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Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 7/15/2017.


Jacksonville Jaguars Free Agency Recap


The Jaguars traded Julius Thomas and got left tackle Branden Albert in return from the Miami Dolphins. They also signed Calias Campbell as a 4-3 right end and A.J. Bouye to be a boundary cornerback that compliments Jalen Ramsey.



Jacksonville Jaguars Draft Recap


The Jaguars got a starter in Leonard Fournette at running back with the fourth pick. Cam Robinson may end up starting at left tackle or left guard as well.




Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback Summary: Blake Bortles took a step back in year three, but that was largely due to not having a good offensive line or a running back. This will be a make or break season for Blake Bortles in 2017. Bortles worked with some mechanics this offseason and he is being far more vocal with his receivers than ever before. He threw 5 interceptions during a practice session though.


Nathaniel Hackett was a quarterbacks coach until week 9 of last year where he took over for Greg Olson only to see the team rise improving offensively in numerous categories down the stretch. Hackett has said this will be a more run first team like in Buffalo, but I also see Bortles balancing that out well.


Scott Milanovich is Jacksonville's new quarterbacks coach. Milanovich has no coaching experience in the NFL. He won the Grey Cup with the Toronto Argonauts. Milanovich has experience as a former quarterback plus he coached as a quarterbacks coach for a lot of teams in both the CFL and NFL europe. Milanovich may not be a guy with NFL roots, but coaching quarterbacks is in his blood after a shortened football career.


Jacksonville Jaguars Running Back Summary: Leonard Fournette was drafted fourth overall. He will start right away providing a three down presence. You also got T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory for depth. Former running back Tyrone Wheatley is Jacksonville's new running backs coach.


Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiver Summary: Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns both had over 1,000 receiving yards last year. Marqise Lee is a great slot receiver when he's healthy. Rashad Greene, Dede Westbrook, and Arrelious Benn are great backups to those starters. Robinson and Hurns will lead in two wide receiver sets and Lee will step up in the slot. Greene could be used in a four wide receiver set, but its highly doubtful that Westbrook or Benn plays unless someone gets injured.


Jerry Sullivan did great at first. Bringing in Keenan McCardell to mentor these guys could end up being great for Jacksonville. We'll see what happens with the Jaguars though.


Jacksonville Jaguars Tight End Summary: Mychael Rivera is a #2 tight end at best. It almost feels like Jacksonville downgraded from Julius Thomas to Mychal Rivera. Ron Middleton is a great tight ends coach though.


Jacksonville Jaguars Offensive Line Summary: Branden Albert was expected to start at left tackle. He retired though which means Cam Robinson will play left tackle right away. If he struggles there it wouldn't surprise me if the Jaguars drafted a left tackle and kicked Robinson inside to left guard. Jacksonville has Brandon Linder as their starting center and A.J. Cann as the starting right guard. Jeremy Parnell at right tackle does concern me, but he played much better in 2016 showing a lot of promise at times by extending time in the pocket for Blake Bortles.


Doug Marone is a great offensive line coach. Pat Flaherty was a good offensive line coach under Tom Coughlin on the New York Giants under Tom Coughlin who was advisor for Jacksonville. I actually like this hire since Flaherty has familiarity with Coughlin plus Jacksonville may do better with Marone mediating things.


The Jaguars were 25th in points per game, 23rd in total yards, 20th in passing yards, and 22nd in rushing yards in 2016. Greg Olson got fired as the offensive coordinator after such a bad start. Gus Bradley also got fired as the head coach. Jacksonville had 19 points or more in each game where Nathaniel Hackett was an offensive coordinator while Doug Marone was an assistant head coach. Marone and Hackett were in charge of a Bills team that went 9-7 in 2014 before leaving the Bills.



Jacksonville Jaguars Defensive Line Summary: Jacksonville has Calias Campbell at 4-3 right end and Dante Fowler as a 4-3 left end with Malik Jackson and Sheldon Day as their starting defensive tackles. Jacksonville also has Yannick Ngakoue as a 4-3 right end for depth along with Dawuane Smoot and Hunter Dimick pushing each other for that backup 4-3 left end spot behind Fowler.


Todd Wash did an awesome job rotating where he used Fowler and Jacksonville's defense set records under Wash. He wants to use Jackson and Campbell as both defensive ends and defensive tackles. Todd Wash took a lot of control bringing in Monte Kiffin to mentor him with play-calling prior to being defensive coordinator and now Wash brought in Clemson's defensive line coach Marlon Hobby to mentor so Hobby can understand defensive concepts since he did an awesome job with Clemson's defensive ends and defensive tackles using them in a similar fashion that Wash did. Wash took a team that was 24th in total yards and made them 6th in fewest total yards allowed.


Jacksonville Jaguars Linebacker Summary: Jacksonville has Telvin Smith at 4-3 right outside linebacker. Myles Jack is moving to 4-3 middle linebacker. Paul Posluszney is moving to 4-3 left outside linebacker. Jacksonville has both Smith and Posluszney in contract years. Blair Brown, one of their day 3 selections is going to be a backup linebacker this year, but could step in if Smith, Jack or Posluszney gets injured.


Mark Collins is taking over as the linebackers coach. Tom Coughlin loved his blitz schemes and emphasis on turnovers as an outside linebackers coach with the Jets so he brought him in. You also got Todd Wash who can rotate these linebackers wherever he pleases plus he took a team that was 15th in run defense and mad ethem 4th.


Jacksonville Jaguars Defensive Backs Summary: Jacksonville has Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye as the starters. There will be plays where Ramsey and Bouye play field, boundary, or nickel corner. Ramsey and Bouye both had 30 deflections combined between the two corners in 2016. With the versatility and variety Wash brings I expect those corners to be used in different ways. Rookie Jalen Myrick entered OTA's as a third stringer, but now he's one of the favorites to win a nickel cornerback job. Barry Church is an upgrade over Jonathan Cyprien. Tashaun Gipson will start at free safety. Josh Evans will serve as a backup free safety while James Sample is a backup strong safety.


Perry Fewell was a former defensive coordinator on the New York Giants. He was there when Coughlin was the Giants head coach. Fewell showed he's good at developing defensive backs and considering what he did as a defesnive backs coach in Washington the last two years, this is a good hire. Wash did an awesome job moving defensive backs around too and Jacksonville went from 29th to 5th in pass defense under Wash.


The Jaguars defense was inexperienced, but promising. Jacksonville was 21st in sacks, 25 in points allowed, 6th in total yards allowed, 5th in pass defense, and 4th in run defense. Todd Wash has another year to improve this defense, and if Jacksonville has a winning record, Wash will be one of the 2018 Head Coaching candidates we end up talking about heading into next season.



Jacksonville Jaguars Special Teams Summary: The Jaguars have great special teams. Jason Myers went 27/34 on field goal attempts in 2016. He was more accurate in 2015, but converted more field goals in 2016. Punter Brad Nortman had 70 punts with a long 60 yard punt, he averaged 45 yards per punt, and 20 of his 70 punts were inside the opponents 20 yard line. Nortman had a 78 yard punt on Jacksonville and only got better as their punter. Jacksonville needs to find a return man on kick returns or take a knee as soon as they get the ball if its in the end zone on kickoffs. Lee will be their punt returner.


Joe DeCamillis is now the special teams coordinator. Mike Mallory the former special teams coordinator is now an assistant to DeCamillis.




Jacksonville Jaguars Worst Case Scenario: The Jaguars go 6-10 and slightly improve, but still finish last in the AFC South. The team moves on from Blake Bortles even though most of the problems with Jacksonville will be on the offensive line if the offense does bad.


Jacksonville Jaguars Best Case Scenario: Jacksonville surprises everyone and wins the AFC South. Jacksonville has dominated the last two NFL Drafts in both 2016 and 2017 so the result has to translate at some point. There are alot of skilled players on this roster that enter contract years on both sides of the ball so maybe they put it together hoping for a big payday.


Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 10
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 2
September 17
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 3
September 24
VS
9:30 AM EST
CBS
W
Week 4
October 1
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 5
October 8
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 6
October 15
VS
4:05 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 7
October 22
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 8
Bye Week
Week 9
November 5
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 10
November 12
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 11
November 19
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 12
November 26
AT
4:25 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 13
December 3
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 14
December 10
VS
1 EST
FOX
L
Week 15
December 17
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 16
December 24
AT
4:05 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 17
December 31
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L


Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 Projected Record (7-9): I had the Jaguars at 7-9. Brandon Albert's unexpected decision to retire, Blake Bortles throwing 5 interceptions in Jacksonville's first practice session, and Jalen Ramsey being on the PUP list are reasons why I think the Jaguars remain in last place now. I have them winning one division game versus the Indianapolis Colts.


There are reasons to be optimistic because I love the coaches Tom Coughlin brought in as a team consultant. Hopefully the Jaguars remain patient and put a competent offensive line around Blake Bortles and Leonard Fournette instead of blowing the team up and taking a new quasrterback.









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