The Jaguars’ decision not to give rookies playing time is baffling.
It looks like Trevor Lawrence may be the long-term answer at quarterback in Jacksonville and cornerback Tyson Campbell is here to stay but what about the Jaguars’ 2021 rookie class? Offensive tackle Walker Little started one game in place of Cam Robinson but has otherwise remained on the sidelines in 2021. Similarly, safety Andre Cisco got some snaps in the first two weeks but then saw his playing dime decrease.
With a 2-10 record and no chances of sneaking into the playoffs, you would think this would be a good time for both Little to get a look at right tackle. Jawaan Taylor has struggled with penalties this season and the rookie may have a higher ceiling. Similarly, Andrew Wingard’s tackling skills are average and he isn’t great in coverage. At this point, it doesn’t hurt the Jaguars to give Cisco the opportunity to show what he can do in extended action.
However, Urban Meyer cited the team’s desire to win games as a reason for not playing the rookies.
"Yeah, yeah, I’d like to win some games. That’s number one. And then certainly, you know, Cisco got some playing time yesterday. Walker is a guy that played one game will play pretty well. But you know we’re not second best so we’re gonna try to if they can help us win a game they’re gonna be in there. Good marks week is back at all yesterday I just muscular should be fine."
Wait a minute! Meyer’s reasoning would make sense if the Jaguars were in the thick of the playoff race. They aren’t, and Taylor and Wingard aren’t difference-makers. Would Little flop at right tackle? Maybe but there’s also a chance he can solidify the position and the only way to find out is to give him the starting nod. The same applies to Cisco. Let him play and see what he can do. If he struggles, at least you know will probably need to address the position in the offseason but riding the bench robs him of the chance to make an impression.
Give Cisco and Walker more playing time. At this point, what does the coaching staff have to lose?