Jacksonville Jaguars HC Urban Meyer looking for fighters
The Jacksonville Jaguars have lost two consecutive preseason games. Heading into Week 3 of the preseason, they need to regroup and work on several things. Head coach Urban Meyer spoke to the local media after the Jags 21-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints and touched on several topics, including some of the things that went wrong.
Meyer said that even though it doesn’t look like it, the team opened up the playbook a bit. He then emphasized the need for having competitors on the team.
"Didn’t look like it but we did just got to keep swinging man we’re gonna swing. I just told them I’m looking for fighters and I’m looking for competitors, we will have a locker room full of competitors and I think we got a bunch of them."
The Jaguars tried (without much success) to run the ball against the Saints. It’s true that you can’t just throw the ball and become a one-dimensional team but that’s where good playcalling comes in. Meyer also acknowledged that New Orleans controlled the line of scrimmage. The Jaguars were without guard Andrew Norwell, center Brandon Linder and tackle Cam Robinson. You can always expect a dropoff in performance when the backups have to play. Still, Jacksonville’s offensive line has to do a better job of opening up running lanes and protecting quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
The Jacksonville Jaguars can stop the run but not the pass.
The defensive side of the ball got a mixed review. On one hand, Meyer thinks the Jaguars did a “solid” job of stopping the ball, allowing just 63 rushing yards and an average of 3.0 yards per carry for the night. However, he pointed out that they need to make sure they “get the corners ready to starting making plays in man coverage.”
The Jaguars’ defense had no answer for Saints quarterback Jameis Winston early in the game. The first overall pick in 2015’s draft was 9-of-10 for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Also, wide receiver Marquez Callaway had no trouble carving up Jacksonville’s secondary regardless of who was covering him.
This is the second game in a row that the Jaguars’ defense allows opposing offenses to throw the ball at ease. In Week 1 of the preseason, the Cleveland Browns completed 31 of 44 passes for 319 yards and two touchdowns. Showing the ability to stop the run is a step in the right direction, but that doesn’t help much when you can’t stop teams from passing. As Meyer said, “there’s no secret sauce, we just have to keep working”.
On the bright side, it’s not too late to correct all the issues that have plagued the Jacksonville Jaguars in the past two games. Because of all the changes the team has made over the last few months, it’s easy to forget they are coming off a 1-15 season and have plenty of work to do before they can consistently win games. Their Week 3 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys will give them the chance to fine-tune whatever’s not working before the regular season starts.