The Jacksonville Jaguars have a serious problem with their run game and it might all stem from a lack of starters — especially offensive linemen — playing consistently together in the preseason.
Leonard Fournette expressed frustration with his production and the run game as a whole on Wednesday afternoon after practice.
“There ain’t no doubt about that,” Fournette said on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s very frustrating. I want to ... help the team as much as you can. I’m a running back first. I don’t mind pass blocking and those things but I’m a running back first, so it’s very frustrating at times.”
”It’s not really adding up right now because you’ve got to have that [cohesiveness], especially with the running game. Nobody practiced, nobody played in none of the preseason games. I think that kind of messed up a lot of communication. Also, you’ve got to have timing too with the run game. I think we’re slowly getting back there.”
If you factor out Leonard Fournette's 69yd run vs. #Titans, he's averaging 2.4 yds/carry.— Mia O'Brien (@MiaOBrienTV) September 26, 2019
"I'm a running back first. I don't mind pass blocking and those types of things. But I'm a running back first."
Fournette very forward with his "frustration" with #Jaguars running game pic.twitter.com/OPWJxk7OaD
This isn’t a nit picky issue with Fournette either. Through the first three weeks, the Jaguars are averaging less than 91 yards on the ground as a team per game and Fournette has yet to run for more than 66 yards in a single game.
And while Fournette should share in that blame with flashes of inability to see the hole he needs to hit or reading blockers effectively, the offensive line is the main culprit. According to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco, Fournette is averaging just 1.84 yards per carry before he gets hit.
Maybe in future years, the Jaguars starting offense can play more than the 15-20 snaps they did over this past preseason — because while it may have prevented some injuries, it has certainly set this offense back a ways.