Let’s answer some questions ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars starting their first day of training camp!
Chevin from Jacksonville, FL
Q: Does Nick Foles have a good chance to have a healthy season?
A: Foles has never started more than 11 games in a season and only started 10 or more twice going into his eighth year. But Foles has two big things working in his favor. First, the Jaguars have invested a lot into their offensive line — two top draft picks, two big contracts, and A.J. Cann. Second, I think the run game will still be a very large part of the offense. Everything is set up to protect Foles’ health, but let’s not pretend like backup quarterbacks don’t see the field. It happens. It’s part of the game. My expectation is that Foles will be under center for the majority of the season and will be healthy enough to play should this team make a late season playoff push.
Kevin from Jacksonville, FL
Q: As training camp is upon us, how do you foresee the wide receivers shaking out, and which out the young receivers do you think will make the practice squad?
A: Like them or not, the receivers are pretty well set for the most part. Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, and DJ Chark are your top three with Keelan Cole at four to play both outside and inside. Chris Conley is technically a wide receiver but he’ll likely play an inside, tight end/wide receiver hybrid and be a factor in the red zone. Terrelle Pryor is your six. If I had to guess at a wild card, I’d say Tyre Brady. He has a big, physical frame (6’3” and 211 pounds) and the Jaguars love their undrafted wide receivers.
Grant from Alabastar, AL
Q: How do you think Telvin Smith’s absence will impact the team? Do you think there is a chance we will change defensive formations and, if so, who do you think will play the three spots?
A: Telvin’s absence will be felt. Any player who unexpectedly retires and who was penciled in as an easy starter will cause ripple effects. I don’t, however, see any changes in how the Jaguars approach their defensive game plans. It’ll be the same defense with lesser quality players.
Brad from Jacksonville, FL
Q: If the Jaguars struggle again this year (less than eight wins) where does the franchise go from there?
A: You say that like seven wins isn’t above average for this team over the last two decades.
Mark from Newark, NJ
Q: How concerned should I be about the starting safeties going into camp?
A: Not really concerned. Ronnie Harrison is a star and Jarrod Wilson did well enough in replacement duty last season.
Willie from Jacksonville, FL
Q: Why can’t the Jaguars evaluate quarterbacks in college or the NFL?
A: I don’t know, Willie. I wish I did.
Joseph from Jacksonville, FL
Q: Are Leonard Fournette and Jalen Ramsey mature enough to help the team win championships? Maybe they are just coasting this season, or just out for individual goals.
A: Joseph, I’m going to level with you. This is an annoying question, but it’s a sentiment present in more than a few questions this week so I’m gonna answer it.
Let’s start with Jalen. Jalen is more than mature enough to lead this team to a Super Bowl. He’s a father, an All-Pro defensive back, and the only trouble he’s gotten in with the team is the kind that causes you to chuckle and sigh. He’s a generational talent and the most famous this franchise has ever had and he’s handled it all with what I believe is a supernatural balance of preparation, respect, and joy. When all is said and done, you’ll regret wasting even five seconds not enjoying what a gift Jalen is for this franchise.
As far as Leonard goes, he’s not to the level that Jalen is and he’s caused a few more headaches for the team, but it’s not to the level that this team feels they’d be better off without him. He, too, is a father and his first two years in the league have been a steeper learning curve than he may have originally thought coming out of LSU. But his maturity is not the problem, his ability to read blocks and hit a hole are. That’s not to give him a pass — he’s consistently done some dumb things — but they’re not major grievances.
Duval Hot Takes from Jacksonville, FL
Q: Would you trade Jalen Ramsey for a Super Bowl win this year? Contingencies are basic, you lose Jalen and you do not get another player or pick in return, but you win the games it takes to win the Super Bowl this year. Do you take it?