The addition of a new coordinator and a new quarterback could mean the Jacksonville Jaguars offense will look much better in 2019.
As some one told me the other day, with the changes made by the Jacksonville Jaguars so far on offense, there is no way the team could be worse than it was last season. I tend to agree with him, but the season has not played out yet, so excuse me if I wait to voice my opinion just yet.
Like many fans, I am waiting to see how this team, the one that scored just over 15 points a game last season, will improve through the air and on the ground. Let’s just say I’m one of those fans waiting to be surprised, hoping 2017 was not an anomoly. A new offensive coordinator in John DiFilippo and a new quarterback in Nick Foles has me excited, but still cautious.
Good health, a better game plan and more aggressive play calling might be all this team needs to return to its 2017 form. But if the Jaguars are to improve by any measure in 2019, the offense must do these three things.
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Find a balance – The Jaguars may need to amend their mantra of being a run-first offense. Because of DiFilippo’s presence and Nick Foles slinging the football all over the field, I see the passing game taking more chances this season.
That means look for Foles to start from the shotgun on first and second down and throw more to loosen defenses. That will help open up the running game for Leonard Fournette and whoever else is caring the football.
Giving the defense a rest – Staying on the field was one of the downfalls of this offense last year.
Too many times, the Jaguars went three and out. The defense was gased. The running game could not sustain drives. The quarterbacks couldn’t complete short to intermediate passes. I’m not off the mark when I say it was disastrous.
If the Jaguars can figure out how to move the chains, especially on 3rd-and-6 or greater, they will have more scoring opportunities. I suspect more play action will be involved as well the use of the shot confirmation on first down.
Hold onto the football – This is elementary, but it bears repeating. The Jaguars led the NFL and dropped passes last year. While many passes thrown were wounded ducks or didn’t reach their mark, this unit needs to do a better job of securing the football.
Receivers coach Keenan McCardell will be tasked once again with aiding this unit. He spoke highly of Keelan Cole who looked like he was going to develop into a main target this past season in the preseason. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Expect McCardell to be on the hot seat, so to speak. He must be able to get these receivers to not only catch the football but to extend a play and move chains. They group must they’re also needs to be the development of rhythm in the passing offense with Foles under center.
This is where the addition of Chris Conley will pay off. Also, expect the team to use the tight end more on short yardage downs.