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Can Bortles and Lewis Find Chemistry?

Nov 21, 2014 -- 9:48am

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

Marcedes Lewis and Blake Bortles have never been on a regular season field together in the same game.

That is about to change this weekend.

As the Jaguars plan to face Indianapolis this weekend, the team will welcome back their big tight end after eight weeks with a high ankle sprain. This should be a boost to the Jaguars offense, but honestly, and yes I agree with David Lamm, how much of an improvement is to be determined.

The Jaguars’ tight end has been mostly MIA in recent years, having to help pass block because of a weak offensive line or to protect Blaine Gabbert from himself in the past. Blake Bortles and his athletic ability make this a better situation for everyone involved.

To their credit last season, the Jaguars used Marcedes Lewis more and more as a pass catching threat in the second half of the season – mostly due to injuries to the receivers on the team – and he responded with blocking, catches and more importantly, first downs and touchdowns. This season with taller, fleeter receivers, Lewis could be another big target this team needs. I do not necessarily think he could be the difference maker the Jaguars need, but he could improve the scoring chances for them in a huge way.

It could be argued that besides the quarterback position, the tight end slot on offense has become the most important to the success of an NFL franchise. There are a limited amount of “stars” at the position, so finding one who can catch balls like a gazelle and can block like a third tackle is mega important to WINS.

Back when the Jaguars were winning division titles and making playoff appearances, the tight end position was in good hands with the likes of Kyle Brady and Pete Mitchell. But other than Lewis’ Pro Bowl appearance in 2010, has the team really had a solid player to fill the position? And with Lewis and his big contract possibly becoming a topic of discussion in 2015, will this be the last six games we see Lewis in Black and Teal?

The Jaguars need Lewis to perform. He needs to catch passes, block pass rushers and most importantly, score touchdowns. He needs to be everything he was in 2010. Like I said before, the position seems to have been forgotten in the recent past. Hopefully the second half of last year will be a reminder for this coaching staff as they prepare for the second half of this season.

Hopefully the more Lewis performs the more Bortles will improve. And the more Lewis and Bortles improve, the better chances are Lewis may return to Jacksonville next season. 

Who Should Take Blame for 1-9?

Nov 19, 2014 -- 10:57am

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

While I said on Monday that the Jaguars and their fans should consider the final six weeks of the season as a new beginning for the franchise, there is still the problem of determining just what went wrong over the course of the first 10 games and the 16 total games on the schedule.

Reeling off two or three more wins, much like the team did last year will do wonders for team moral and maybe for the fans psyche, however it does not change what is wrong here in Jacksonville. Head coach Gus Bradley gives the same speech every week about how this team is learning and progressing. The team, admittedly, is better than it was last season. It shows in different segments of the team each game, but unless we are talking about the Cleveland win, there are nine games where miscues and ineptness have cost the team wins.

So, my question to everyone out there is, “Who falls on the sword for this franchise?”

The defensive unit, although still dealing with issues at linebacker and in the secondary, has played better in the past six weeks. There is still a need for an elite pass rusher, two linebackers and a safety. Free agency can take care of most of those needs. The NFL Draft should yield he team (which has the No. 2 selection should the season end today) a top pass rusher like Randy Gregory from Nebraska or top offensive lineman like Brandon Scherff of Iowa. If the team trades down, Florida’s Dante Fowler or someone like linebacker Vic Beasley of Clemson or Shane Ray of Missouri could fit nicely here.

Each addition would surely help the team, but that is not what this blog is about. Bluntly put, which staff member, member of management or what security guard on game day is responsible for another collapse – well really impotence in this team’s ability to win football games?

If it is the offense that cannot “do its job” on Sundays, does it clearly fall on the coordinator Jedd Fisch? There is improvement in the offensive line, the running game and there are better receivers on the roster. Blake Bortles’ progression was steady, but has tapered off. Does quarterback coach Frank Scelfo take the blame for a lack of steady play? These are decisions that must also be made in the offseason. Team owner Shad Khan is not going to fire general manager Dave Caldwell, and in turn Caldwell is not going to tell Bradley he must go. The blue print is still in place and for the most part, it is working but may take an extra year to get there. Bradley and Caldwell are doing this for the first time. They need more than two years to turn this around. But someone must be held accountable.

Look for there to be a change, or two, in the offensive coaching staff next season. Sometimes it isn’t as much the players who might be in the wrong situation, rather the coaches who are teaching these players about the situation at hand.

Jaguars activate TE Marcedes Lewis to 53-man roster; place WR Allen Robinson on IR

Nov 17, 2014 -- 4:32pm

The Jacksonville Jaguars today activated tight end Marcedes Lewis from the injured reserve/designated to return list to the 53-man roster and placed rookie wide receiver Allen Robinson on injured reserve.  The club also waived rookie TE Mike Flacco from the practice squad and waived rookie wide receiver Nathan Slaughter from injured reserve.

 

Robinson injured his foot against Dallas on November 9.  Lewis suffered a high ankle sprain at Washington on Sept. 14 and was placed on injured reserve on Sept. 16 with a designation to return.  Per NFL rules, a club is permitted to return one player from the injured reserve list to the 53-man active roster.  

Jaguars Start 0-0 After Bye Week

Nov 17, 2014 -- 10:13am

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

With only six weeks remaining in Jacksonville’s season following the team’s bye week, I’d like to try something that might make the next 42 days bearable – let’s close our eyes and imagine a 0-0 record.

For the next six weeks can we all pretend this is the start of another season so we can talk about progress instead of regression? Can this team do the same thing it did last season after traveling to London and pulling off four wins in eight games? Can we win at least two, if not three games before we say goodbye and write the obituary on a deadly season that left us heartbroken and desperate for something more than one victory?

Call me crazy, but with an extra week off and some motivation due to players being released, players returning to the roster and injuries making it important as ever for others on the 53-man roster to step forward, this could be a glimpse of what we might see as part of next year.

In other words, the 2015 season starts now.

Can Blake Bortles take the week off and prove he is the same guy we saw in the second half against Indianapolis (the Jaguars face the Colts this weekend)? Can Marquise Lee slide into Allen Robinson’s position and prove he was worth a second-round pick? Can the secondary play a little more up-tempo?

Will this be Marcedes Lewis’ last six weeks in a Jacksonville uniform?

The Jaguars defense still continues to amaze me with sacks and pressure on the opposition, but I would like to see a few more interceptions and better tackling. How about switching up the zone defense a little and using more man-to-man coverages, especially this week against T.Y Hilton and Reggie Wayne. How about harder hitting so receivers think twice about going across the middle?

This is a big opportunity for this franchise. We all thought the Jaguars would have more wins by now. We all thought the offense would be better (which it is) and opponents would be trying to figure out how to stop our speed on the outside. That has not happened.

Looking at the worst teams in the NFL, we are better than the Raiders and the Jets. The Buccaneers are debatable. We face Houston twice (a team that is improving), the Titans, the Giants, the Ravens and the Colts this weekend. Two wins (maybe three) is not unreasonable, or too much to ask. More consistent play behind center and a continued commitment to the running game will assist Jacksonville’s cause.

Making a difference in the style of play, a progression in the passing game and a greater effort in the linebacking unit and secondary will tell us a lot about what happens in 2015 – win or lose.

Jaguars activate CB Aaron Colvin to 53-man roster

Nov 12, 2014 -- 10:00am

The Jacksonville Jaguars today activated rookie cornerback Aaron Colvin to the 53-man roster from the reserve/non-football injury list and claimed third-year cornerback Teddy Williams off waivers from Chicago, the club announced.  Linebacker Dekoda Watson and first-year cornerback Peyton Thompson were waived from the 53-man roster.  Rookie cornerback Lou Young was waived from the practice squad.

 

Colvin was a fourth-round draft pick of the Jaguars in 2014 after playing in 50 games with 36 starts at Oklahoma.  He suffered a torn ACL during a Senior Bowl practice in January.  He finished his collegiate career with 234 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, five interceptions, 3.5 sacks and 23 passes defensed.  Colvin was an All-Big 12 first-team selection as a senior.

 

Williams, 6-1, 207, has spent time with Dallas, Indianapolis, Arizona and Chicago and played in 15 career games.  He was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Cowboys in 2010 and spent two seasons on the club’s practice squad.  He was signed by the Colts in 2012 and played in a career-high seven games before he was waived on August 30, 2013.  Williams joined the Cardinals midway through the 2013 season and played in three games before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury.  The Bears signed him off the Cardinals practice squad on Oct. 1, 2014 and he played in five games for the Bears, mainly on special teams, before he was waived on Nov. 10. 

 

A native of Tyler, Texas, Williams did not play college football.  He was a standout on the Texas-San Antonio track and field team, becoming the school’s only four-time All-America selection.  He helped lead the team to six Southland Conference titles (four indoor and two outdoor) and claimed nine individual conference titles (five indoor and four outdoor).  He was twice named the league’s Indoor Athlete of the Year (2009-10) as well as Outdoor Outstanding Track Performer (2009-10).  He established school records in the 55 meters (6.23 seconds), 60 meters (6.59), 100 meters (9.90), 200 meters (20.60) and 400 meter relay (39.59).  He was a three-year starter in football and two-year starter in baseball at John Tyler High School where he also ran track.

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