Three Christmas wishes for the Jacksonville Jaguars
By David Levin
Since Christmas is less than a week away, what would the Jacksonville Jaguars like in their stocking for the 2019 season?
Two weeks and counting. That’s what the Jacksonville Jaguars have left in the 2018 season. Last year at this time, the organization was making plans for hosting a playoff game and visions of making it to Minnesota for Super Bowl 52.
Jaguars fans know how that all worked out.
This year has been anything but jolly. The offense has been frightful. The defense has been suspect at times and nothing about the quarterback situation has been delightful. See what I did there?
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The current roster should look different next season as the front office attempts to find the right balance of youth and veteran leadership. Injuries have played a huge part in the team’s lack of wins, but the coaching staff and players must take responsibility as well for a lack of success.
The starting quarterback should be a new face in 2019. The running back unit will be revamped. The offensive line is in need of two new starters and the wide receivers might hope for Stick-em to aul in a pass or two.
Except for a select few, this roster is not untouchable. With that said, the Jaguars have a long list for Jolly St. Nick this year. Here are a few things on their wish list.
Drafting a quarterback in the first round – If you read my story earlier this week and the first attempt at a mock draft, you know my thinking on this. I grabbed Jonah Williams with the fifth pick in the first round and drafted Will Grier in the second round.
As one national sports writer told me, that kind of thinking might start a war as big as the burning of Atlanta. It’s not my intention to act like Scrooge, I am being a realist. Right now, Williams is rated higher than any quarterback prospect coming out.
Blake Bortles is as good as gone from the organization. Grier is a solid pick Jacksonville could trade back into the first round to grab.
If not, and the team decides to select a passer with their first pick, Tom Coughlin must decide between Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State and Justin Herbert of Oregon.
A healthy Leonard Fournette – And obviously a more in shape running back.
Leonard Fournette told the media on Thursday that he could have been in better shape this season, which may have helped him avoid a nagging hamstring injury that plagued him most of the first half of the season.
Corey Grant and T.J. Yeldon could be gone this offseason and the only other back on the roster would be David Williams, who looked good last Sunday in a limited role on offense.
Fournette must come to training camp in shape and ready to contribute. He must also prove he is ready to the “captain” he was voted on by the players before the season. The bottom line is Fournette cannot miss chunks of the season if the Jaguars want to be successful.
Also, a healthy passing game would benefit this team and possibly change the organization’s philosophy.
A return to “Sacksonville“ – This defense was supposed to be “the best” in the NFL in 2018. It is far from it.
Missed assignments, a lack of communications. Belief in the hype machine and a true lack of effort in blown assignments. It’s a recipe for disaster. To their defense, take away the blowout in Tennessee and this defense, led by Jalen Ramsey, has played better in the second half of 2018.
Could changes on this side of the ball and a change in philosophy help get this team back to where it needs to be? The talent is there, the effort needs to be there as well. Barry Church was released. Malik Jackson will probably be gone after the season as well.
Calais Campbell and Marcell Dareus may have to restructure their contracts. If the majority of the parts to this unit return, it could once again become elite.