Now that the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the practice field, how will offensive coordinator Jay Gruden make the team better in 2020?
Working with Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterback Gardner Minshew and taking a long look at the team’s wide receivers. Developing a system that allows for Leonard Fournette to produce in a passing-oriented game plan. The use of tight ends – provided they are healthy. It’s a job that must be constructed for success.
Gruden, who has been working this offseason to implement change as well as success, has been happy with what he has seen so far, but he also told the local media this past week it is still early in the process.
It’s a great analogy. The Jaguars offense couldn’t get itself going last season, scoring 18.8 points a game. The red zone was the team’s worst enemy and the running game could not score from the goal line. There are several key areas that need improvement, and with Minshew learning yet another offense this offseason, how the passing game takes shape is crucial to the success of the team in 2020.
“We still have a lot of time,” Gruden said. “Without preseason games, what that gives us is more time to have walkthroughs and get the looks we need to see getting ready for Indianapolis [the September 13 regular-season opener) and the teams we play as opposed to getting ready for a team that you’re going to play in the preseason that you’ll never see again.
“We’re going to have plenty of time to get what we need to get in, understanding that we have a lot of young guys and guys in this offense for the first time.”
The cupboard is not bare in Jacksonville as there are weapons at Gruden’s disposal, some who might surprise even the coaching staff this coming season. There is speed on the outside in the passing game. The running game now has the use of a fullback and Leonard Fournette.
Minshew should also benefit from the new system, taking advantage of his ability to move in and out of the pocket.
There are tight ends on the roster, who is healthy, can become X-factors in the red zone and on third down.
This offense should not be as bad as many national analysts think. Having started to put the process together in a virtual setting, the players must use what they have been taught so far and put into motion on the practice fields. Then, as needed, Gruden will make adjustments and players will continue to learn on the fly.
“We’re going to have plenty of time to get what we need to get in, understanding that we have a lot of young guys and guys in this offense for the first time,” Gruden said.
Gruden has plenty of depth to work with at all areas of the offense (with maybe the exception of the quarterback. Not many national analysts think the offense will show signs of progress in 2020. Gruden and the coaching staff are working hard to change that perception.
“We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m excited about the guys. You have to guys who are willing to learn and willing to work. These guys are willing to learn and do things the way we want to do things now. Some things will be similar. Some things will be a little different,” Gruden added.
“We have a long way to do, but I’ve been impressed with every one of them so far.”