After five seasons as a member of the Houston Texans, running back Alfred Blue wants to help the Jaguars get back to the postseason.
A large emphasis of the Jacksonville Jaguars offense the past two seasons has been placed on the running game. In 2017, it was one of the major keys – along with a stout defense – that led this team to the AFC Title game. In 2018, it appeared on the side of a milk carton as nothing seemed to go right when it came to toting the football.
This season, things should be different as the philosophy may be slightly different and the players in the classroom aren’t as familiar as they have been in recent years. One of those players, Alfred Blue, spent the past five seasons running against the Jaguars defense in Houston. Now, he is part of something new, an offense looking for redemption after a disastrous 2018.
"“It’s been good building chemistry with my new teammates,” Blue said last Friday after the Jaguars completed their third day of OTAs at the team’s practice facility outside TIAA Bank Field.More from Jacksonville Jaguars NewsJacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdomJaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect nowJaguars News: This division rival might be making a big moveFormer Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram officially gets the franchise tag: 3 takeaways“I have known a few guys from playing against them for the past five years. The transition hasn’t been that big.”"
Blue, who stands 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, has had his moments with the Texans, rushing for 2,407 yards and eight touchdowns over his career. the former LSU star left Baton Rouge the year before Leonard Fournette set foot on campus. No, the two could form one of the better running back tandems in the NFL.
Blue isn’t the only running back who has made Jacksonville their home this offseason as the Jaguars signed Thomas Rawls and Benny Cunningham this offseason as well and drafted Ryquell Armstead out of Temple in the fifth round.
Blue’s connection to the Jaguars goes beyond Fournette, where they both grew up in the same area of Louisiana. A.J. Bouye is a former teammate from their time together with Houston. Terry Robiskie, the Jaguars news running backs coach, is from LSU. Those bonds are making the transition easier.
One thing that might change this year in the Jaguars offense is the use of the running back in the passing game. Quarterback Nick Foles told the media last week he will utilize whoever is in the backfield on passing downs if the opportunity arises.
"“There are times where … The backs are going to get a lot of balls. If you look at the history, I like getting the ball to the back at different times,” he said. “They are a huge part of the offense. Getting them out in a five-man pro [formation], getting them in an empty formation – hey if their protection is checked in, getting them out so we have another guy down there. If we check it down, you have to get the first down. They have really done a good job. Once again, it’s a great start.”"
The biggest thing Blues said about his new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is he wants to win. That should help everyone on this side of the football. Telling the players to go out and compete and win is something the 28-year-old is excited about.
Blue should be the primary backup in this offense. His ability to step in should he need to be a spot starter gives Jacksonville options to work with. Being a veteran who has enjoyed playoff success is also something the locker room should benefit from.