The Jacksonville Jaguars led the NFL in both rushing and rushing attempts during the 2017 season. It makes sense, considering the team spent the No. 4 overall pick on running back Leonard Fournette and the struggles of quarterback Blake Bortles in 2016 and in the preseason. The Jaguars figured their best course of action was to lean on the run game, especially early on while Bortles still was a bit rocky.
It was pretty clear after Tuesday’s OTA session that Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone doesn’t necessarily expect it to lead the NFL again, though.
“Expectations? No. Do I want to run the football? The answer would be yes. The expectation of being able to do it?,” Marrone said when asked if he expected the Jaguars to lead the NFL in rushing and rushing attempts in 2018, like they did in 2017. “I think that if it presents itself. We have to be in the position where we have the ability to do that and that we trained our players well enough.”
The reality is, even though the Jaguars led in those categories, they weren’t necessarily “good” at running the football, which Marrone likely knows and is likely a big reason he won’t say he expects to do it again. It was done more so by happenstance than by choice.
“I don’t necessarily put myself ever to say, ‘Hey I want to lead’… The one thing that I want to lead no doubt is turnovers. There is no doubt about it,” Marrone continued. “The other stuff? Listen, if we win the game and we win a lot of football games and we don’t lead in anything, I’m OK with that. As long as we win. It’s very difficult for me to put one thing on statistically except for that – the turnover one.”
As Marrone stated, really the only stat you want to try to lead in is the “wins” one, everything else that comes with that is just a bonus.
The Jaguars return to the field for OTA practice on Thursday.