After a season where the offensive line made plenty of mistakes, Jacksonville Jaguars center Brandon Linder hopes this unit plays better.
The offensive line is still a major topic of conversation regarding the Jacksonville Jaguars.
While the unit remained healthy for the most part in 2019, there were major areas of concern, including the fact the team led the NFL in offensive holding penalties, which didn’t help move the football down the field with a suspect offense trying its best to score points.
The running game was pedestrian despite the 1,152 yards running back Leonard Fournette ran for. He found the end zone just three times.
Quarterback Gardner Minshew played in 14 games, threw for 3,271 yards, and 21 touchdowns. He threw just six interceptions, but at times looked like he was Fran Tarkenton moving in and out of the pocket, scrambling to keep plays alive.
The bottom line is as a unit, this group must play better and eliminate mistakes. It was something center Brandon Linder talked about on Wednesday when he spoke to the local media in a virtual conference.
"“We always want to limit the penalties we have,” he said. “We want to have none.”"
Perfection would be amazing, but we all know it is unrealistic. The Jaguars front five must continue to find continuity under offensive line coach George Warhop. While Linder is the anchor of the unit and had a solid season, he must count on his other four teammates to do their part to erase simple mistakes.
One of those teammates, right tackle Jawaan Taylor, had a good rookie season and was arguably the best player of the bunch, but he too needs to get better at drawing flags and costing the Jacksonville Jaguars forward progress.
The Jacksonville Jaguars gave up 41 sacks last season between Gardner Minshew and Nick Foles. It wasn’t the worst number in the NFL, but it is certainly one they must reduce if they have a chance to win football games in 2020.
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"“I know there was a big emphasis on hands last year, hands in tight,” he said. “They were looking for it. That’s what they were telling us before the game, so they just made an emphasis on it last year.”"
Even minor adjustments could mean the difference in a touchdown versus a field goal this season.
If there is a bright side for the Jacksonville Jaguars it is that all five starters on the offensive line return this season, which means continuity will remain a positive. Now all five of those players, including Linder must work harder than last year to be better.
"“It’s going to be huge (all five starters returning). I thought we did some good things last year and having another year together and Cam Robinson’s another year healthy coming off that ACL. Andrew Norwell is looking great, everyone’s really looking great, A.J. Cann, Jawaan Taylor did really great things as a rookie, so it’s going to be exciting this year, you’ll have to wait and see but it’s going to be good things.”"