The Jaguars are opening up training camp today, and they’ll have lots of work to do in their quest to be competitive this upcoming season.
The offense in 2011 was simply abysmal. The offense was ranked 28th in scoring and 32nd overall in total offense. With that, management brought in head coach Mike Mularkey to retool the offense. His main task will be to make something of QB Blaine Gabbert, who did not look like he belonged in the league last season. While Gabbert did not show much promise in 2011, there is no reason to believe that he will not cut it out as a quarterback. Hopefully the offensive staff can tweak his game enough to get the fans to really believe in him.
Statistically, the defense was fairly good last season. It ranked 6th overall, and allowed 20.6 points per game, good for 11th in the league. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker should continue to do a good job with that side of the ball and the defense should not regress. If this season’s defensive unit replicates their play from 2011, this team should not be any worse than it was last year.
As training camp progresses, the team will be inspected in greater detail. It will be interesting to see for how long MJD holds out for. He is not expected to be at camp today. Also, once rookie receiver Justin Blackmon signs, how quickly will he and Gabbert get a rapport with each other? The sky is the limit for Blackmon, but he is already under a microscope given his off-season DUI arrest.
Now, where are the Jaguars expected to finish this season? I personally do not believe that they will finish with a record below 7-9. But, what do I know? Much is not expected of this team, however, I do not think it is as bad as the analysts and experts would lead you to believe. Mike Florio, of Pro Football Talk, thinks that the Jags will be the 3rd worst team in the league, finishing ahead of only the Browns, and the Colts.