduct issue. Their loss is the Jaguars’ gain. Averaging 3.9 yards per carry last season in a reserve role behind Justin Forsett, Pierce still managed to put up 366 yards and two touchdowns. A former third-rounder who never quite became the bell cow back, he’s impressed in Jacksonville so far and could make the most of his opportunities.
Good running backs behind a rebuilt offensive line is a great cause for optimism heading into Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers.
Next: The captain of the defense returns