Third and Short: Jaguars who must have a huge 2019 season
By David Levin
The Jacksonville Jaguars must count on these three players if they intend on erasing the ill effects of a 5-11 2018 season.
Jaguars Executive Vice-President Tom Coughlin made it clear. The reason the team brought in quarterback Nick Foles to be the team’s new leader was his ability to win tough games in tough situations. Winning Super Bowl 52, winning the MVP award. Coming off the bench last season to help the Philadelphia Eagles take another playoff ride. They all factored into the decision to sign the former Philadelphia Eagles star.
Now, Coughlin and the front office, the coaching staff and the fans in Jacksonville are hoping Foles, 30, can work the same magic here in North Florida. Because of what Foles had to work with in Philadelphia, the task may be a bit harder to accomplish.
There is talent on this roster. With a defense that is still loaded at all three lines of attack and an offense that still features Leonard Fournette, who is healthy once again, putting together the fractured puzzle might be less difficult than some think.
I am taking a wait and see approach.
If the Jaguars are going to become relevant once again, these three players must step forward. No, I did not make Foles the focal point of this exercize, but his play will determine if the Jaguars get anywhere past five wins in 2019.
Leonard Fournette – OK, so I am throwing a lob pass here. Fournette is the key to the engine of this offense. While Foles is the player everyone wants to see outshine his predecessor, if Fournette cannot move the football and the chains, it will be a long season for the passing game.
I like the idea of there being balance on this offense, It could mean Fournette has 300 carries and 1,250 yards rushing this season.
Cam Robinson – The offensive line began to fall apart once Cam Robinson went down with an ACL injury in Week 3 last year. Even before the left tackle took a trip to the injured reserve list, there were questions about his play and his technique.
It’s possible the Jaguars will draft a tackle in the first round, Jawaan Taylor or Jonah Williams, and Robinson will move over to the right side. It is easier to shift a tackle from left to right than vice versa.
There is still a lot to like about Robinson and his ability on the field. But in reality, losing his second season was huge. He is still a work in progress.
Taven Bryan – The Jaguars released Malik Jackson because of a high cap figure and the fact Taven Bryan is expected to move inside and play tackle.
It has better be a move that is profitable for the Jaguars and the second-year player. Bryan showed he was improving at season’s end because he became more comfortable in the interior of the line. He is still a load to move and will try to improve his footwork in the offseason.
Bryan has enough strength and speed to become a pass rusher up the middle, which should help the Jaguars on the outside in passing situaitons.