Jacksonville Jaguars running backs draw praise
Jacksonville Jaguars running backs draw praise for their impressive effort in the loss to the New York Jets.
The T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory tandem got off to a fast start this preseason, performing well against the New York Jets in the first game effort of 2016.
Both backs, expected to split the primary carry duties for the Jacksonville Jaguars, exerted their will on the defense. Ivory bullied his way for 24 yards on six carries and Yeldon managed 24 yards on just four carries. Combined they put up 48 yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
That’s the kind of production the Jags have been looking for since signing Toby Gerhart as the primary back years ago.
Now, “Two Yard” Toby is gone and the Jags are focusing on using Yeldon and Ivory to beat down opponents as a perfect complement to a young passing game that features studs Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson, and Allen Hurns. Yeldon and Ivory are similar runners – though not exact copies – and their hard running style can wear out defenses through a game.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley offered up praise for both players, and the run game overall, saying:
"The yards after contact, all of those stats you look at regarding that – just very pleased with that. That will really be the mindset we continue on with next week, too – the physical, the tempo, the run game, the starting fast, then taking care of the ball."
The physicality has been stressed for the Jaguars under Bradley. While it hasn’t been perfect in past years, the glimpse of what it could be in 2016 may suggest that the right personnel are finally in place for the team to move in that direction.
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The Jags could be a hard-running football team in 2016. While it is only a short hint during the preseason from the two primary runners, they deserve to have more praise heaped on them. They played well and will deliver in the regular season if they continue to play like they did against the Jets.