JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Coach Urban Meyer spent several minutes after the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 21-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at TIAA Bank Field talking about changing their offense to include more extensive aspects – such as QB races, options race passes and acceleration at times – but there was no immediate answer as to why it took 11 games to reach this point.
âGood question,â he said.
A moment later, the first-year NFL head coach tried to explain the long delay by saying that they weren’t sure what the staff could do, that they were missing out on big games and had poor execution, and that they didn’t have an understanding of who they were (although he said at the start of the season that they wanted to be a top team).
Even taking those things into account, the bottom line is that it’s taken three months to get to the point where Meyer and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell are starting to put things on the offensive as rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence is in. comfortable to run.
That is problematic.
âThere’s no stubbornness, it’s just that we’re all figuring out this thing, and we should have figured it out by now,â Meyer said. âAnd I would say this: that it’s not like we haven’t figured it out. We are not performing at a high standard. We put ourselves in a position to win a game, and if we eliminate nonsense, then we will win a game. “
Meyer said he hired Bevell because he wanted to put Lawrence in an attack that would be best for his long-term success. Bevell had worked with Russell Wilson as a rookie and had done a few RPOs, but Wilson eventually became a pocket passer who thrived – and won a Super Bowl. Wilson had running back Marshawn Lynch and receivers Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Sidney Rice.
He’s a much better offensive talent than Lawrence’s with the Jaguars. James Robinson is a very good fullback, but he’s not up to Lynch’s level. And Meyer has been adamant about the inability of the Jaguars receivers to win their roads and separate, saying they are not doing enough.
To be fair, injuries definitely hurt the offense. DJ Chark Jr. was the team’s only deep threat, and he fell with a broken ankle in Week 4. This forced the Jaguars to use Jamal Agnew, signed as a returner, more on offense, and He quickly became their most explosive player before suffering from a hip injury in Week 11.
But it’s not like the offense turns it on when these two are healthy. The Jaguars haven’t scored more than 23 points this season and after Sunday’s 21-14 loss, their points-per-game average fell to 15.7. They are dangerously close to the franchise’s lowest average per game (15.2) set in 2011.
Hope uses more tempo, incorporating more quarterback runs (over play options or designed calls) and the addition of a few run pass options (things Lawrence was comfortable with and thrived at Clemson) will unleash a unit that has scored five touchdowns in six games since the off week.
The Jaguars (2-9) tried some of that against the Falcons (5-6). Lawrence held the ball on four playable plays, and Bevell accelerated for the first three games of the second half and again in the fourth quarter on their only touchdown.
âI thought we had some good wrinkles today,â said Lawrence, who completed 23 of 42 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown with an interception. âObviously not the result we wanted. [We] wanted to come out with a win. But I think we were much more effective offensively. Thing # 1 is finishing the records. We need to score more touchdowns.
âSo I would say that’s the main thing, but I think we’ve taken a step forward in terms of productivity today. I thought we did a better job.
Meyer said he expects more of these things over the past six weeks.
“I thought the coaches were working hard, and we followed a certain pace, we followed a little pace, which I think our quarterback is used to, and I think you’ll see more of it,” did he declare.
It just took them a long time to get there.