I haven’t exactly been quiet about my expectations for Marcedes Lewis this upcoming season. Unlike some people, I think the 31-year old tight end could show up big for a budding Jacksonville offense. As Marcedes enters his 10th season, he suddenly finds himself employed behind one of the more prolific pass-catching NFL TE's in recent history.
To me, there’s no better place that Lewis could be sitting.
The Jaguars snatched up Julius Thomas this offseason, and there are a surfeit of reasons why Julius will absorb the lion’s share of snaps and production in a young Jaguars offense. Marcedes publicly welcomed the new move-TE with open arms, declaring to the media that he and Julius will "feed off of each other."
I don’t think that’s just "talk." I think that is a well-balanced, sensible proclamation.
A lot of fans are excited about the possibility of dispatching multiple TE's on the field at one time this season. The installation of 2 and 3TE sets in Greg Olson’s new offense will definitely create some open spaces as opposing defenses get sucked into Julius Thomas, but to me, that’s just the beginning.
Marcedes will still find his opportunities next year. 2TE sets are just the beginning https://t.co/EX4XwUovkA— Cole Hartley (@ColeFartley) June 14, 2015
The last few years of Marcedes' career have been turbulent. Injuries, roster turnover, and coaching fluctuations have all hindered Cedes’ ability to stand tall as the offense’s cornerstone player. Up until now, Marcedes has struggled to live up to the plethora of expectations that come attached to being one of the only veteran pieces within an inexperienced roster.
This season, Lewis has the opportunity to plunge into a role that hasn't yet been gifted to him in his 9-season career. Behind Thomas, Lewis has a better shot at enduring a complete season and taking full advantage of situations in which he can contribute. A lot of these situations will bud from the Jaguars' developing run game.
ML will get free in obvious run situations/sets. This is a trick play, but my point still stands https://t.co/FOMB2w2auv— Cole Hartley (@ColeFartley) June 14, 2015
"Block TE" gets out in front of a fake screen, becomes a wide open target. Fuck Jedd, but cool play https://t.co/UIggowE3FI— Cole Hartley (@ColeFartley) June 14, 2015
When Julius Thomas gets subbed out of the game in favor of Lewis's blocking ability this season, which is bound to happen quite a bit, run situations could immediately turn into openings for Lewis to break out as an undetected target. When you factor in the Jags' addition of a stable right tackle this offseason (Jermey Parnell), Marcedes' options are only amplified.
Also, the Jaguars might have picked up a mean redzone threat in Thomas this offseason, but this doesn't mean that Lewis's big 6'6 frame will be ignored.
And idc what you think. Lewis is still a big ole redzone target. He'll get his shots. https://t.co/bgMqpwu5oI— Cole Hartley (@ColeFartley) June 14, 2015
If Marcedes Lewis can stay healthy, he'll still get his chances in Greg Olson's offense. I have no doubt that Julius Thomas will capitalize on the abundance of opportunities he'll certainly receive this season. I also don't think Marcedes Lewis will disappear into the abyss.
After everything gets sorted out in training camp, the Jaguars could end up carrying one of the more respected TE groups in the league.