JACKSONVILLE – Eight Jaguars experts – Rick Ballou, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Ashlyn Sullivan – are breaking down the Jaguars as the 2020 NFL season approaches; today's topic: Questions the experts have about the Jaguars entering the 2020 season …
Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter
What concerns me about the Jaguars entering 2020: This is a young team. Thirty players on the 90-man roster are rookies; 67 players have been in the league four seasons or less. For a second consecutive season, the Jaguars must learn a new offense – and through this pandemic they have been unable to work on this on the field.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
What concerns me about the Jaguars entering 2020: They're just so young. They lack veteran, elite players. There are some young guys who I think may be elite in time; some, such as defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen, are very close already. But they just don't have a lot of guys who have done it at an elite level. That is the biggest concern — lack of elite level, veteran players.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
What concerns me about the Jaguars entering 2020: I worry about the Jaguars in 2020 because they are clearly rebuilding the roster with youth, have a new offensive coordinator and also have a young quarterback – and also because a global pandemic prohibited any offseason workouts to start to put the new pieces of this Jaguars puzzle together. Teams that are more veteran, have consistency in coaching and have overall less change may be better positioned for success in 2020.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
What concerns me about the Jaguars entering 2020: The Jaguars are extremely young. It's hard to give them a position-by-position edge over many teams around the NFL – and if quarterback Gardner Minshew II struggles, the Jaguars really have nothing behind him. If the Jaguars' gamble of thinking highly about this offensive line doesn't hit, it will be hard for Minshew to be really good. This roster would have benefited from having veteran defensive end Calais Campbell lead the way, but he's gone; where will the Jaguars find definitive leaders? Also, the Jaguars have very little time to pull a new offensive and defensive philosophy together in camp – and that might be the biggest worry of all. The Jags could get off to a slow start; if that happens, the back end of the schedule is very difficult. The season could disappear quickly.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
What concerns me about the Jaguars entering 2020: Many things. Is the run defense as improved as the Jaguars believe? Are the tight ends improved? Is the offensive line as good as the team believes? But the biggest concern for the Jaguars entering 2020 is youth. Head Coach Doug Marrone likes a lot about this team, and he likes that this young team will be hungry and eager to compete. The question if there are enough players in their prime and enough experience to execute in clutch moments. Those on paper appear to be very significant concerns.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
What concerns me about the Jaguars entering 2020: I worry that Minshew either won't have the time he needs to execute from the pocket or that the former sixth-round pick doesn't have NFL starting ability to hang in there and make plays. The night before the final preseason game in 2019 I asked Marrone about his backup quarterback; his answer was Minshew hadn't won the job yet. Days later, he was the starter. A few months later, he was the face of the franchise. There's much to like but I'm not comfortable yet assuming he is the quarterback this team has searched for since Mark Brunell was traded to Washington after the 2003 season. He might be. I need to see it with my own eyes this season before I believe it.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
What concerns me about the Jaguars entering 2020: Youth. The Jaguars have 30 rookies on the roster, including 12 draft picks and 18 undrafted players. In a year where the salary cap is relatively tight, you might guess that most of the draft picks would make the team and maybe even an undrafted player or two. I don't care how good a rookie or draft pick someone was graded to be; this is still a different game from college and all rookies struggle at some point. Experience and NFL-caliber strength and size matters.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Digital reporter and host
What concerns me about the Jaguars entering 2020: I have questions about the Jaguars' offensive identity. How will new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden use running back Leonard Fournette? Who will be Minshew's go to threat in the middle of the field? How will they use rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr.'s athletic skills to their advantage? The Jaguars added offensive weapons in the draft and free agency. Now, the question is: how they will use them?