By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)
This needs to be the week Luke Joeckel proves he is a top tackle in the NFL.
After a 10-sack “performance” by the offensive line last Sunday, anything and everything about the Jaguars offensive line needs an upgrade. No one would dispute this. What this unit needs – besides a swift kick in the behind – is leadership.
It starts with No. 76.
Joeckel was rated as the top prospect coming out of the 2013 NFL Draft and he “slipped” to the second pick where our Jaguars did a quick Texas Two Step to nab its “Tackle of the Future.” While he is big and imposing and young, the second-year pro needs to show some improvement. Injuries derailed his rookie season. This is the chance to rewrite it with power, strength, and determination.
In the first eight seasons of their existence, the one thing the Jaguars could count on was the play of Tony Boselli. For 14 seasons, this team could count on Brad Meester showing up to work and doing his job. Now, those types of consistencies are lost. The offensive line, more than any position is the most scrutinized for not doing its job on game day.
Joeckel must step up, not only on the field, but in the locker room. Anyone drafted that high and with notion of making him the “franchise” or “another Boselli” must show he can move mountains, take the reins, pull the sled and motivate other players on the offensive line unit and the entire team. Boselli did it. Meester did it. Fred Taylor did it. Rashean Mathis did it. Now, Joeckel must do it.
Sunday is our first home game at EverBank. The Indianapolis Colts are in town – our biggest rivals. It’s time for not only Joeckel, but our entire team to step up and show it is better than the 65-27 combined scoring of the past two games. It all starts with the offensive line.
Chad Henne could have been more efficient in his throws on Sunday if he blocking was better. The non-existent running game could have been better if more holes had been opened for him. Receivers could have had more time to run pass routes if Henne had not been harassed all day in the pocket. Everything counts in small amounts, but in this case, we need bigger improvement from everyone – and we need it now.
For that to happen, it all starts with Joeckel. Hopefully, he is up to the challenge.
The Jacksonville Jaguars signed second-year wide receiver Tavarres Kingoff the Carolina Panthers practice squad to the club’s 53-man roster and moved rookie tight end Marcel Jensento the active roster from the practice squad. Tackle Cameron Bradfieldwas waived and tight end Marcedes Lewiswas placed on injured reserve/designated for return. Rookie tackle Cody Boothwas added to the practice squad.
Per NFL rules, a club is permitted to return one player from the injured reserve list to the 53-man active roster. Lewis is ineligible to practice until six weeks from today and is not eligible to return to the active roster until eight weeks have elapsed from today. At any time after the conclusion of the sixth week, Lewis is permitted to return to practice for a period not to exceed 21 calendar days.
King, 6-1, 210, was a fifth-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos in 2013 and also spent time with Carolina on their active roster as a rookie but was inactive for 10 games. He was waived by Carolina on August 30, 2014 and re-signed to their practice squad. He has not played in a NFL regular season game.
A native of Mount Airy, Georgia, King played in a school-record 56 games with 39 starts at Georgia and graduated with a degree in social studies education. He concluded his career with 136 receptions for 2,602 yards and ranked third in school history with 21 touchdowns. He played in 14 games as a senior and led the team with 42 catches for 950 yards and nine touchdowns. He led all FBS receivers with a 22.6-yard average per catch. As a junior, he produced a team-high 47 receptions for 705 yards and eight touchdowns. He attended Habersham Central High School in Mount Airy, Ga.
King will wear jersey number 83.
Jensen was signed by the Jaguars as a rookie free agent in May and has spent the first two weeks of the regular season on the club’s practice squad. Booth spent the preseason with the Jaguars and was on the club’s practice squad for the first week of the regular season.
By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)
Well, the quarterback controversy begins… In Washington.
The Redskins Kirk Cousins should send the Jacksonville Jaguars a gift or thank you card after they knocked Robert Griffin III out of action with a dislocated ankle. Last week, RGIII looked every bit the lost passer. This week, Cousins looked calm, cool and ready to lead.
Unfortunately, the only thing Chad Henne looked this week was lost, abandoned and in need of a major mulligan on the NFL season. The only thing Sunday proved for the Jacksonville Jaguars is there is plenty to work on with this young organization. It actually made me feel we were watching 2013 all over again and somewhere in that mess of something supposed to be football, Blaine Gabbert was still trying his hand at being an NFL quarterback.
Thank goodness the nightmare only lasted three hours.
The only thing this team can do is move on from the disaster. It’s a good thing head coach Gus Bradley has a rule the team can only dwell on Sunday’s game until Monday night. The hangover from this one might last well into the holiday season. The loss also puts Jacksonville in a precarious situation, especially since Indianapolis is coming to EverBank and Andrew Luck is licking his chops.
Bye the way, let’s get this out of the way – Blake Bortles would have done nothing to help the Jaguars win the game. Sending a rookie in to slaughter may have made it worse and stunted his development.
On Jaguars.com, Coach Gus Bradley said it wasn’t difficult to see that pretty much everything and everybody contributed. He was right on the money. But at some point those words, which we have heard over and over again begins to wear thin. There are other issues the team needs to address besides quarterback (like almost every position on the team), but Bortles now becomes the biggest controversy on the team because he showed promise in the preseason and there is a legit feeling he could help this team win by the media and the fans. It is the one thing which could add to a divide in support of this franchise. The fan base was so excited over the offseason and the preseason – now it appears to be waning a bit. If the Jaguars lose their fan base because of losses (which does happen in all cities with losing franchises) nothing is going to save that unless the ship gets turned around. Not even swimming pools, DJ’s and women in bikinis.
Admittedly because this team with a defense which is supposed to be so stellar had given up 65 points in two games. The offense has scored 27. Those numbers don’t lie and they don’t scare anyone. Bradley has to make it work. The team has to make it work. Until all facets of this team are working smoothly together, nothing can be accomplished.
Jacksonville, FL – September 15, 2014 - EverBank has teamed up with NFL All-Pro and former Jacksonville Jaguar Donovin Darius to host a D.A.R.E. to Dream Life Camp at EverBank Field on September 13, 2014.
Three hundred girls ages 9-16 got a behind-the-scenes experience at EverBank Field including games, activities and an interactive learning session on financial literacy supported by EverFi. EverFi is a leading education technology company focused on teaching critical skills to students. The girls as well as their parents/guardians learned important money management habits and how to better plan for the future.
“Empowering our youth with the knowledge to manage finances is vital,” said Blake Wilson, EverBank’s president and chief operating officer. “We are very proud to make this a fun, engaging event at EverBank Field alongside the Donovin Darius Foundation.”
D.A.R.E. stands for Dignity, Achievement, Respect and Empowerment. “As a father of three children, I embrace the important responsibility of this position,” said Darius. “Our camps create a great learning atmosphere and our wonderful partners provide the tools to allow these young ladies to become successful.”
ABOUT EVERBANK FINANCIAL CORP
EverBank Financial Corp, through its wholly-owned subsidiary EverBank, provides a diverse range of financial products and services directly to clients nationwide through multiple business channels. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, EverBank had $19.8 billion in assets and $13.9 billion in deposits as of June 30, 2014. With an emphasis on value, innovation and service, EverBank offers a broad selection of banking, lending and investing products to consumers and businesses. EverBank provides services to clients through the internet, over the phone, through the mail, at its Florida-based financial centers and at other business offices throughout the country. More information on EverBank can be found at www.abouteverbank.com.
By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)
There has been a lot of talk this week about the Jaguars and two things; missed conversions on third down and missed tackles on defense. Add poor blocking to the list and you just described a recipe for disaster in the NFL.
Tackling and blocking are two fundamental aspect coach Gus Bradley preaches each day and the commitment to making those two skills a priority. Obviously, the team is still learning to accept those as mantras in the Jaguars method of thinking.
If the Jaguars are going to win in Washington this Sunday, those three things must get better. Robert Griffin, III is not Nick Foles in the pocket and Alfred Morris is not Shady McCoy in the backfield. Add DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon on the outside and these weapons, although held under wraps in the season opener, and the offense could be exciting.
Something these Jaguars must think about as they make the trip to Washington.
According to Michael DiRocco, a close friend and Jags beat writer for ESPN.com, only four teams missed more tackles than the Jacksonville Jaguars did in their 34-17 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday -- and all ended up with the same result.
The Jaguars, Tampa Bay and Cleveland each missed 14 tackles. St. Louis (16), Kansas City (18), Green Bay (19) and New Orleans (23) were the only teams to miss more. All seven teams lost games. This may not bother me so much if these other teams had built 17-point leads in one half, but it does.
If the Jaguars cannot tackle right or get three yards on a third down play to move the sticks, then there is something wrong with the players or the game plan. This is not rocket science and this is not something taboo in the world of the NFL. If the team takes into consideration as well their offense is lining up against Brian Orapko and Ryan Kerrigan – two solid defensive playmakers – and this could be another long day in the trenches.
Please don’t take may words as though I am rooting against the home team. I do, however, understand the importance of this game. The Jaguars have three tough opponents ahead of them before they face Tennessee (which is improved), Cleveland (a mixed bag of players), and Miami (a team looking to make the playoffs).
This season, it is more about getting your feet wet. Winning means something. Winning cures the ills of the NFL. Winning also stops the fans from remaining disgruntled. If it means focusing on the fundamentals instead of how great Allen Hurns or Andre Branch was in the first week, so be it. Let’s just concentrate on tackling Morris in the backfield and making sure RGIII does not get past the line of scrimmage. Hopefully, there will be enough coverage to keep Jackson and Garcon at bay. And then, maybe then, we see the results we want to see – mainly because the fundamentals worked this week, instead of faltered when things looked so good out on the field.