Penalties still a growing concern for the Jaguars this season

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Brandon Linder #65 (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Brandon Linder #65 (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /

Can the Jacksonville Jaguars find the right balance to avoid costly penalties that have plagued this team so far this season?

The image that remains fresh in my mind from this past weekend’s Jaguars win at Denver is an animated Leonard Fournette trying to calm left tackle Cam Robinson down after there was a skirmish on the field late in the game. The poignant moment once again illustrated two things.

First, Fournette is becoming more of a leader on this team by the day. The second is the Jaguars have dealt with unnecessary penalties for the past four weeks, that continue to burden them as they walk into Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers. It’s something head coach Doug Marrone has preached since becoming the head coach and continued to discuss with the media on Wednesday afternoon inside TIAA Bank Field.

"“It’s something we do address with players,” Marrone said as the Jaguars get ready to play the Carolina Panthers. “When you’re playing a very disciplined defense, you have to make sure you’re patient.“If you get behind on the chains, you’re not going to get first downs. They’re a good defense, and you’re not going to do it. You’re going to put a huge burden on yourself offensively.”"

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The Jaguars will be on the road once again, in a loud environment and with a running game that suddenly found its rhythm. The offensive line may have played its best game of the season, but penalties cost this team once again and can’t be the thing that keeps Jacksonville from winning its third game in a row.

For the season, the Jaguars are sixth in the NFL in penalties (35) but lead the league in holding penalties, something that comes with self-discipline and repetition.

Robinson, who still making his way back to his rookie form from a knee injury he suffered in his second season in the NFL said he and his teammates want to play error-free football.

"“Us as a unit, one thing we want to do is play clean football,” Robinson said during is time on Jaguars Happy Hour Wednesday. “When I say that, I mean pertaining to the penalties. We hurt ourselves with a lot of penalties. If we clean that up, the sky can be the limit for the offense.”"

As John Oehser pointed out in his story on, Robinson was one of the culprits who was called for holding on a play that would have been a touchdown catch by DJ Chark in the first half of the game while the Jaguars were trailing the Broncos.

Jacksonville, even in its run to the playoffs in 2017, was a team that played with a chip on its shoulder and has been on the receiving end of their share of penalties that have negated positive yardage or given their opponents better opportunities to score points. Marrone and his coaching staff look to change that each week.

He wants players to be in a better position so they opportunity for a penalty does not arise.

"“We’re going to continue to keep talking about it. I do think the players understand. It’s not something they don’t understand,” Marrone said. “I think in the heat of the battle, when they’re going out there and they’re trying to do their job, they have to become more disciplined at it and we have to better job coaching it.”"

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