Julius Thomas never really seemed to get in a rhythm in his two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars and while there are plenty of things to partly blame, it’s hard to nail down a single driving factor.
Did the previous coaching staff misuse Thomas? I’d say so. The fact there were complaints about how he wasn’t very good of a pass blocker says there were unfair responsibilities and expectations put on him.
Did the rest of the offense hamper his development? Probably. His quarterback is one of the worst in the league and the emergence of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns limited his opportunities.
But I think the most obvious reason — and the one Caldwell isn’t going to mention publicly — is the effort. He loafed. He quit on routes. He got lazy and fell out of shape. Were the injuries he suffered last year legitimate? Absolutely. But a lack of effort is going to make injuries all the more likely. The effort is the root cause, the injuries were merely a symptom.
Thomas finished his career in Jacksonville with just 76 catches, 736 yards, and nine touchdowns. That’s a far cry from what they expected when they signed him to a $46 million contract.