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A Dim Light at the end of the Tunnel

#1

As long and oppressive as this offseason and dead season has been for football fans, there is hope on the horizon.

In less than two weeks, Jaguars training camp will open!

With this in mind, here are some of the things I am looking for in training camp.

1.  Exactly how much of an upgrade will Nick Foles be over Bortles?  Months before the Jaguars signed Foles, I maintained that if the team were to eventually move on from Bortles, it would and should eventually do so with a veteran QB, and I was thinking Foles or Carr mostly.  In the right offenses, he has shown himself capable of doing some very good things.  Under Chip Kelly in 2013, he threw for a 27-2 TD-INT ratio, which is insane.  After a nightmarish experience under Jeff Fisher he almost retired, but instead had his interest in football renewed under QB whisperer Andy Reid.  While he wasn't the starter, in his limited experience there, he put up decent numbers.  He then returned to Philadelphia, and under Doug Pedersen, Foles took over for an injured Carson Wentz the past two seasons, and led the Eagles to a Super Bowl win over the Patriots, and another playoff run that fell just short against the Saints.  But still there are the questions.  Why wasn't he a starter, either in KC or Philly during his second stint?  Why did his stint with the Rams go so disastrously?  Then there is the possibility-no matter how remote or unpopular-that Bortles was not as bad as his time here might indicate.  It's possible Foles may not be a substantial improvement over Bortles because Bortles wasn't so bad.  Ultimately, like every other QB, Foles' success will hinge in part on surrounding talent.  If the team can not provide him with an adequate supporting cast, his results may not be much better than Bortles.  That said, I believe he will be an upgrade over Bortles.  With this in mind, the remainder of the conversation will focus on the surrounding talent.

2.  How long will it take the Jaguars to re-sign Yannick Ngakoue?  There is an argument that the Jaguars-Ngakoue aside-is a loaded defense.  Calais Campbell has had double digit sacks the past two seasons.  Most observers believe the Jaguars got a day one draft day steal when Josh Allen fell to them at 7.  Willie McGinest predicted a double digit sack season for the prized rookie.  Myles Jack remains one of the most athletic LBs in the league and is a true three down player at a position where 3 down players are increasingly rare.  Meanwhile, the secondary is possibly the best 1-2 tandem (if not trio if you count DJ Hayden) in the league with Ramsey and Bouye.  But make no mistake, this team needs Ngakoue in the fold longer team to continue the dominant play.  He is a leader by example and productivity, earning more sacks in his first three seasons than more highly drafted and heralded Bosa with the Chargers.

3.  Outside of QB, the biggest question on offense is how the offensive line will rebound.  By season's end, four of the team's five opening day starters along the O-Line were in injured reserve.  There is talk LT Cam Robinson may not be ready to start the season.  That would not be good if this is true.  But hopefully, his injury is sufficiently healed for him to return against KC.  Big ticket free agent Andrew Norwell had, IIRC a shoulder injury that sidelined him for much of the year.  Linder, who has been an interior stalwart for this team since he was drafted in 2014, missed about half of the season with an injury.   RT Jermey Parnell ended up on IR last year, and has been replaced by rookie RT Jawan Taylor.  If Foles and the team overall is to succeed, the left side of the OL has to completely recover and rebound from their injury plagued 2018, and Taylor will have to be all the team hopes for.

4.  Is Quentin Williams ready to fill in the void left by Telvin Smith's departure?  Even with the occasional freelancing and lack of bulk to hold the point of attack, Telvin Smith was a playmaker and leader for this team and will be missed.  The team unexpectedly drafted Williams in the 3rd round and continues to get a lot of criticism for the pick.  That criticism will linger until he proves himself up to the task.  Expect opposing offenses to attack underneath to the left flat until Williams-or whoever- answers that question.

5.  Who will emerge as the team's playmakers at WR?  While Cole showed big play ability in 2017 and early last year, his production fell off dramatically.  Dede Westbrook showed some big play ability in his first extended action, and by the end of last year was the team's most consistent receiver.  D.J. Chark was the second round rookie whose production disappointed last year.  Lee got a nice contract extension, and tore his ACL and possibly MCL, missing the entire 2018 season.  I'm betting he starts the regular season on PUP, if he is not cut with an injury settlement.  The team added former Foles' teammate in KC Chris Conley, who has size and speed, but never seemed to put it all together.  Terrell Pryor, a big QB converted to WR was added late, in addition to Marcus Simms.  While there is potential, as Parcells' stated, "Potential is French for 'not yet worth a damn.'"  There is nobody on the roster at this point that represents a matchup problem for opposing defenses.  There seems to be nobody who opposing defensive coordinators have to game plan to neutralize.

6.  How will the new coaches work out?  One of the most unfortunate things about last year's collapse is the bloodletting that occurred on the coaching staff as the season wore down.  Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, OL coach Pat Flaherty, DL coach Marion Hobby and DB coach Perry Fewell were all let go.  Those latter three guys coached positions of strength on this team, and each were responsible for the development of some good players at their positions and their units overall.  Hackett also called some very good games as OC.  What will their replacements be able to do?  We won't know until the season starts, but right now, I remain skeptical, and 'm not sold those dismissals were the right move.  One potentially strong addition is Capers, who is a "consultant."

To sum my thoughts....

OC:  Hackett to DeFilippo-Push for now.  I liked how Hackett called games generally, but Flip's work with Foles has to be a positive.

RB:  Wheatley to Robiskie-Improvement.  Wheatley wasn't bad at all, but Robiskie has been around forever and is still well respected around the league.

OL:  Flaherty to Warhop-I would say for now that is a step down.  Flaherty helped produce a season where the team led the league in rushing and was among the lowest in number of sacks allowed.  Warhop has big shoes to fill.

DL:  Hobby to Rebrovich-Right now a step down.  Rebrovich was assistant DL coach under Hobby back in 2017, and before then was in Buffahole.  But I know Hobby has developed Ngakoue, and Fowler.  But we'll see.

Sec:  Perry Fewell to Walton-I don't feel as bad about this move as I initially did after it happened.  But Fewell has been around for a long time, and as I said, the secondary generally wasn't a problem while he was here.

Capers?  Assuming the game has not passed him by, I think he can add some creative wrinkles to this defense, especially in terms of blitzing.  That has been the most consistent critique of the defense over the past few years.  If it's one thing Capers knows how to do, it's design a blitz.


7.     Will Fournette have his head on straight this year?  If he is healthy and reliable, he should provide the team with a punishing ground attack that will give Foles the balance needed for him to thrive.  If not...if he has knucklehead moments like he had last year...then the season is likely to be a disappointment, as will his draft selection.  By most accounts, he seems to have gotten off to a good start this offseason by training in Wyoming.  But then he got the arrest for the suspended license (forgiven by Marrone), and missed some minicamps and OTAs when a new offense is being installed.
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#2

Good list, Bullseye.

I’m more optimistic about the Hackett to Flip move. I think we’ll see a more efficient passing game and a less obvious run game. Ideally making it tougher to defend.

(#4 is Quincy not Quentin for the sake of nitpicking)

My chief concerns are both OTs - one due to injury the other due to greenness. After them the WLB and safety positions present some hesitancy.
I’m more confident in the QB, WRs and TEs than most, but Foles health and durability is an issue.
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#3

(07-11-2019, 01:51 PM)NYC4jags Wrote: Good list, Bullseye.

I’m more optimistic about the Hackett to Flip move. I think we’ll see a more efficient passing game and a less obvious run game.  Ideally making it tougher to defend.

(#4 is Quincy not Quentin for the sake of nitpicking)

My chief concerns are both OTs - one due to injury the other due to greenness. After them the WLB and safety positions present some hesitancy.
I’m more confident in the QB, WRs and TEs than most, but Foles health and durability is an issue.

D'oh!

Safety-particularly SS, is a concern.  Harruson is solid at FS.

I am eager to see Oliver in this offense.  It would be nice to see a legitimate receiving threat at TE on the Jaguars for a change.
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#4

Actually, I don't feel that the light at the end of the tunnel is dim. Take into consideration to whom we've acquired on both sides of the ball along/w some new faces on the coaching staff, we're actually right where we need to be prior to training camp. I predict that overall the team will have much success when it jells.

Time Will Tell.

NH3...
"AZANE"
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#5

Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel was just a freight train coming your way.

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"Repugnant is a Creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here"
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#6
(This post was last modified: 07-11-2019, 05:07 PM by Bullseye.)

(07-11-2019, 04:57 PM)NH3 Wrote: Actually, I don't feel that the light at the end of the tunnel is dim. Take into consideration to whom we've acquired on both sides of the ball along/w some new faces on the coaching staff, we're actually right where we need to be prior to training camp. I predict that overall the team will have much success when it jells.

Time Will Tell.

NH3...

I was referring more to the arrival of training camp than I was making a pessimistic assessment with the title.

I actually like our chances of contending this year assuming we stay healthy and sign Ngakoue.

(07-11-2019, 05:00 PM)Caldrac Wrote: Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel was just a freight train coming your way.

In this case, the light will grow bigger and brighter with each passing day until training camp starts...and then we exit out of the dark tunnel into a bright future.

That's my story and I am sticking to it.
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#7

Hey all.

Not been on too much over the summer, I've found it tough to get excited for this upcoming season.

Dont get me wrong, really looking forward to Foles and De Filipo and what they try and do. D should be back to that elite level. I think well stick around the D hold them under 17 and O just needs to score more than that.

My big problem is there is just so many question marks over this team. What Fournette will show up? Can the WR's step up ( Cole fell off a cliff last season), Can Lee comeback? Can the O line stay healthy?. What will LB look like ( lack of depth and now no Telvin)? Can the team focus on games and not tun their mouths as much? Can Marrone get control of this team again?

I'm praying that we can get some un-Jags like good bounces as we dont need everything to fall into place, just minimize the mistakes and take your opportunity. 

Go Jags!
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#8



I don't remember seeing this breakdown of Josh Allen before, but this is a really good one.
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#9
(This post was last modified: 07-11-2019, 07:43 PM by Bullseye.)

Apologies if this has been posted, but here is a lengthy interview Josh Allen had. .


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#10
(This post was last modified: 07-11-2019, 08:26 PM by Bullseye.)

(07-11-2019, 07:18 PM)JagFan81 Wrote: Hey all.

Not been on too much over the summer, I've found it tough to get excited for this upcoming season.

Dont get me wrong, really looking forward to Foles and De Filipo and what they try and do. D should be back to that elite level. I think well stick around the D hold them under 17 and O just needs to score more than that.

My big problem is there is just so many question marks over this team. What Fournette will show up? Can the WR's step up ( Cole fell off a cliff last season), Can Lee comeback? Can the O line stay healthy?. What will LB look like ( lack of depth and now no Telvin)? Can the team focus on games and not tun their mouths as much? Can Marrone get control of this team again?

I'm praying that we can get some un-Jags like good bounces as we dont need everything to fall into place, just minimize the mistakes and take your opportunity. 

Go Jags!

Welcome back.

I have questions about this team too, as this thread evidences.

However, I take solace in the fact this team has fewer questions coming into the season than the 2017 season, where we went to the AFC title game after having nine straight losing seasons.

The questions you raise are interesting ones, and I would like to address some of them, for whatever my perspectives are worth.

1.  What Fournette will show up?  I think he'll be a Fournette that will be better and more mature than the Fournette of the rookie year.  For the first time in a long time, Fournette is being doubted by football people.  I think that will motivate him.  But I think the team is better equipped to handle his absence should he become injured or otherwise falter, in part because we have a better QB, in part because I like the RB depth on the team.

2.  Can the team focus on games and not run their mouths as much?  I think this question presumes a couple of things:
  • That the team as a whole was not focused last year; and
  • That being talkative and opinionated somehow made the team less than optimally focused.
I think you could argue a few players may not have been focused-notably Dante Fowler-who has since been traded, and Fournette, who has been chided by TC and Marrone.  I presume Fowler was not focused because of the fight he had with Ngakoue.  While I am not privy to the dynamic between he and Ngakoue, Ngakoue hadn't shown issues with his temper like Fowler had.  Furthermore, the team not only did not offer Fowler the contract extension or 5th year option, they traded him mid season.  To me that final point suggests the team faulted Fowler for that dust up.  Fournette's lack of focus has been discussed in various spots by any number of people, not the least of which was TC.  I don't think Ramsey's off season interview, conducted on his own time, evidences a lack of game focus.  If you noticed in 2017, we had a talkative bunch.  They trash talked but backed it up.  What doomed this team was not a lack of focus, but a lack of good health. 

3.  Can Marrone get control of this team again?  Presuming he lost control of the team last year, then the answer is yes.  But I don't think him losing control of the team is a fair description, as I discussed in the discipline thread here https://www.duvalpride.com/showthread.php?tid=30783 .  My concern with Marrone were the decisions he made about the assistant coaches.  Throughout Marrone's stint here, I don't think coaching was an overarching negative issue with the team.  To the contrary, I think it was a strength. 

I don't think the 2017 Jaguars had an abundance of exceptionally good luck outside of health.  The one really lucky game we got was at the end of the Chargers game that we should have lost, but some inexplicable Chargers turnovers late gave us the win. Though your doubts and questions about this team are reasonable, I believe our talent is good enough to win if we're healthy.
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#11

(07-11-2019, 07:41 PM)Bullseye Wrote: Apologies if this has been posted, but here is a lengthy interview Josh Allen had. .


This Josh Allen interview is "Awesome Sauce". 

WOW!

I'm intrigued by this interview w/respect to his previous playing positions. This also explains his coverage skills.

A Steal to say the least.

NH3...
"AZANE"
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#12

(07-11-2019, 11:16 PM)NH3 Wrote:
(07-11-2019, 07:41 PM)Bullseye Wrote: Apologies if this has been posted, but here is a lengthy interview Josh Allen had. .


This Josh Allen interview is "Awesome Sauce". 

WOW!

I'm intrigued by this interview w/respect to his previous playing positions. This also explains his coverage skills.

A Steal to say the least.

NH3...
This guy is very impressive. Teams like the Raiders who passed on him will regret it. We need to sign Yannick, because having these 2 guys on the field together will be very difficult for our opponents to contend with.
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#13

(07-11-2019, 08:11 PM)Bullseye Wrote:
(07-11-2019, 07:18 PM)JagFan81 Wrote: Hey all.

Not been on too much over the summer, I've found it tough to get excited for this upcoming season.

Dont get me wrong, really looking forward to Foles and De Filipo and what they try and do. D should be back to that elite level. I think well stick around the D hold them under 17 and O just needs to score more than that.

My big problem is there is just so many question marks over this team. What Fournette will show up? Can the WR's step up ( Cole fell off a cliff last season), Can Lee comeback? Can the O line stay healthy?. What will LB look like ( lack of depth and now no Telvin)? Can the team focus on games and not tun their mouths as much? Can Marrone get control of this team again?

I'm praying that we can get some un-Jags like good bounces as we dont need everything to fall into place, just minimize the mistakes and take your opportunity. 

Go Jags!

Welcome back.

I have questions about this team too, as this thread evidences.

However, I take solace in the fact this team has fewer questions coming into the season than the 2017 season, where we went to the AFC title game after having nine straight losing seasons.

The questions you raise are interesting ones, and I would like to address some of them, for whatever my perspectives are worth.

1.  What Fournette will show up?  I think he'll be a Fournette that will be better and more mature than the Fournette of the rookie year.  For the first time in a long time, Fournette is being doubted by football people.  I think that will motivate him.  But I think the team is better equipped to handle his absence should he become injured or otherwise falter, in part because we have a better QB, in part because I like the RB depth on the team.

2.  Can the team focus on games and not run their mouths as much?  I think this question presumes a couple of things:
  • That the team as a whole was not focused last year; and
  • That being talkative and opinionated somehow made the team less than optimally focused.
I think you could argue a few players may not have been focused-notably Dante Fowler-who has since been traded, and Fournette, who has been chided by TC and Marrone.  I presume Fowler was not focused because of the fight he had with Ngakoue.  While I am not privy to the dynamic between he and Ngakoue, Ngakoue hadn't shown issues with his temper like Fowler had.  Furthermore, the team not only did not offer Fowler the contract extension or 5th year option, they traded him mid season.  To me that final point suggests the team faulted Fowler for that dust up.  Fournette's lack of focus has been discussed in various spots by any number of people, not the least of which was TC.  I don't think Ramsey's off season interview, conducted on his own time, evidences a lack of game focus.  If you noticed in 2017, we had a talkative bunch.  They trash talked but backed it up.  What doomed this team was not a lack of focus, but a lack of good health. 

3.  Can Marrone get control of this team again?  Presuming he lost control of the team last year, then the answer is yes.  But I don't think him losing control of the team is a fair description, as I discussed in the discipline thread here https://www.duvalpride.com/showthread.php?tid=30783 .  My concern with Marrone were the decisions he made about the assistant coaches.  Throughout Marrone's stint here, I don't think coaching was an overarching negative issue with the team.  To the contrary, I think it was a strength. 

I don't think the 2017 Jaguars had an abundance of exceptionally good luck outside of health.  The one really lucky game we got was at the end of the Chargers game that we should have lost, but some inexplicable Chargers turnovers late gave us the win. Though your doubts and questions about this team are reasonable,  I believe our talent is good enough to win if we're healthy.


Thanks Bullseye.

I have hope for this team, i really do. I think a lot of outsiders will use this upcoming season to decide which one of 2017 or 18 was the odd year we had. I think the big difference was in '17 we got some momentum, got a few W's that we would have found a way to make L's and the team seemed to bond and have a clear goal. Last year started well but after KC and Dallas the wheels came off. My main hope this off season was to see guys putting the team above themselves and personal issues and with Telvin stepping away and Ramsey and Yannick talking contracts (which is more than ok) im getting a little worried. Now part of this is being a Jags fan for 19 years, im waiting for disaster to strike! Im hoping when training camp starts off and we hear Westbrook is looking amazing and the D is looking right again those worries will be gone.

I'm really hopeful on Fournette. The playoff win in Pittsburgh told me he can be a leading back in this league but he's not good enough to just turn up and play, he needs to improve and work with the O line more, when guys went down last year he seemed to try and make that the reason and while yes it had a big impact, i want to see him take that as a challenge. I hope your right that he brings the right attitude and maturity this year, hes not an idiot, and i hope he has a chip on his shoulder to the doubters.

We have real hope, that D is solid and Allen should be a fun addition to that D line. Foles will be a big upgrade on Blake and his experience is going to be key. My hope is KC at the Bank to open, thats a game we can send a message with. I hope this team is hurting from last year, im still steamed about that Henry run!!
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