The Jaguars 2018 season is over. This season is the most disappointing in Jaguars history. So much expected and so little produced. Where did it all go wrong?
No doubt there is plenty of blame to go around with the Jacksonville Jaguars. We can blame the injuries, the schedule, Blake Bortles, Nathaniel Hackett, overly simple defense, etc., etc., etc. All teams have injuries so let’s put that one to rest.
Bortles and Hackett were replaced but the scheme remained the same. The defense may be overly simple as well, but they managed to hold most teams to minimal points. The truth is, the offense run by the Jaguars has little or no chance of success. If all goes perfectly like in 2017, the offense is barely adequate and if problems occur it’s totally inadequate.
Let’s start by ending the “It’s all Bortles fault” excuse.
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"Steven Ruiz on October 16, 2018, said, “You can blame all the offense problems on Bortles but he didn’t draft himself third overall. He didn’t give himself a 53 million dollar extension…he didn’t draft a one dimensional often injured running back and the build an offense around him.”"
He added that this coaching staff is basically the Gus Bradley staff and there have been few changes. Bortles may be a problem but the management and coaches brought in no real competition to spur him on.
Ask yourself…what is the offensive philosophy of the Jaguars? Some say it’s a run-first offense. However, we started the season with one oft-injured running back, one adequate running back, and a change of pace running back.
This is not a recipe for a run-first offense. The passing game was supposed to be solid if unimaginative. Sadly, we had no experienced wide receivers and a quarterback that was rated near the bottom by most NFL pundits.
The current Jaguars offense was designed by Nathaniel Hackett. First, he needed to meet the demands of Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone by creating a run-first philosophy. This assumes that the passing game feeds off the running game. Hackett also needed to take into account a quarterback with a long windup that slows his release time.
This and other adjustments worked well at first but defensive coordinators watched film and found ways to defeat it. It was obvious that once other teams figured the Jaguars out there were no adjustments made. Hackett’s plan was good but never evolved as plans must.
A coach is very much like a teacher. If what you’re doing is unsuccessful it’s time to come up with new ideas. It appeared the Jaguars ran the same failed plays over and over and over…..if a play doesn’t work…do something else.
Another issue is that when Leonard Fournette was injured with the hamstring issue, the Jaguars abandoned the run and put the offense on Bortles with predictable results.
The offense as designed no longer works. The successful NFL teams have coaches and coordinators who create dynamic offenses and they work. Andy Reid, Sean McVay, Doug Peterson, and others have been successful with young inexperienced quarterbacks and rookie backs and receivers. In fact, I wonder if Bortles would have been more successful with a better offensive coach.
To conclude, its very easy to define a problem but solutions can be tricky. The Jaguars have a good defense and kicking game. The simple answer is to hire an offensive-minded head coach or coordinator who is creative and not afraid to change when things go wrong.
Once this coach is in place, then we talk about the draft.