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Is Fisch to Blame for Offensive Woes?

Dec 18, 2014 -- 9:53am

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

The belief among many Jaguars fans is that offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch should be fired for his play calling and the lack of offense the team has produced this season.

While I do believe someone must fall on the sword for the team’s impotent offensive game plan and the lack of scoring this season, I cannot throw Fisch under the bus by himself and say all of the Jaguars’ woes fall completely on the former University of Miami offensive coordinator, especially when it comes to the development of Blake Bortles. While youth should never be an excuse for any team, it is the main reason Jacksonville is in the predicament it is in right now.

When general manager Dave Caldwell said the team would be “going young,” he really meant it.  He and head coach Gus Bradley also knew it would take two, three, maybe even four seasons to correct the problems within the organization. This was never a quick fix. The issues with Jacksonville started at the top with ownership, which changed hands and pink slips were handed out. The culture of the organization was stale and now, under the tutelage of Caldwell, et al, it is changing. This wasn’t just about roster moves. It was about team moves, some of which have not been made yet. But to ask Fisch to be the scapegoat for everything wrong with this season is not fair to Fisch or the Jaguars, who must all look in the mirror to recognize the problems that exist.

And in this case, changing the offensive coordinator may harm our franchise quarterback Blake Bortles more than help him. Continuity and repetition is a quarterback’s best friend. Familiarity with an offense and staff is also the key to success. Changing the old guard year after year may work for veterans like Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers, but for a soon-to-be second year starter, consistency is his best friend.

Just ask Blaine Gabbert.

When Gabbert was drafted by Gene Smith in 2011, Jack Del Rio was coach and Dirk Koetter was offensive coordinator. When Del Rio was fired and Mike Mularkey came in, Bob Bratkowski was named offensive coordinator. After Mularkey, there was Bradley and Fisch. Add to the fact Gabbert played in a different system at Missouri, and that is four different offensive systems in four years to learn. That my friends is a disaster for success. While Gabbert wasn’t a fit here in Jacksonville, conversion and continual upheaval could have played a role in the lack of success.

Do the Jaguars want to move offensive staff members around like interchangeable parts year after year while trying to mold a franchise talent like Bortles? How about this theory – if Gus Bradley is going to get another season to make it work here, then Fisch should as well, as long as some changes in the game plan and playbook are made.

This is a team where the coach, the general manager and the quarterback are linked together. Add the offensive coordinator to the group as well. If one fails, they all fail. Bortles will get more time to develop in his second season. Bradley and Caldwell figure to get at least one more year to right the ship. Maybe Fisch deserves the same chance. If for nothing else, but to keep Bortles and the Jaguars from going down a road this city knows all too well.


Jaguars sign quarterback Stephen Morris and safety Matt Daniels off practice squad

Dec 17, 2014 -- 3:57pm

The Jacksonville Jaguars today signed rookie quarterback Stephen Morris and safetyMatt Daniels to the 53-man roster from the practice squad and placed rookie linebacker Khairi Fortt on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, the club announced.


Morris, 6-2, 218, has spent the entire season on the club’s practice squad after he was signed as a rookie free agent.  He was a four-year letterman at Miami where he started the final 25 games of his career.  He threw for 7,896 passing yards in his career and was the second quarterback in school history with multiple 3,000-yard passing seasons.


Daniels, 6-0, 212, was signed to the Jaguars practice squad on Oct. 27, 2014 where he has remained the last six weeks.  Daniels played in six games for the St. Louis Rams over the past two seasons after entering the NFL as a rookie free agent in 2012.  He saw action in four games as a rookie with the Rams before suffering a torn ACL and ending the season on injured reserve.  He played in the first two games of the 2012 season before he was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury.  He began the 2014 season on the Rams practice squad before he was waived on Sept. 3.


Morris will wear jersey number #6 and Daniels will wear #42.

Jaguars sign defensive tackle Roy Miller to contract extension

Dec 16, 2014 -- 4:19pm

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed sixth-year defensive tackle Roy Miller to a four-year contract extension, the club announced today.  Miller joined the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in 2013 and has played in 28 games for the Jaguars over the past two seasons.


Miller has played in 90 career games with 62 starts after he was selected in the third round of the 2009 draft by Tampa Bay.  He has started all 14 games in 2014 and registered 31 tackles (21 solo), four tackles for loss, one sack, two quarterback hits and one pass defensed.  He was honored with the 2014 Ed Block Courage Award voted on by his teammates while he is one of 32 finalists for the NFL’s Salute to Service Award and the inaugural NFL Sportsmanship Award.


“This was an easy decision,” Miller said. “I am excited that I get to be a part of this organization and hopefully finish my career here.  I feel strongly about what we are building here on and off the field and I want to finish what we started.  I had the opportunity last year to sit down with Gus Bradley (head coach) and Todd Wash (defensive line coach) before I signed here and they sold me on what they want to do here and it’s headed in that direction.  Shad Khan and David Caldwell have been unbelievable from a leadership standpoint and keeping things moving in the right direction.  The entire organization works as one and does a lot to benefit us as players.  The defensive scheme fits me as a player and we have a mix of veterans and young players on defense that are going to continue to grow.  Right now our entire focus is finishing off the season the right way.”


“We are excited to get Roy under contract for the next four years,” Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said.  “This was a deal that both sides wanted to get done.  We want to take care of our own players who are productive on the field and fit into the culture we have established here.  Roy is a hard-nosed, physical player who plays a major role on our front line of defense.”


“I give a lot of credit to Shad Khan and David Caldwell for allowing this to happen,” Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said. “It’s important to keep our key people like Roy Miller under contract as we move forward.  You can’t measure Roy’s contribution by statistics.  He has been unbelievable from day one in terms of competing on and off the field and providing leadership to our younger players. He is an important part of our culture here and a great example for our players.  We are really excited to get this deal done.”

Jaguars place running back Denard Robinson on injured reserve

Dec 16, 2014 -- 10:22am

The Jacksonville Jaguars today placed running back Denard Robinson on injured reserve, the club announced.  Robinson suffered a foot sprain on Dec. 7 vs. Houston and was inactive last Sunday against Baltimore.


Robinson posted career-high numbers in 2014 with 135 rushes for a team-high 582 yards and four touchdowns.  He added 23 receptions for 124 yards.   Robinson registered back-to-back 100-yard rushing games with 127 yards against Cleveland and 108 yards against Miami.


The Jaguars have lost six starters to season-ending injuries: Robinson, LB Paul Posluszny (pectoral muscle), CB Alan Ball (biceps), CB Will Blackmon (finger), OT Austin Pasztor (hamstring) and rookie WR Allen Robinson (foot).

Guaranteeing a Win vs. Tennessee

Dec 15, 2014 -- 9:41am

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

It’s hard to get excited about a Thursday night matchup with the Tennessee Titans following another loss by our beloved Jaguars. Time after time the defense comes to play with lunch pail in hand and the offense struggles to put up points. It’s a comment theme as you all know – one that has not be remedied by wins or 300-yard performances by Blake Bortles. Status quo in Jacksonville has been the norm, where we all discuss how poorly the offense will play even before the game is played. Maybe that is about to change. There are two things in our favor this week – a Thursday night tilt on national television and our opponent is the Tennessee Titans.

Coincidentally, all five teams with two wins this season lost on Sunday, so nothing has really changed in the fight for the top draft pick in 2015. But if there may be a team or two who are in a worse than Jacksonville and despite the Titans win earlier this year over the Jaguars, there is a real chance the Jaguars will win on Thursday night.

I am ready to guarantee it – and here is why.

The Jaguars defense, despite the loss on Sunday to Baltimore, played well and controlled the first half of the ballgame. While the Ravens defense dropped Blake Bortles eight times and pitched shutout football in the second half, there was still some aspects of the game the Jaguars looked better at, including a running game on the road that showed some life. Toby Gerhart ran with authority, Jordan Todman showed some power moving forward and Storm Johnson got into the act moving the chains.

If that isn’t enough, here is something else to ponder – the Titans managed a meager 11 points against the New York Jets. YES THE JETS! The Jaguars scored 12 points in a half alone on the foot of Josh Scobee. Hopefully, the home field advantage will lead to the offense showing up in prime time. And is that does not help the cause, how about the fact Thursday night has been very good to this franchise over the years.

One of the four wins the franchise had last season took place on Thursday night.

So with three days to prepare for the home finale and a chance to win a third game and show some prime in the franchise, I believe it’s a no-brainer to think the Jaguars will win on Thursday night. Hopefully, the media types and the betting lines will think the same way. It would be great to send the team off in the final home tilt with a win after being a favorite after 42 straight games. It might be just the thing this team and the coaching staff needs to springboard into 2015, which is already on the minds of many of the players, the staff and most importantly – the fans.

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