Welcome to the first edition of our Jacksonville Jaguars film room mailbag!
Thank you so much to everyone who responded. We’re going to save the general season-long questions for a bye week mailbag. Below are Q&As related to the Jaguars’ recent 31-24 win over the Saints in Week 7.
But first, a link to the JaguarReport YouTube channel, where I broke down the biggest play of the game:
How often did NO role a safety / double cover Calvin? (via @PZiggy8)
I counted five instances.
The moment you’ve all been waiting for: Calvin Ridley facing double teams on TNF (five plays) pic.twitter.com/OAKaAo1wM8— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) October 26, 2023
Does kirk thrive because of ridley? (via @Sussquatch11)
No, Christian Kirk is a good receiver in his own right. He’s averaging 67.7 receiving yards per game this season compared to 65.2 last year. Calvin Ridley does draw some attention away, but Doug Pederson’s scheme is a bigger reason for Kirk’s production.
Dumb, but fun: Who was better in coverage, Travon or Josh Allen? (via @marhsim)
Josh Allen had a nice play in coverage (below) that was called back due to a penalty on Rayshawn Jenkins. That was the only time a Jaguars outside linebacker was targeted, though Travon Walker did get crossed up by Derek Carr on a scramble drill when Walker was defending the flat.
Anton Harrison pls. I have no clue what I’m looking at when I watch O-line and I wanna know if he did well/has done well (via @Maddux_37)
How’s Anton looking (via @jaygat2015)
27th overall pick Anton Harrison has put together impressive performances in consecutive games. He’s allowed zero knockdowns in the past two weeks -- if you aren’t noticing him, that’s necessarily not a bad thing.
Harrison shut down Cameron Jordan on Thursday night, but Jordan isn’t what he used to be and Harrison was aided by quick releases by Trevor Lawrence. I’ll focus more on the rookie right tackle in this column next week after he faces Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith.
Not an on the field question, but always interested in how the team handled this mini bye. Any extra film sessions or practices? (via @RBeam17)
Kirk said on Wednesday the team is just trying to get back to a normal schedule after their 19-day, four-game whirlwind. I doubt there are any extra practices, but the “mini bye” does allow coaches to get a head start on film sessions and game plans.
Did the Saints offense perform objectively better after Cisco got hurt? That’s how it appeared to me. (via @Phelps_Da_Best)
You think Cisco will end up being elite? I like the way he plays (via @AverageBearsFan)
The Saints’ offense did perform objectively better after Cisco got hurt, but I do not think the latter was the reason for the former. Andrew Wingard held up well after Cisco went down with cramps, including two big tackles in open space during the fourth quarter.
In the time he did play, Cisco wasn’t allowing anything over the middle of the field.
I comped Cisco to Russell Westbrook before he was drafted. Here’s his mutombo impression pic.twitter.com/QqqsCAAVcm— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) October 26, 2023
And yes, Cisco is well on his way to becoming an elite safety. Last Thursday was just his 25th career start, but he’s making an All-Pro case as the center fielder of Jacksonville’s defense.
Where are the short yardage does coming from? Consistently IOL weakness? Schematic failure? Poor adjustments? (via @DomJSII)
How did Fortner and the interior oline as a whole hold up against another good Dline? (via @RBeam17)
Press Taylor likes to say, “It depends on the situation” in press conferences. That answer qualifies here, but I think the biggest issue for Jacksonville’s short-yardage offense is interior blocking.
Brandon Scherff was the least consistent Jaguars lineman on film last week, though he is playing on a bum ankle. Jacksonville’s offense should look a lot smoother once he and Walker Little return to full health.
Excluding this past week for obvious reasons (knee), why have the Jags not utilized the QB sneak this season? Trevor’s reach over technique worked a few times last year. (via @Ethanadams6)
The Jaguars tried a few sneaks early in the season and they just didn’t work. Plus, the “reach over technique” is risky and Lawrence’s frame is lanky. It’s not as good of an option as the Eagles make it seem.
I know Brenton Strange has been primarily a blocking TE so far (aside from the one game), how has he looked in the passing game otherwise? Is he getting open but not targeted? (via @Justinlj49)
brenton strange usage/success after more involvement in colts game (via @MaxWarn65763954)
Brenton Strange ran 5 routes against the Saints after running 10 against the Colts the week prior. He’s run between 5-10 routes in each game this year but has only seen 6 total targets.
Taylor talked about his role a few weeks ago (from October 12):
“He’s done a great job of just bringing a level of physicality, which for a young player and rookie in this league, five games in, it’s been impressive to see. We’ve been really impressed having him and getting our chance to work with him and see him day-in and day-out of the physicality he can bring. He’s athletic on the second level, he’s physical on the fist level. He hasn’t had a lot of opportunities as a ball carrier, but he’s a really good ball carrier when those opportunities come as the season goes on. We’re excited to see him shine in those chances.”
Strange actually played the fewest snaps of his young career on Thursday night. I think Jacksonville wanted to emphasize Jamal Agnew’s speed over Strange’s physicality due to Lawrence’s knee injury. Agnew on the perimeter creates a lot more space than Strange in a three-point stance, and the Jaguars needed as much room as possible with Lawrence throwing the ball so quickly after the snap.
Agnew’s speed makes the cornerback play off coverage and creates an opening in the flat pic.twitter.com/MLc2SquTse— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) October 26, 2023
Maybe we’ll see more of Strange this week to help out against Watt and Highsmith, especially with a healthier Lawrence, but I wouldn’t expect any type of consistent receiving role from him this season.
Can you find anything in the film that explains why Trevor focused Agnew so much? (via @BrianIsTired)
What did the Jaguars see from the saints defense that warranted Agnew seeing as many targets as he did? (via @kevinmad)
Same question as many others. Agnew. Is he playing slot or Z? Were they bracketing Rid, and taking away the intermediates? Was Lattimore playing on an island or playing off? Why did he get so many targets in this game? (via @tym_connaughton)
Jamal Agnew, why? (via @JagsAndUF)
I somewhat answered this question above; Agnew was on the field because Jacksonville wanted to create as much space as possible. And when he was on the field, Lawrence went through his progressions properly rather than making a point to target other receivers.
Jags offense really misses Zay Jones. On this play, I’d expect him to be the point man and Ridley to be the motion man (and run a crisper route than ag) pic.twitter.com/6xh1jGOnWU— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) October 26, 2023
Is DHam returning enough for the Dline? + would love to see some Herndon breakdowns, he’s been a lot better this season (via @Bucketbuddy2)
DaVon Hamilton was a full participant in practice last week and told 1010XL’s Mia O’Brien on Wednesday, “I’m really excited to finally be able to play.” I’d expect him back no later than Week 10. His return will be enough to make Jacksonville contend for the best run defense in the league, just don’t expect him to solve any pass rush problems (though he should help a little as an interior pocket pusher). The Jaguars should trade for Josh Uche.
Here’s a look at Tre Herndon’s third-down blitz from Thursday night. Jacksonville’s defense is thriving because almost every player is performing well -- Herndon and every other individual deserve credit, but this defense might be the most well-coached unit I’ve ever seen out of Jacksonville. Mike Caldwell is him.
How big of an impact is Smoot’s return to our pass rush? (via @BostonJag9)
Dawuane Smoot averaged 30 snaps in 15 games last season. He’s played 32 and 47 snaps in the past two weeks -- an incredible feat in its own right after Smoot ruptured his Achilles last December -- but he’s recorded just 4 tackles and 1 quarterback hit.
So Smoot has already regained his rotational role from last year but it’s unclear if similar production will follow. Travon Walker’s stat lines have been frustrating, especially as a former No. 1 overall pick, but the Jaguars should consider adding a pass rusher at the trade deadline more so because Smoot, K’Lavon Chaisson, and Yasir Abdullah have combined for just six quarterback hits through seven weeks.
Interior DL in the Saints game... everyone talks edges and the OL had a good game against Saints... but how did the interior D work? (via @ameliawizard)
Angelo Blackson being this year’s Marcell Dareus (via @RobertKempJr1)
I think a better comparison than Marcell Dareus would be Corey Peters, but either way, Angelo Blackson has been an outstanding pickup for Jacksonville this season. Week 7 was his best game yet.
Thanks for reading!