Sam's Commentary

September 08, 2016 Commentary Archive

Jaguars And Packers, More Similar Than You Think

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted September 08, 2016 ===========================================================================

On the surface it looks like a mismatch of a still-learning quarterback in the Jaguars Blake Bortles and a 12-year veteran Aaron Rodgers. But closer inspection shows a lot more similarities between the two quarterbacks and the receivers and running game they rely on.

Bortles has spent the recent off-seasons working specifically on his quarterback skills and training with his top receivers, Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson. He's also feeling pretty good about Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon running the football. Rodgers has worked on his delivery and footwork throughout his career and leans on players like Randal Cobb and Jordy Nelson when he's scrambling around and Eddie Lacy pounding it on the ground.

"That's what you rely on. You rely on the thousands of reps we've put in over the years and trust we'll be able to make it work when he gets out there," Rodgers said of Nelson's return in 2016 after an injury. "I'm sure he, just like a quarterback, going out there in the preseason, doesn't mind taking a shot to get a feel of the game. I'm sure it wouldn't be bad for him to get tackled."

Working for the second year in Greg Olson's offense, Bortles has better command and is more comfortable. He admits it's still a learning process but he's getting more comfortable knowing where Olson might be going during a particular drive.

"I think this year it's definitely more of a collaborative effort-or not a collaborative effort, but I have a good feeling of what he likes to call," Blake explained before practice on Wednesday. "So it's definitely less shocking, but I think when the calls come in, I expect them to come in and we're definitely on the same page."

On the other hand, Aaron Rodgers us under a new offensive coordinator, Jacksonville's Edgar Bennett is running the Packers offense after stints as the running back and receivers coach in Green Bay. But the offense is basically the same.

"I've been fortunate enough to be in a structured offense for 12 years," Rodgers explained. "Obviously, it's morphed over the years. I had a good relationship with Mike (McCarthy) over the years as a play-caller to a quarterback. We've had a lot of great moments together and we learned to anticipate things and anticipate the calls and get into a flow with him where you feed off each other."

Taking over the offense was in the cards a few years ago as Bennett switched coaching groups to gain a more diverse knowledge of the offense.

"When Edgar went to wide receivers in 2011 the initial thought was mine and I went to him, sat down and talked to him about it and then told him what I was thinking," Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy explained. And his praise and expectations of Edgar are higher still.

"Definitely. I think Edgar Bennett is head coach material in the National Football League. With that being said, when you look at what he's done at every position he's had success. He did a great job with the running backs, great job with the receivers and that's a big part of why he's our offensive coordinator today."

In only his third year, Blake Bortles has shown marked improvement and hopes to build on the 35 touchdowns he threw last season.

"You can really tell. Just the ownership, even with protections," Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley explained about Bortles progression. "That was a big emphasis with us. I know the sack numbers have gone down last year from the year previous. It is a big point of emphasis. I think when you own the protections and understand it and can handle it out on the field, it is a big part of it. I really see that part of Blake as well."

For Sunday's game, the Jaguars are the "sleeper" pick, figuring that if you're going to beat the Packers, early in the season, on the road and in the heat is the place to get it done. But Bradley warns against thinking that Green Bay could be down an out before the final whistle. He noted their ability to come back in the second half.

"They have that. You can see multiple games where they have done that. Let's come out strong and have a good couple stops and then that is good, but it is 60 minutes because this team can get a roll. It is more of that message. We are going to need this effort throughout. It is a very explosive offense."


Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

09-06-2016 - Jaguars Roster: Bigger, Faster, Stronger
08-31-2016 - Are The Jaguars 'Hoping" For Success
08-30-2016 - Jaguars Know Bengals Effort Won't Fly
08-29-2016 - Wake Up Call For Jaguars Vs. Bengals
08-28-2016 - Jaguars "Fact Finding" vs. Bengals
08-23-2016 - Arrow Up On Jaguars
08-20-2016 - South End Zone Project: Khan Wants To Get It Right
08-13-2016 - Jets Game, Training Camp, Jaguars Still Working
08-03-2016 - Bortles Better, Defense Better
07-31-2016 - Stadium Improvements March On
07-29-2016 - FSU/Boise St. To Play Here In 2019
07-28-2016 - Air2G2 Local Company Making Good
07-27-2016 - Smith "Grateful and excited" to be in The Pride
07-27-2016 - Time for Jimmy Smith in The Pride
07-22-2016 - Jaguars Ready To Win Says Malik Jackson
07-22-2016 - Khan On 2016 Roster: "Scary Good"
07-15-2016 - Cryotherapy: The latest in "Sam's Big Comeback"
06-16-2016 - MJD on Jaguars: "They can win the South"
06-15-2016 - Foley To Leave Florida In A Good Spot
06-11-2016 - Marks Returns Optimistic
06-03-2016 - Hurns Deal Good All Around
05-31-2016 - Jaguars TE Thomas: We can be better
05-25-2016 - Hale Irwin at WGV: Winners have the heart of a champion"
05-24-2016 - Jaguars Start OTA's "Good not great."
05-20-2016 - Ramsey Hurt: Jaguars Snake Bit?
05-15-2016 - Day Wins THE PLAYERS 2016
05-13-2016 - Play Suspended At THE PLAYERS in Rd. 2
05-13-2016 - Wilcox Hole In One At 17
05-13-2016 - THE PLAYERS Round 2: Low Scores Again
05-12-2016 - First Round Players Notes
05-12-2016 - Day Early Leader At THE PLAYERS
05-12-2016 - Spite A Favorite, And Not Just For Golf
05-10-2016 - Fowler Still "Likes the Vibe"
05-10-2016 - Formula To Win THE PLAYERS? None
05-09-2016 - More Players At THE PLAYERS On Monday
05-09-2016 - Furyk Returns Optimistic At PLAYERS
04-30-2016 - Caldwell Takes Jack: "Risk To Be Great"
04-29-2016 - Jaguars' Ramsey: Best Player In The Draft
04-27-2016 - Khan On Draft Day: "Don't Be Impulsive"
04-23-2016 - Raising Money, Always Funny, Bill Murray's In Town
04-20-2016 - Mcelwain: Gators Much Farther Along
04-16-2016 - Armada Get 1st Win 2-1 vs. Miami FC
04-14-2016 - Rashean Retires As A Jaguar
04-09-2016 - Masters Traditions Like No Other
04-01-2016 - NFL Contributes To HS Player Safety
03-28-2016 - USA Soccer To Play Here September 6
03-26-2016 - When Watching Tony Kornheiser, Buyer Beware
03-24-2016 - Khan Still Moving Forward
03-23-2016 - Dave Caldwell's Jaguars Vision
03-23-2016 - Bradley: Stay to the Plan
03-09-2016 - Mayor Curry To Run Gate River Run
02-27-2016 - "The Hayt" Tests College Players At Sawgrass CC
02-19-2016 - Earnhardt, Kyle Busch win Duels at Daytona
02-18-2016 - Jaguars Re-sign Chad Henne
02-18-2016 - Champions Ride for Safety
02-12-2016 - The Players Military Appreciation Day
02-08-2016 - Hall of Fame Voting: A Process
02-04-2016 - FSU Class Among The Best In The Nation
02-04-2016 - Gators Bolster Offense on Signing Day
01-29-2016 - Stadium Clubs "Reimagined"
01-25-2016 - Remembering Rex Morgan
01-21-2016 - "Krossover" Helping Hs Hoops Teams
01-13-2016 - Cyclists And Motorists Looking For Compromise
01-07-2016 - Jacksonville in the D-League?
01-07-2016 - Smith Fired in Tampa: Jax DC?
01-05-2016 - For Gus' Sake, I Hope He's Right
01-04-2016 - Coughlin Out At Giants HC
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Lose To Texans, Work To Do
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Playing Today, Thinking About Tomorrow

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