JACKSONVILLE – Look Ahead Wednesday.
Let’s get to it …
Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC
So, what are the expectations for newly signed running back Jamaal Charles? How do you see the rotation being split if T.J. Yeldon is healthy? What about when Leonard Fournette comes back?
The Jaguars made a slew of roster moves Tuesday – primarily at running back, but also at tight end. Signed were Charles, running back Dave Williams and tight end David Grinnage, the latter of whom was promoted from the Jaguars’ practice squad. They also placed running back Corey Grant and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on injured reserve and released running back Brandon Wilds. Seferian-Jenkins could be designated to return in mid-December if his rehabilitation from core muscle surgery goes as expected. The best way to view Tuesday’s moves are as ways to function at those positions until the front-line players – Fournette at running back and Seferian-Jenkins at tight end – return. I expect Yeldon to get most of the snaps – i.e., 80 percent or so – at running back when healthy, with Charles a reliable backup and Williams there if the other two are unavailable. When Fournette returns, I would expect to see Fournette and Yeldon getting most of the snaps with Charles available if needed. This is not to knock Charles; here’s hoping he defies logic and is a superstar for this team. But logic dictates that a 31-year-old running back available in October will be doing great work if he can function adequately as a backup and get the Jaguars through a difficult time. If he does that, the Jaguars would be ecstatic.
Sean from Jacksonville
So ... Norwell should have been an anchor of sorts on the offensive line. I'm not sure if the Jags are getting their money's worth from his signing so far. What is the general consensus on his performance to date?
Andrew Norwell, who signed as an unrestricted free agent from Carolina, has been fine. That doesn’t mean he has been bad and it doesn’t mean he has been a disappointment. It means he has been OK. He was set back by a training-camp calf injury and was playing better-than-average early in the season. He now is dealing with a foot injury. Let’s see if he’s better than fine when healthy.
Art from Drexel Hill
This would be a good week for Richardson to be healthy.
Jaguars rookie tackle Will Richardson Jr. is healthy. He has been inactive and this season because as a fourth-round rookie tackle he hasn’t been perceived as ready to play. I expect the Jaguars to go with Josh Walker at left tackle this week if Josh Wells can’t play, and I expect the rest of the offensive line – right tackle Jermey Parnell, right guard A.J. Cann, center Brandon Linder and Norwell – to all be limited in practice and play Sunday. In that scenario, I would expect Tyler Shatley and Richardson to be active and for Richardson to need to be prepared to play in the event of an injury to two players.
Jeff from God’s Country
Big O, do you think going forward the Jags go with four running backs to start the season since Fournette can't stay healthy? I hope he doesn't get the "Fragile Fournette" label! We're still 100 percent better than we used to be! C’mon Jags & Jag fans: Let's go whip the Cowpokes at Jerry's Place and get past that nasty L ! DTWD DDDDUUUVVAAALLLLLL
I was surprised the Jaguars didn’t start this season with four running backs – not necessarily because Fournette “can’t stay healthy,” but because a team that depends on running backs so heavily in the offense would seem to need depth. I assume they will consider that possibility moving forward, though my bigger assumption is that they’re not thinking as much about next season yet as they are about this one.
Brian from Greenwood, IN
Is it too much to expect a little more consistency from a fifth-year starting quarterback? This “good Blake/bad Blake routine has gone on way too long. This team is not good enough to survive “Bad Blake” games, which we see way too often.
I’m not holding my breath for Consistent Blake. It hasn’t happened yet. What has happened is general improvement, and more good performances and victories than before. One thing we know is the Jaguars must play well around Blake, particularly in terms of pass protection. Improving on the Kansas City performance on that front would go a long way.
Ken from Jacksonville
When is it time that the defense – in particular one overrated cornerback – stops reading stats from last year? Just shut up and play the game!
I’m not sure what defense/team you’re referencing. The Jaguars to my knowledge don’t have any overrated cornerbacks.
Damon from America’s Finest City
People need to relax; the season isn't over. My big complaint is the front office didn’t do enough to bring in playmakers on the offensive side of the ball and it's showing. Donte Moncrief, Seferian-Jenkins, Niles Paul. These guys are not game-changers and are average at best. The front office has done an amazing job bringing in playmakers on defense, but why can't they seem to do that on offense? They are failing on that side of the ball big time and that's the real problem with this team.
Paul wasn’t really brought in to play a major role on offense; he was more of a special teams ace – and he is very good on special teams. As far as wide receiver Donte Moncrief and Seferian-Jenkins … you’re right that they are not playmakers on the level of defensive end Calais Campbell, defensive tackle Malik Jackson, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, cornerback A.J. Bouye and so on. But for what they paid Moncrief and Seferian-Jenkins, they weren’t going to be impact players on that level. You must pick where you spend your big money in the salary-cap era. The Jaguars for the most part chose defense. They chose to emphasize the running game on offense, and a big part of the running game is injured. Whether the approach was right or wrong can be debated, but that’s why the offense isn’t making as many plays as the defense.
Joseph from Sacramento, CA
Blake loves making the front office of Dave Caldwell and poor Tom Coughlin look kind of silly for making the investment in him. He’s definitely not taking this team to no Super Bowl.
Bortles doesn’t love playing poorly, though he did struggle Sunday as much as he has in some time. I don’t know if he will or won’t take this team to “no Super Bowl.” I do know the Jaguars came within four minutes of one with him at quarterback, so it may be a bit extreme to say it never can happen.
Yoav from St. Johns, FL
With league rules favoring the offense more and more, has the saying about great defense beats great offense been neutralized? If so, are the Jaguars the best horse buggy in a world of Model T’s?
I don’t know that the Jaguars’ success or failure can be used to paint such a broad-brush picture of the NFL. But if it can, remember: The Jaguars came within four minutes of the Super Bowl with a great defense last season. The league hasn’t changed all that much in nine months.
Fred from Naples, FL
Good teams don't lose two in a row. I believe we have heard that ad nauseum the past few weeks. well, guess what? They don't lose one, win one, lose one, win one. Well, you get my drift.
This actually isn’t true. The Jaguars last season went 1-1 three consecutive times to start the season, then their 7-1 record over the next eight games defined the regular season. The Jaguars need to stay afloat in this stretch, get the offensive line right and get Fournette back. That’s a lot of things to need to get done. It won’t be easy. Most NFL seasons aren’t.
Wade from Westside
With Fournette being injured will he still attend meetings, practice and travel with the team or is he in treatments all day?
Fournette will attend meetings and undergo treatment while out with a hamstring injury but won’t practice until doctors clear him to do so. He likely will travel, though that’s often decided on a case-by-case basis with injured players based on how travel will affect their recovery.
Daniel formerly from Day One
It always seems like many of your readers are not happy unless they have something to complain about. So, you must have a lot of happy readers this week?
They’re just giddy.