Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette ready to put 2018 season behind him

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

After a less than stellar 2018 season, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette told the media on Friday is excited about this football team.

It was a different Leonard Fournette who stepped up to the podium on Friday after the Jaguars completed Day 3 of OTAs at the practice facility adjacent to TIAA Bank Field. As you listened to the third-year running back speak, you could sense this could be a different year for the former first-round draft pick. You also got the sense there was a bit of maturity in his voice as he told the media he was pleased with how his offseason conditioning has gone and how he likes what the offense has done so far to prepare for 2019.

In what will amount to the biggest season in Fournette’s football career, he is eager to put the past behind him, to prove how valuable he can be for this franchise and hopefully get the Jaguars back to the playoffs.

It started in Wyoming with his former conditioning coach from LSU, Ben Iannacchione. It may end with another 1,000-yard season in black and teal.

"“I just wanted to take it back to the foundation, start back from the bottom and go up. It was great,” Fournette explained."

More from Jacksonville Jaguars News

That foundation is where it all started for Fournette. The college accolades, the success in the SEC and then a rookie season that saw him rush for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns. He was the focal point of the Jaguars offense. His presence helped get the team to the AFC Title Game. And then it came crashing down last season faster than anyone expected.

Injuries hit Fournette and the offense. Recovery was slow. The losses piled up. There were mixed emotions between the player and the organization. Now, that appears to be a thing of the past. For Fournette, the foundation is where he needed to focus and adjust mentally and physically.

"“After the season we had last year, I think everybody kind of hit the restart button. We talked about what was going on,” he explained. “When I went to Dallas, Cam [Robinson] was out there. Me and Yannick [Ngakoue] trained for a minute together. It was kind of like all the players got back to our foundation and where we all started from.”"

Now, the vibe is different. There is a new offensive coordinator in John DeFilippo and changes in the structure of the offense, including a new quarterback. Leonard Fournette is the only running back on the roster from last season.

This team, even with a more pass-oriented offense, will look to their stud running back to carry the load, to gain the tough yards.

Next. John DeFilippo working to fix the Jaguars offense. dark

"“He is a one of a kind [DeFilippo],” Fournette said. “He loves football. He takes it very serious. He is trying to get everybody on the same page and we believe in the chemistry he is trying to build with us and we are just going to flow with it. Me, him and Nick, [Brandon Linder] and all of the guys on the offense, we trust him and he trusts us.”"