3 unanswered questions the Jacksonville Jaguars face in 2020

Josh Allen #41 of the Jacksonville Jaguars forces a fumble by Marcus Mariota #8 (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Josh Allen #41 of the Jacksonville Jaguars forces a fumble by Marcus Mariota #8 (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

With only a few days remaining until the start of training camp, the Jacksonville Jaguars still face tough questions heading into the 2020 season.

As the Jacksonville Jaguars begin to trickle into TIAA Bank Field over the next week, the team that finally takes the field for training camp isn’t the same as the one the organization built just a year ago.

The names have changed. The roster looks different. The locker room is younger. The potential of a Yannick Ngakoue trade is still there. Never has a season meant more to the growth of this franchise.

Unfortunately for the fans who have endured losing season after losing season, it’s the same old song and dance. It looks more and more like 2017 was an aberration. The coaching staff led by Doug Marrone and the front office headed by general manager David Caldwell hope to change that feeling.

But as you and I know, it will take more than a year to accomplish. There is hope. The roster could surprise us. The coaching staff might make the right adjustments. The clock continues to tick. You get the idea.

The national narrative remains the same – these Jaguars will finish last in the AFC South in 2020. The three teams ahead of have made changes as well. If anything, the Jaguars could miraculously leapfrog the Houston Texans in the division, but plenty would have to happen.

Tennessee and Indianapolis should be playoff contenders from the start of the season. The Jacksonville Jaguars face a tough schedule, but the front half is easier to navigate.

There are still holes to fill on this roster and questions the team must answer prior to the start of the 2020 season.

Now that the roster is smaller (80 players) and there are no preseason games, moving the right chess pieces is paramount for any modicum of success here in North Florida.

Here are three unanswered questions the Jacksonville Jaguars face in 2020.

Is Josh Allen ready to lead this defense?

Jaguars fans hope so. After an impressive rookie season with 10.5 sacks and the ability to play above expectations, what is next for Josh Allen?

The front office stripped down the defense this offseason, sending Calais Campbell to Baltimore. It could affect the second-year player as Allen has credited the veteran for helping him last season and mentoring him on and off the field.

Allen is a special player who may play better in 2020, but the stats may not show. There is plenty of raw talent that is still a work in progress. But is Allen the guy to become the leader of this defense and will the scheme funnel around him this coming season?

We know defensive coordinator Todd Wash wants to use his 4-3 game plan once again this season, which does benefit Allen and those played in the system last year. I’m curious how defenses plan for Allen and if losing Campbell on the right side of the line affects him more than we thought it might.

How does the interior defensive line fit this season?

If Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash is still committed to playing his 4-3 scheme this season, then the interior defensive line will have to do better with the run defense this season.

Opponents could almost guarantee a solid game on the ground last season when they saw the Jaguars were their next opponent.

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A lot has been made that the loss of Marcell Dareus last season was the reason for such a porous defense. I’d say it has more to do with the players who replaced the veteran during the season and the lack of fundamental tackling that was the culprit.

The Jaguars brought in Al Woods from Seattle to help with the issues up front. They added DaVon Hamilton in the NFL Draft and can use multiple veterans to rotate in and out of the lineup.  There may be an opportunity for the front office to still sign a veteran free agent.

The key to all of this is continuity. I believer there will be more 3-4 sub-packages. It also means Abry Jones and Taven Bryan must play better than they showed last season.

What if Gardner Minshew gets hurt?

I’m sure you didn’t expect this one, but it’s a question the Jacksonville Jaguars must answer if it does happen. Gardner Minshew is the face of this franchise.

Marrone said he liked Mike Glennon and what he brings to the quarterback room. It was also a safe addition to the team this offseason. I suspect he and Joshua Dobbs will fight for the backup role and whoever loses the battle will be cut.

Jake Luton, the Jaguars sixth-round pick is a developmental player who should wind up on the practice squad. That said, if something happens to Minshew, then this team will have more issues than they need.

If the offense is better – and by all accounts it should be – then any injury at the quarterback position is a major blow to this offense. At that moment fans will see how valuable Minshew is to this organization.

This season is a bit different. The game plan offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has installed should play to all three signal caller’s strengths. Fans and the team did not expect Nick Foles to get hurt 11 plays into the 2019 season. That’s football.

I’m sure the Jaguars coaching staff has a backup plan just in case. And then, we still might see the team make a deal for another veteran passer.

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