JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser’s Jaguars notes and observations: Running back Leonard Fournette on Adrian Peterson, quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich talks offensive issues, defensive coordinator Todd Wash talks containing Redskins quarterback Josh Johnson, more …
1.Leonard Fournette made clear Thursday how he feels about what Adrian Peterson of the Washington Redskins is doing this season as a 33-year-old running back. “It’s amazing, to be honest,” Fournette said as the Jaguars (4-9) prepared to play the Redskins (6-7) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday at 1 p.m. Fournette, the Jaguars’ second-year running back, said Peterson has set the standard for players at the position – having rushed for 13,132 yards and 106 touchdowns in 11 NFL seasons. Peterson, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, has rushed for 872 yards and seven touchdowns this season and needs 128 yards to surpass 1,000 yards for an eighth time. “Just seeing what he’s doing at his age right now … you don’t see that too often, especially at the position he’s playing – running back,” Fournette said. “His standards are high. We respect him.”
2.As Scott Milanovich sees it, the offensive issues in recent weeks have been a group thing. “We’re all responsible for that,” Milanovich said. “It’s my job to get these guys in position to make plays. And when they are in position to make plays, they have to execute them. It’s been a little bit of all that.” Milanovich, the Jaguars’ quarterbacks coach, took over play-calling duties two games ago after the dismissal of offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. That came the same week that Cody Kessler moved into the starting lineup for longtime starter Blake Bortles. The Jaguars, after scoring just over 20 points per game in four games before the change, have scored 15 points in the last two games. The lone touchdown in that span was a seven-yard pass from Kessler to Dede Westbrook. Kessler passed for 240 yards in a loss to the Tennessee Titans last Thursday after passing for 150 yards in a 6-0 victory over Indianapolis in his first Jaguars start. “We’re trying to get it down the field,” Milanovich said. “Cody threw some more down-the-field throws this past week. But you can’t force it, either. You have to have the routes mesh with the coverages and you have to get what you’re hunting or you’re going to get yourself into trouble with turnovers. We’ll continue to work on that. Cody and the receivers are getting more of a rapport. We’ll keep taking our shots downfield.”
3.Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash knows enough about Josh Johnson to know the challenge. “Once he goes through his progression, he’s looking to run,” Wash said of Johnson, who on Sunday will be the Redskins’ fourth starting quarterback in the last five games. Because he hasn’t started an NFL game since 2011, there is comparatively little tape of Johnson from which to game plan. Wash, who was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ coaching staff when Johnson played there from 2008-2011, was jokingly asked if Johnson’s tape was color. “It wasn’t HD back then,” Wash said with a smile. “We were laughing at that.” Wash was more serious when discussing the Jaguars’ struggles against mobile quarterbacks this season. “We have to make sure we’re disciplined within our rush lanes,” Wash said. “When we pressure him, if we do decide to pressure him, we have to be in our right gaps with nobody getting bounced around. If we’re going to spy the guy we have to make sure we’re not leaving between the hashes to keep him in the pocket. Hopefully we have a good plan to go in and try to control him.”
4.DJ Chark Jr. remained one of the most prominent names on the Jaguars’ injury report Thursday, with the rookie wide receiver missing practice a second consecutive day. Chark has missed the last three games with a quadriceps injury and Head Coach Doug Marrone said Wednesday Chark isn’t expected to play against Washington. Also out for a second consecutive day Thursday were linebacker Leon Jacobs (quadriceps) and right tackle Jermey Parnell (knee); Jacobs sustained his injury against Tennessee last Thursday. Marrone said Wednesday left tackle Josh Wells could be activated from injured reserve this week after missing eight games with a groin injury; if Parnell doesn’t play Sunday, Marrone said Wells and Ereck Flowers could start at tackle. Safety Cody Davis missed practice Thursday with an illness while offensive lineman Josh Walker (ankle), tight end James O’Shaughnessy (ankle) and nose tackle Abry Jones (shin) practiced full for a second consecutive day. Kicker Josh Lambo was added to the injury report with a groin injury and worked limited Thursday.