Can Will Richardson’s move to left tackle become the catalyst of the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line success in 2020?
The look of the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line will be different in 2020. Whether that means it will be better after an average season 2019 is anyone’s guess. As head coach Doug Marrone spoke to the media on Friday via zoom, it is clear he and the coaching staff have a direct plan for how the offensive line materializes this offseason.
What is evident is versatility will be important, especially with Will Richardson, who will move from right guard to left tackle this season. Marrone likes the idea of using Richardson’s ability to play both positions and the former tackle who moved to the right guard spot last season only to move back to his more natural position can help the offensive line grow and adjust this coming season.
"“In specifically with Will, I’m gonna go back a little bit to the draft, you know, we were looking, you know, we were going to take a lineman, and we were thinking about, you know, do we want to take a tackle, do we want to take an inside player,” Marrone said."
More from Jacksonville Jaguars News
- Jacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdom
- Jaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect now
- Jaguars News: This division rival might be making a big move
- Former Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”
- Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram officially gets the franchise tag: 3 takeaways
Last year before the NFL Draft, I specifically asked Marrone about Richardson and his place with the team. He said Richardson, a fourth-round pick out of North Carolina State who never saw the field in 2018 due to injuries, had to come in and work hard in training camp.
That he did, surprising many of us who watched him on the practice field. He and A.J. Cann were essentially neck-and-neck all through camp.
"“Where we were drafting when we had slotted what we wanted to take, we didn’t want to limit ourselves to a certain position, meaning that Will gave us the flexibility,” Marrone added. “Because, you know, he had played inside and played well at times, he played tackle and I thought he played well at times, for us to go out and get the best offensive lineman, you know, that we thought in the draft at that time.”"
The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t do a lot cosmetically to the offensive line this offseason. Tyler Shatley was re-signed in free agency, which gives offensive line coach George Warhop more options upfront. Ben Bartch was drafted in the fourth round out of Division III St. John’s (MINN). He figures to have a future at the guard position. For the most part, the save five players the team counted on last season will once again lace up their cleats and get after it.
It’s one of the more curious decisions of the team’s front office. How it plays out will have a direct impact on the passing game and how well the running game and Leonard Fournette are able to improve.
Starting left tackle Cam Robinson walks into this season two years removed from an ACL injury that ruined his second season in the league and made his third campaign a bit of a challenge. The left side of the line must be better this year.
Because of what he has shown in a year’s time, it may not be too far off to think Richardson could challenge to be the starting left tackle. There is no doubt Robinson will be pushed in camp.
"“And the one thing about Will is he’s shown progress, and shown the ability to play and shown consistency when we kept him in one position, so I want to be real, you know, cognizant of, of what we do with him, you know, because I think if we stick in one position, he has the ability to grow and get better,” Marrone said.“And he has the traits to be a starter, you know, somewhere on that line, but we’ve got to put him in a spot and we will put him at left tackle right now.”"