Sam's Commentary

August 10, 2017 Commentary Archive

Jaguars Better 1st Impression vs. Patriots

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted August 10, 2017 ===========================================================================

All you get in the first preseason game is first impressions. Sometimes they're false and other times they start a trend. For the Jaguars, you hope the first impressions against the New England Patriots are some indication of how the season might go. They scored points. They made some stops. Blake Bortles continued to improve and new guys stepped up.

"They're a 10-6 team waiting on quarterback play," one scout said in the offseason of the Jaguars. That means they have some talent on the roster that can be enhanced or negated by the play of Bortles. Blake was 3 of 5 for 16 yards with a drop in his one quarter of play against the Patriots. He didn't look spectacular but he did find the open guy, even checking down to the third receiver. What they're looking for is improvement and the Jaguars are getting that two weeks into the 2017 preseason from their quarterback.

"I had him going in there for the first quarter with the players," Head Coach Doug Marrone said. "We had a bunch of good work all week against the Patriots. He took the majority of the snaps [during the week of practice]. It was the plan coming in and we just stuck with the plan."

If there's a theme to a Doug Marrone-run training camp it's consistency. He felt like that showed against the Patriots.

"The first thing we were looking for is the discipline," he explained. "In the first half, we only had one penalty as a team. Special teams, take a look over it, then obviously trying to create a run game and be physical. I think when you get that big return, those are the things that will kind of get you, so I will talk about to them offensively about in there."

After getting in the game behind Chris Ivory, and T.J. Yeldon, Leonard Fournette was impressive on every snap. When they drafted him Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations told him "get ready to get the ball in the end zone son." And added to the media, "It sets a tone. We know we're going to run it. They know we're going to run it." And run it they did. Fournette carried it four straight times in one sequence, showing, power, speed, vision and that "wiggle" that successful NFL backs have.

In the "they know we're going to run it" part, Fournette, on fourth and 1, broke through for a first down. Late in the second quarter he was back in the game and near the goal line had three straight carries, scoring his first preseason TD. Hard to be "better than advertised" when you're the 4th pick in the draft but Fournette, so far, is everything you could hope for from a featured back.

"Good. I thought he looked good," Marrone added when asked about Fournette. I" think he has to run a little bit with his pads lower at times. Obviously, you can see the power that he has."

A long TD pass from Chad Henne to rookie WR Keelan Cole, 97 yards, was a surprise only if you hadn't been to practice. Cole is a rookie from Kentucky Wesleyan who has speed and has been getting deep for the first two weeks of training camp. He's making a case to make the team as the 6th wide receiver. The impressive thing about the play, and noticeable throughout the first half, was the time the quarterbacks, both Bortles and Henne, had to throw.

Using Cam Robinson, their 2nd round pick from Alabama as their starter at left tackle and Josh Wells at right tackle for an injured Jeremy Parnell, they looked like a pretty tight unit. Patrick Omameh, Brandon Linder and A.J. Cann were solid in the middle. If they're looking for the "five best offensive linemen" as Head Coach Doug Marrone says, they've gotten a good look at five candidates in the first game.

As in any preseason exhibition game, the second half is all about the coaches getting to see players in "live" action. We already know Corey Grant is fast so it's was no surprise when he ripped of a 79-yard TD run. Branden Allen is still a solid backup quarterback but Doug Marrone has already told us that Chad Henne is behind Blake.

So first impression is they're a bit better. They run better and they're deeper than they've been. But to quote Marrone, again, they've "got a long way to go."


Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

08-09-2017 - Bortles Better But Not Close To Brady
08-08-2017 - The PLAYERS In March Is The Right Fit
08-08-2017 - Jaguars/Patriots Practice: What It's Supposed To Look Like
08-07-2017 - Gipson Now Knows Tom Brady Is The Goat
08-05-2017 - Marrone's Jaguars Camp: Old Is New Again
07-28-2017 - Jaguars 2017: All About Blake
07-13-2017 - Kingfish Tournament Still Fishing
07-12-2017 - TPC Performance Center Will Make You Better
07-07-2017 - Players Is Big And Getting Bigger
06-29-2017 - Gators Baseball Win National Title
06-28-2017 - Gators Baseball National Champs
06-17-2017 - Bortles Knows This Is It
06-17-2017 - Marrone, Albert Lynchpins To Jaguars Success
06-10-2017 - Marrone Unimpressed In OTA's
05-24-2017 - Bortles On Being Bad, Better
05-15-2017 - Sunday Stroll For Si Woo Kim
05-12-2017 - Still Anybody's Tournament
05-11-2017 - Malik Jackson At The Players: "It's Pretty Dope"
05-10-2017 - Winning Score? TPC Stadium Is Firm And Fast
05-10-2017 - Sergio: Everybody's New Favorite
05-09b-2017 - THE PLAYERS In May Or March Is Still Huge
05-09-2017 - GJO To The Players Is A Long Trip
04-29-2017 - Jaguars Take "Bama OL In 2nd Round
04-28-2017 - Jaguars Take Fournette: "Physical"
04-27-2017 - Past Is Prologue For The Jaguars Draft
04-22-2017 - Jaguars Draft 2017: Take The Best Player
04-21-2017 - Nothing Good In The Jags 2017 Schedule
03-31-2017 - Mt. Acosta Classic Is Something Special
03-29-2017 - Marrone Looking For Competition, Consistency
03-28-2017 - Khan "Actions Speak Louder Than Words"
03-28-2017 - Coughlin "We Need A Culture Change"
03-26-2017 - NFL Owners Talk Player Safety, Shorter Games In Phoenix
03-19-2017 - Gators Swamp Virginia, Head To New York
03-19-2017 - FSU Can't Shoot, Loses To Xavier
03-14-2017 - DL3 In The HOF, Still Wants To Play
03-08-2017 - Jaguars Free-agency Preview: Plugging Holes
02-24-2017 - Shorter SpeedWeeks, Better Racing?
02-22-2017 - One Stop Sports Recovery (Now available to everybody)
02-07-2017 - The Case For Boselli In The Hall, And The Process It Entails
02-01-2017 - Coughlin Says Boselli "Should Be In The Hall Of Fame"
01-19-2017 - Hackett Stays As Jaguars OC
01-12-2017 - Coughlin, "Winning Is What It's All About"
01-11-2017 - Marrone Starts To Change The Staff
01-09-2017 - Marrone, Coughlin, Caldwell Try To "Fix" Jaguars
01-03-2017 - Boselli Makes Hall Of Fame Final 15
01-02-2017 - Jaguars To Compete For A Head Coach

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