The Jacksonville Jaguars blew a lot of coverages against the Indianapolis Colts. It was an uncharacteristic game for a secondary that, while extremely athletic and talented, is undisciplined and reckless at times.
One such play was in the first quarter when tight end Eric Ebron was lined up along the right side of the offensive line. When the ball is snapped, Ebron runs a simple route up the seam and Andrew Luck gets him the ball with ease. Why was it so easy? According to head coach Doug Marrone, it was easy because a defender wasn’t where he was supposed to be.
Here is the play in question.
2 touchdowns in the first half where they were completely lost pic.twitter.com/V2u3WmjrHx— charles mcdonald (lakers 7-6) (@FourVerts) November 13, 2018
After the game, Marrone was asked specifically about this play. Here’s his exchange with the reporter:
(On what happened on Eric Ebron’s 53-yard TD) “We should have been in a three deep. We should have had a third player on that side, which would cover that play.”
(On the if the CB on Ebron’s side was supposed to drop as the opposite side CB did) “Yes.”
(On if that play was a result of not understanding the call) “Formation. Communication.”
The easy narrative is that Jalen Ramsey, who was the cornerback in question, is just doing what he wants regardless of what the call is. Marrone said that isn’t the case.
“When you say ‘willfully’ meaning are the players busting it? No. Talking to the players they are trying to get it. We have to help them clear it and figure out why there is any confusion on that one. We have to a good job during the week of making sure the splits and what routes they are running out of what splits. We have done a hell of a job before. We have to make sure that is communicated and known.”
Saying Ramsey ignored a coverage and went with his own instinct is a pretty weighty accusation. Granted, Ramsey has been openly critical of defensive coordinator Todd Wash in the past and we’ve seen stories of secondaries ignoring calls from coaches, but I don’t think that’s what happened here.
What do you think? Was Ramsey ignoring the call and going with what he felt was best? Or was it a simple miscommunication or misunderstanding? Let us know in the comments below!