3 Reasons why Leonard Fournette may struggle next season
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has a lot of work to do if he is going to be successful in 2019. Here are some reasons why he will have a poor season.
Leonard Fournette is a talented player, but it seemed that he struggled to find his footing last season. The Jaguars cannot afford another season like the one he and the team experienced last season. Here are three reasons as to why Fournette may struggle once again in 2019,.
Previously I discussed why Leonard Fournette would have a successful season, but many are still a bit hesitant to jump back on the former first-round draft pick’s train once more. It is understandable to have fears about Fournette next season. He is the feature workhouse back and the Jaguars are going to need him to perform well.
Here are three reason’s why Fournette may struggle throughout the upcoming season.
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1) Injury history is a hard thing to beat
If I could describe the running style of Leonard Fournette, I think the best words to describe it would be Hulk-like. He is a big bruising back, he runs fast, he runs hard, and he runs angry. He, sometimes literally, invites contact (remember Mike Mitchell via Jaguars.com). This running style is fun to watch, but unfortunately it is very dangerous. The one thing that harder to tackle than Fournette is a history of injuries.
He has yet to play an entire season. His rookie year he missed three games, and last season he missed half of the year. If he can’t stay on the field then it’s going to be hard to build chemistry with the offensive line, build confidence, and get back into football shape.
Next season is going to be a fresh start for everyone on the team, and the offense especially. A new quarterback, a new offensive coordinator, and the offensive line coming back healthy is going to allow for better opportunities than last year.
2) A new scheme
While a fresh start is going to be a good thing when looking at how much the offense struggled last year, it is important to remember that with the fresh start comes an all new scheme, play-calling, and style that has to be understood. The new scheme is going to allow for new opportunities but until players can grasp and understand concepts it may be a challenge.
Leonard Fournette is going to have to understand the gap concepts, the types of blocks the offensive lineman will be doing such as a zone blocking style or a power running scheme.
Open running lanes that will be available will be based on the gameplan that John DeFilippo puts together. Whatever the case is it will be an adjustment and the offense may struggle along with Fournette especially in the beginning of the season.
3) A lack of depth
One thing that Jacksonville has been blessed with in the past is very good depth at the running back position. TJ Yeldon, Chris Ivory, and Carlos Hyde were all backup running backs that Jacksonville could rely on behind Leonard Fournette.
Now though the running back depth is very limited. There isn’t a backup who can be trusted to provide quality minutes.
The issue is that a lot of the workload will fall on Leonard’s shoulders and he will not have a replacement who can come in and give him a decent amount of rest. Jacksonville did draft running back Ryquell Armstead from Temple in the fifth round of the draft. They also signed Alfred Blue and Thomas Rawls but they are either unproven players or players more fit for very limited action. None of them can share a workload with Fournette.
If he doesn’t have someone who he can share the workload with he may grow fatigued, or get injured and that could lead to him struggle again this season.