CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25: Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars calls a play against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Jacksonville Jaguars offense will go up against the New Orleans Saintsand defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Williams, someone Jack Del Rio and Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter should be familiar with, is going to bring the blitz. There's no secret to what the Saints are going to do on defense, blitz and blitz more. One thing this means, aside from Blaine Gabbert needing protection from his offensive line and backs/tight ends, is the Saints will be in a lot of man coverage.
Due to the way Gregg Williams runs his attack style defense, the Saints defensive backs are often left in man coverage. Typically, quarterbacks and good receivers can exploit this throughout the game since it's much easier to get open if you only have one guy on you (duh). The key is picking up the blitz, then hitting the receiver who should be open.
Jaguars receiver Mike Thomashas been targeted 28 times this year, that's 40% of the Jaguars passing targets. Thomas leads that category by a large margin but statistically only has 15 catches for 138 yards (which also leads the team, by a lot). Thomas' yards per catch is currently in the single digits, but a lot of that has to do with teams not leaving him in single coverage, taking away the deep routes, and forcing everything short. Thomas actually excells on the shorter route combinations, but with bracket coverage is harder to break that play for more than a few yards.
On Sunday, with the Saints playing a lot of man coverage Thomas may be able to break some of those plays for 15-20 yard gains like he did last season, which the focus of the coverage was not on him. It could also open things up for Jason Hill to get open deep in single coverage and for guys like Jarett Dillard or rookie Cecil Shorts III in the slot.
I know most would think Marcedes Lewis should be in store for a nice game, due to the Saints propensity to blitz, but I'm thinking he'll be asked to assist in pass protection. Though, Houston Texans H-back James Casey scorched the Saints with 5 catches on 7 targets for 126 yards and a touchdown.