Jags want more from running game

 Maurice Jones-DrewFred Taylor

The Jacksonville Jaguars last season was known for their potent running attack with the two-headed monster of running backs Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor; the team averaged around 159 yards per game.  So far this season, the team is averaging 94 yards a game, a decidedly steep drop.  But according to Jones-Drew, he claims that the offense will get back on track soon, telling Mark Long of the Associated Press, “Oh, it’s coming.  We just have to be patient with it.”

As of this week (not counting tonight’s Washington-Philadelphia game), only 3 teams have scored fewer points than the Jaguars.  The team believes that finding a rhythm in the running attack will be the key to turning their fortunes around.  Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said that the team nearly broke some long runs but that timing may still be an issue.  Del Rio, Taylor and Jones-Drew seem to think that defenses weren’t doing anything different as opposed to last year, with Jones-Drew adding, “They played the same exact scheme: put eight in the box and make us pass, try to scare us from running. 

“But we’re going to run the ball regardless.  It doesn’t matter how many people you put in the box.  You can put eight, nine guys in the box and we can still run the ball.”  What Jones-Drew seems to forget that the one risk in running the ball inot a defensive scheme of 8-9 men in the box is more often than not, yardage will be very hard to come by, unless you do something like a play-action pass or something similar.  I don’t know of many teams who can succeed thinking they can run successfully against a “8-9 men in the box” scheme.

The running game of the Jags does need to improve, but thinking that you’re going to be successful against a stacked defensive line is really being short-sighted.  an improved offensive line would at least cure part of the running problem that Jones-Drew and Taylor appear to have diffciulties with.

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