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Cody Kessler emphasizes third down conversions as what Jaguars offense needs to improve

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NFL: Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars are in a new era as a franchise — the Cody Kessler era, specifically. It may only be one, two, or even all five games to close out the season, but Kessler is the starting quarterback.

When asked after his first practice what the offense needed to fix, Kessler started general (because, well, it’s true) but honed in on third down conversions to better extend drives.

“It is all around. Everything,” Kessler said after his first practice as the starting quarterback. “Third down is a big part for us right now, extending drives, being able to call some of these shot plays and putting ourselves in a better situation. Obviously on first and second down making third down more manageable. Overall, just continue to protect the football, be smart. We have a really good game plan that we feel comfortable with. I am excited. It is an opportunity that I have been wanting for a while ever since you get in the NFL. It is going to be fun.”

The Jaguars are coming off a game last week where the average drive was just 5.5 plays long and they converted less than 40 percent of their third down attempts. That’s just not good enough for the kind of team Jacksonville has built — power run, control the clock, take a lead, and let the defense pounce.