Coaching renders evaluating the Jacksonville Jaguars roster near impossible
In what has quickly devolved into a lost season, the current state of the coaching staff makes evaluating the roster a futile exercise for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars were down 24-13 to the Houston Texans with 14:56 left in the fourth quarter on Sunday. After two solid defensive plays, the Texans were tasked with a 3rd-and-16 – a ridiculously favorable down and distance for a defense. The Jaguars needed to get the Texans off the field to give Blake Bortles and the offense the ball back to try and climb back into the game.
Part brilliance, part disrespect for the Jaguars, the Houston coaching staff called a draw play and put the onus on their third string running back, Akeem Hunt, to pick up the first down.
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The Jacksonville Jaguars are finding new, inventive, and painful ways to lose games week after week. If we wanted this to be a simple analysis, it would start and end with the quarterback. Yes, Blake Bortles has been awful and has cost this team a handful of games in 2016, but there’s more to it. The Jaguars have some talent, but it’s hard to tell with the looming cloud of awful coaching over their head.
One week after their rushing attack was brought back to life against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Jaguars threw the ball 49 times and only gave Chris Ivory the ball 9 times.
In an obvious passing situation on 3rd-and-5 with two minutes left in the game, the Jaguars left Jalen Ramsey alone in man coverage against DeAndre Hopkins. Osweiler made an easy throw to the All-Pro receiver on a slant to convert the first down and end the game.
The discussion of whether or not Dave Caldwell has done a good enough job as general manager to be retained should be put on hold until the end of the year, but this team has more talent than their 2-7 record would indicated. Amidst all the comically bad mistakes are outstanding individual plays by the likes of Malik Jackson, Telvin Smith, Jalen Ramsey, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, and other young and promising players. The most jaw-dropping play from Sunday’s loss was Myles Jack flying down the field to tackle Lamar Miller on what looked like a sure touchdown.
Sure, Dante Fowler Jr. has been a disappointment thus far and Julius Thomas looks nothing like the dynamic red zone threat he was in Denver, but there are certainly salvageable pieces on the roster.
Unfortunately, it’s borderline impossible to figure just how good some of these guys can be with this coaching staff. Gus Bradley and his seemingly overwhelmed and underqualified cohorts are not putting these players in a position to succeed. Whether it’s a flawed scheme or an inability to properly gameplan and prepare, the head coach and his philosophy have been the constant in this 14-43 era.