The Jacksonville Jaguars had a few encouraging individual performances the last three weeks. But collectively, they've struggled as a team. This has resulted in losing their last two games. Center Luke Fortner met with the media Monday and talked about the things the Jags are currently going through.
Fortner says head coach Doug Pederson told the team they're not where they want to be, and they'll "have to work every single day, every single week to get to that point." The sophomore center later says that they'll need to go back to the drawing board to fix whatever issues the offense currently has.
"You come back and you reevaluate the process and look at the details and little things we've been doing," Fortner told the media. "And like I said, we had great plays here and there, critical situations we struggled. Whether it's more of a focus on that or more of a focus on the little details, that's something we have to look at and evaluate this week and for the weeks continuing on," Fortner said.
Later in the exchange, Fortner says that sometimes it takes time for a unit (or a team) because they can't simulate game situations in practice.
"The whole offense in general, there's things that happen in games that as hard as you try and simulate in practice, there's just things that happen on a football field. Things tend to go wrong when you least want to and I think it's those things that need to get worked out. If you saw the same thing last year, we'll continue to get better," Fortner said.
Fortner later says that the team is getting in their own way and he has a point. Drops, mistakes that can be avoided on special teams, and miscommunication in the defensive backfield have plagued the Jaguars the last two weeks. I
Fortner has contributed to Jacksonville's struggles. Although he's only given up one sack in 2023, he's scored a Pro Football Focus overall grade of 55.6. It's true that PFF grades aren't the only way to measure a player's success or lack thereof but you will be hard-pressed to find someone who thinks he's playing well.
The Jaguars must get improved play from their offensive line
The good thing about the Jaguars' struggles is that they're relatively easy to identify. Their inability to protect the quarterback, pave the way for the running game, and drops at crucial times have affected the offense's ability to put points on the scoreboard.
The good news is that reinforcements are in the way. Cam Robinson will have served his game-four suspension to start the 2023 season after the Atlanta Falcons game in London. The coaching staff could plug him back at left tackle and switch Walker Little to left guard. Even though Little doesn't have much experience at the position, benching incumbent Ben Bartch would send a message that everyone needs to execute or else get demoted.
Simply, the Jaguars have too much talent, especially on offense, to be 1-2. Then again, it's pointless to list all the weapons they have if they can manage to rack up wins. As Luke Fortner noted, they have to get back to work and start doing what helped them finish the 2022 season on a hot streak.
The truth is that the Jaguars aren't very good right now. Unless they start piling up victories, everyone should be skeptical of the things they can accomplish in 2023.