The Jacksonville Jaguars have a lot of new faces on the offensive side of the ball as well as a new offensive coordinator and offensive scheme, but one should expect the Jaguars to look a bit "old school Jaguars".
What I mean by that is, the team appears focused on putting an emphasis on the running game heading into 2015. It’s an area that was a disaster last season, and really has been one for the past few years, but it’s something the time wants to get back into the swing of.
If you think back, running the ball well is kind of the Jaguars "thing". Think back to when the Jaguars were good and you’ll likely remember Natrone Means, Fred Taylor, James Stewart and Maurice Jones-Drew. They carried the load and it set everything else up. Over the past few years, the team has struggled running the football and it’s made them one-dimensional and easy to defend.
Ultimately the goal is to be able to rely on second-year quarterback Blake Bortles, maybe not right away, but at some point. With the team focusing improvements on the offensive line and in the backfield, it’s geared towards easing things for the quarterback. It’s much easier to throw down the field when you can run the football. It’s all about having effective options and in reality the past few seasons the Jaguars had just one option, that quickly had the wheels run off of it in Jones-Drew.
The plan going forward, especially with how strong the right side of the Jaguars offensive line could be with the addition on Jermey Parnell next to Brandon Linder, is going to be running the football. Yeah, a lot of people are going to say "…like Seattle" but really, it’s more like the Jaguars. With the addition of T.J. Yeldon and a healthy Toby Gerhart, who I think we’ll see on the field a lot more than people expect, and the change of pace ability of Denard Robinson, the Jaguars should have plenty of options in the backfield.
It also doesn’t sound like they’ll try to square-peg/round-hole players any more.
Gerhart in the game? Run power.
Robinson in the game? Run the stretch-zone.
Play to what you’ve got.
If the Jaguars offense can muster a functional rushing attack this season, like they showed in spurts last year, the offense can move the football. If you think back to when the Jaguars offense actually looked like an NFL offense in 2014, it was when they were able to pick up yardage on the ground. They need to get back to that and if they do, the progression of Bortles should be quite a bit easier.