Are you ready for some football? The Jaguars are more than ready because they want to show the world that 2018 was an anomaly.
The Jaguars 2018 season was a huge letdown for the team and fans. Will 2019 be a season to be proud of or more of the same?
The game against the Ravens on Thursday will be the first look at the new and improved edition of the Black and Teal. The Jaguars have made some changes in personnel but have also had some setbacks.
Telvin Smith’s retirement and rookie injuries are not good omens for 2019. Overall, however, Nick Foles, the growth of the wide receivers, and the improvement of other young players are very good signs.
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Assistant coaches are replaced and some veteran leaders are no longer on the team. The offense will be very different. Head coach John Harbaugh is still in place and highly respected around the NFL. The Ravens won their division in 2018. They will be a good opponent to test the Jaguars.
The NFL is driven by quarterbacks. It is obvious that the Ravens felt good enough about Jackson to trade Flacco and move forward. According to Penn Live.com, Jackson has had an up and down start.
"“After turning in mostly uneven performances during the spring and hitting rough patches during the summer, Jackson has strung together five solid practices,” Aaron Kasinitz writes."
He had a great rookie half-season but the second year is more challenging due to other teams having him on film. Time will tell.
The Ravens drafted two wide receivers in 2019, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Miles Boykin. Brown has been injured but returned to practice. During his absence, Miles Boykin, a third-round pick, has wowed writers for Ebony Bird and With the First Pick on FanSided.com. He has been compared to New Orleans Saints Michael Thomas. Two potential star receivers are a huge plus for a team that has lacked receivers with the “wow” factor. Also, the Ravens have two young and talented tight ends in Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst.
The Ravens have a new offensive coordinator in a proven veteran coach Greg Roman.
"Per NFL Spin Zone, “Roman is a better fit in Baltimore than his predecessor. Roman has experience working with dual threat quarterbacks and his offenses have featured efficient rushing attacks and a proven propensity to protect the football.”"
The Ravens head into 2019 with the loss of team leaders much like the Jaguars of 2018 and we know how that turned out. There have been fights and players kicked off the field during training camp. This could mean nothing or everything. As stated before the Ravens are a team in transition.
Most of the Ravens articles are about the offense. This team has been known as a defensive team for years but change may be coming.
Bottom line – these are two teams looking for a new identity with new quarterbacks and offensive coordinators that are meeting on the practice field and their first preseason game.
It’s a great test for both teams. Go Jaguars!