I love Ray Lewis. Yes, I know he may have killed two people, but I’m talking about Ray as the football player and analyst. I watch, Inside the NFL, just to hear what he says because he always, ALWAYS imparts wisdom. This article is based on things he said, that got me thinking.
The man knows defenses even though he’s biased towards the Ravens, but he knows what it takes to be dominant. Over the last few weeks he’s said a few things and I’m cobbling them together, along with something I heard here.
Will lead off with what I heard. The first deals with the offense and that is Doug Marrone is old-school ground and pound and doesn’t know how to deal with an offense based on having to pass. Considering he got conservative against NE* in the play-offs, that seems true.
Is he overruling Nate Hackett? It could be that the reason we’ve seen some bi-polar games week to week and even inside a game may be due to this tug-of war. Which means Marrone needs to let his OC do his job or Hackett needs to lead by telling him to piss off and let him do his job.
The ground and pound does a hole in it because why not use Tommy Bohanon more to help Yeldon? Especially in the red zone. He’s been MIA in the game plans. Also, (broken record here) but who has a run game without any Tight Ends? These guys can block and with the OL we saw, they need all they help they could get.
Is Dave Caldwell or Marrone not seeing this or are they blinded to only wanting to use in-house guys? But they pulled guys off the street for the practice squad and then elevated them. Moving on because no is asking them these questions.
Defense. Overheard that the secondary isn’t communicating and there’s no trust among them, so each player isn’t doing just his job. I believe this. Boy, do I ever. The fact that the secondary had no qualms going out drinking until four AM and Ramsey didn’t go with them, says a lot.
Ramsey also pointed to the locker room when asked about issues. I read a coach’s quote recently (sorry can’t remember the coach) who said that one guy can disrupt an entire locker room, drag it down. It would be too easy to say it was Donte Fowler; however, he wasn’t at the bar in London. Maybe they didn’t invite him because he is an issue, but I don’t believe any of the DL was there.
Which circles back around to: who’s the leader? Barry Church and Bouye brought along rookies on their foolish outing. An outing that says, who cares we have a must win game that could move us up? Who cares if we dump large quantities of alcohol into our bodies a day before a game and right after flying for hours? Both dehydrate and can lead to injuries. What did we see in London?
Members of the drinking crew needing trainers. This is after a, come to Jesus meeting, held by Calais Campbell. Obviously, it didn’t work showing he’s not the leader. Or maybe he is, but not to the linebackers and secondary. Nor a few members of the offense.
SO, here we are, 3-5 and it doesn’t appear anyone is leading this ship. Not Bortles or Campbell or the coaches.
Speaking of which, if they didn’t go get a TE, are they thinking the season is over? If so, why not bench all the drinking crew for a game? He benched Fournette for missing a team photo. If they think the season isn’t over, then what message did he give to the team to instill fear and discipline?
Moving on to the secondary, the one piece of the team we thought was rocking it. If there’s no communication, if the four aren’t trusting one another to do their jobs, how is anything going to get better if there’s no leader?
The members of Denver’s once vaunted No Fly Zone often remarked how they knew how each others’ thoughts, they had such great communication and that was key. Sometimes teams find the right four guys and right coach- Aqib Talib, TJ Ward, Chris Harris, Darian Stewart and DB coach Joe Woods had it in 2015. They lost two of their members, the coach and the magic.
Is the problem with the wrong four guys in Jax or the wrong coach? Jalen Ramsey is the nearest to Talib, so it’s up to him to forget his age, kick some ass and take names because the team is dependent upon it.
Ray Lewis also said that during a game, you need that vocal leader to grab a guy and give him hell for not doing his job. Two is even better, he and Ed Reed instilled fear. That bled over to the entire defense.
On offense, you need a QB who also does that. Watch all the micc’d up films, the QB’s are going off on their guys, even mild-mannered Drew Brees is seen losing it and Peyton Manning was so fearsome, some of his teammates were petrified to talk to him. Guess what? His teams won, and won and won.
It’s (past) time for Jacksonville’s front office to look around and find the answers. I’ve seen what lax leadership at the top can do to an entire team. It needs to draft a QB who isn’t a laid-back beach guy (that makes me sad to write). They need to draft guys who eat, sleep and dream football. Young men who burn for football.
I asked Kareem Hunt before he was drafted if there was anything he didn’t like about being a running back, such as getting hit all the time. He replied that he loved everything because it all went to football and he loved football. You can’t take one anyway, you have to accept it all. His eyes burned with that answer, his passion was evident and not a canned reply. That’s what you need.
Guys with chips on their shoulders. Remember, Hunt was the overlooked back because he went to a smaller school.
Who the Jaguars are missing is Paul Posluszny
As I write this, the Jags blew their assignments after Eric Ebron scored and can be seen “discussing” what happened. So, the issue hasn’t been fixed, there is a communication problem and until that is fixed, this season is toast and maybe next one, too.
Just saw another blown coverage, this time because of a linebacker. As an aside, the Colts are using three tight ends which has steam coming from my ears.
A team shows its true character when they lose, how they react to losing. Do they rally together as a team, don the three musketeers motto or fall apart? Teams with good leaders, put their heads down, pull up their socks, blocks out the outside world and works harder (and stays out of bars).
I truly hope this team can bond during this game, pull off a win and show grit and leadership.