By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)
Here’s hoping the Jacksonville Jaguars are not about to make a huge mistake with the team’s running game.
A week removed from the team celebrating its first 100-yard game of the season when Denard Robinson ran through the Cleveland for 127 yards, the team announced that Toby Gerhart was on the practice field and was at full speed, which makes you wonder what will happen with the recent success of Robinson in light of the fact the bell cow running back signed in the offseason finally looks healthy and ready to shoulder the load for Jacksonville and its running game.
Here’s one who hopes the team sticks to what worked last week and gives Robinson, a second-year player out of Michigan, the majority of the carries against the Miami Dolphins this weekend.
If for no other reason, Robinson earned the right to start this week after the best game of his young career. Success breeds success.
Gerhart was brought to Jacksonville to replace Maurice Jones-Drew, establish and more bullish running game and to be a better fit in what the Jaguars brass are trying to build with a younger team and a more cohesive franchise.
Robinson, however, looks to be a better fit right now.
The Jaguars approach for Sunday is simple – win the game by splitting time with both backs in an effort to find the right fit. You may not know this, but the Dolphins were in the same situation last season, of sorts.
Miami opened the season with hope and promise. A solid veteran offensive line that was supposed to open huge holes for a rotation of Lamar Miller and local running back standout, Daniel Thomas.
Scandal and poor play rocked the Dolphins. Infighting lead to off-field issues. While the off-field stuff took center stage, the combination of both running backs could not get the job done behind a line that was only slightly better than the Jaguars.
This year, Miami has shown a propensity to be able to run better. The Jaguars proved it could run last week against Cleveland, but it was Robinson in a shining moment, who was able to prove this is a team that can move the chains on the ground.
Hopefully, that is the same mantra as last week.
The Dolphins defense one of the better units in the NFL and the Jaguars offense is ranked one of the worst. It could be a very long day for the home team, especially if they cannot run the ball, or worse, can run the ball not decide on a lead dog. Hopefully, there will be only one lead dog in the pack on Sunday.
If not, it could be a very long day, and that only means the Jaguars first win may be the only one – for a while.
Jaguars rookie linebacker Telvin Smith was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week today by the NFL. Smith registered a sack, forced fumble, interception and two passes defensed in the club’s win over Cleveland.
Smith, who has two career sacks, registered a sack/forced fumble of Brian Hoyer in the third quarter and the ball was recovered by linebacker Paul Posluszny. With 5:21 remaining in the game, Smith picked off Hoyer and returned it 15 yards to set up a Jaguars touchdown.
Smith became the first AFC rookie to win a player of the week award in 2014 and second overall (CB Kyle Fuller, Chicago, week two).
The Jacksonville Jaguars today signed rookie cornerback Lou Young to the practice squad. With Young’s signing, the Jaguars now have the league-maximum 10 players on their practice squad.
Young, 6-1, 196, was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Denver where he spent the preseason before he was waived on final cuts. He spent four weeks on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad before he was waived on October 9.
Young played in 49 career games with 34 starts for Georgia Tech, totaling 134 career tackles, four interceptions and 12 passes defensed. A native of Washington, D.C., he played for coach Bob Milloy at Good Counsel (Md.) High School where he led his team to a conference title in 2009 and was named Maryland’s Defensive Player of the Year following his senior season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars signed rookie defensive end Chris Smith to the 53-man roster and placed linebacker Paul Posluszny (pectoral muscle) on injured reserve, the club announced today.
Posluszny suffered the injury on Sunday in the club’s win over the Cleveland Browns. Smith, a fifth-round draft pick in 2014, was on the club’s opening day roster before he was waived on September 13, 2014. He was signed to the Jaguars practice squad on September 15 where he has remained the last five weeks.
Smith wears jersey number 98.
By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)
About 15 months ago I remember watching a rookie named Denard Robinson standing in the middle of the Jaguars practice facilities with coaches before practice had even started, listening to his mentors show him how to hold onto the football. The rookie from Michigan had been drafted to play running back, not quarterback where he has exceled at in college. I also remember wondering how this wafer-thin player was going to make the transition to a new position, and if he would be able to do anything to help this Jaguars franchise.
After a subpar rookie season, Robinson not only proved he could help these Jaguars, he could also start in the NFL and may be the solution to a woeful running game so far this season. He ran for a career-high 127 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, a WIN for these Jaguars. In a game where our rookie quarterback, Blake Bortles looked less than stellar, Robinson and a strong defense looked sharp – sharp enough to bail the team out for a 24-6 win.
The star of the show, however, was Robinson, who had the first 100-yard rushing game by a Jaguars running back since last season. The win for the home team was the first win since December of last year,
It also means there is a definitive starter behind Bortles and a rushing game that was aided by strong blocking up front along the offensive line.
In the words of Jackie Gleason – “How Sweet It Is.”
In the win on Sunday, the Jaguars not only found a running game, but the defensive side of the ball showed how strong it was, causing turnovers and sacking Brian Hoyer three more times, to give this team 22 on the season. The play of both Paul Posluszny (11 tackles) and Telvin Smith, a rookie linebacker who continues to impress, shows this is not a front line defense and nothing else.
And while we did not see the best of Bortles on offense with his arm (three interceptions) he did have his moments with both his arm and his feet.
Yes, this is a team that is coming together. I would go as far to say this should be a Jaguars’ team that is riding a three-game winning streak, but close is only good in horseshoes and hand grenades.
But we are getting better.
Now, with Miami on the horizon on Sunday at EverBank Field, can the Jaguars do it again? I sure hope so. And something tells me Denard Robinson feels the same.