NFL 2020: Youngsters tipped to shine as Jaguars bid to bounce back

Jacksonville Jaguars will head into the 2020 NFL season desperate to prove they can put a miserable couple of years firmly behind them.

Just two seasons ago the Jaguars were close to beating the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, but blew the opportunity.

Their appearance in the play-offs that year had snapped a nine-year absence from the post-season, but things have reverted to type since then.

The Jaguars have won just 11 games over the past two years and another difficult campaign could be on the cards. Read on as we take a look at the latest state-of-play at Jacksonville.

Jaguars put the accent on youth

Having struggle defensively over the past couple of years the Jaguars needed to make big improvements in that department this summer.

First-round draft selections K’Lavon Chaisson and CJ Henderson are impressive additions and Jaguars’ management have already confirmed they will get plenty of opportunities to shine.

Both players have the physical attributes to be stars in the NFL and their supreme levels of fitness will undoubtedly strengthen the Jaguars’ defensive unit.

Their inclusion on the roster will bring down the average age of the team’s projected defensive started to 25 – a move that should benefit the Jaguars in the long run.

Marrone eager to see youngsters make their mark

Despite their struggles in the NFL over the past couple of seasons, the Jaguars have remained loyal to head coach Doug Marrone.

The 55-year-old remains confident in his ability to turn things around and has told the O-Zone Podcast that the team’s younger outlook will work in their favour this season.

"I think it's going to be interesting with the amount of youth that we have on this team and how hungry they are – and for the most part how well they've picked things up," he said.

"I think it's going to challenge our older players, our veteran players. These guys are really good communicators and have a sense of respect for the people who have played this game, but they're going to come in here and compete."

Minshew ready to step up to the plate

Gardner Minshew’s roller-coaster ride during his rookie season should stand him in good stead for the upcoming campaign.

The quarterback was thrust into the limelight after Nick Foles picked up an injury in the season opener and did reasonably well over the next few weeks.

Foles was restored to the starting line-up in Week 11, but failed miserably to produce his best form and was replaced again by Minshew a couple of games later.

Having started every game that the Jaguars won in 2019, Minshew will now have the chance to make the position his own this year.

Season prediction: Realistically speaking the Jaguars will once again have their work cut out to be competitive in AFC South.

However, the switch to a more youthful defensive unitshould work in their favour and if Minshew can perform well at quarterback the Jaguars may be capable of posting an 8-8 record.

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