Jacksonville, FL. On Tuesday, to combat injuries, the Jacksonville Jaguar roster moves raised some eyebrows, starting with the signing of Jamal Charles. Yes, the running back is 31 and yes, he hasn’t had playing time since last year; however…
He brings tools Jacksonville needs. Rookie running backs and even first year ones offer speed and young bodies that can take more wear and tear, however…They lack experience in an area that the Jaguars lack.
I put that in block letters because if the Jags want any kind of consistent production from Blake Borltes, they need to provide him with protection. As I’ve written before, Bortles doesn’t release the ball quickly.
Not to mention, too often when hurried, he throws dead ducks. Not just slow, wobbly ones, but dead ones fluttering and rolling sideways to their death. I’ve yet to hear a receiver say he throws an easy ball to catch. If they have, maybe I missed it. Want the receivers to do better catching? Give Bortles more time to get his mechanics right.
He has a hook motion that can be the difference between, hits, rushed throws, bat-downs and interceptions. He’s gotten to the point in his career where he knows where to go with the ball and can get it about anywhere it needs to go; however…
If a quarterback needs .25 seconds longer to get rid of a ball, he needs that much longer for his Oline to stand up. Right now, the Jaguars have good offensive line skill players, however…
They’re not healthy. That may be due in part to having to block that extra fraction of a second. After a while, stopping linebackers and 300 pound defensive lineman takes a toll.
Now that Jacksonville’s leading tight end, Austin Sefarin-Jenkins, is on IR (designated to return), that’s one less experienced blocker to help them out. To fill an empty spot, the Jags moved up 6’5″ 265 David Grinnage from the Practice Squad; however…
Grinnage hasn’t taken a snap in a regular season game. In addition, they signed former Cleveland Browns’ TE Pharoah McKever (FIU) to the practice squad by putting Sefarin-Jenkins on IR.
Continuing with their moves, they waived running back, Branden Wilds, and signed 6’1″ former Denver Bronco, David Williams. The only reason he wasn’t on their 53 roster was because they had Devontae Booker, Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsey. Remove any one of those and he’d be unavailable.
He looked pretty good in the pre-season with the second and third teams. Many out in Denver liked his style, but the power of Lindsey is what jumped him ahead. The good news for Jags’ fans is Williams worked with Curtis Modkins, so he learned from one of the better backs coaches. However…
He also lacks what Jacksonville desperately needs – experience to:
- read a defense
- pick up a blitz
- know who to block
With no RB1 starting, no TE1 starting, a banged up Line, Bortles isn’t getting the time he needs to feel comfortable. That leads to rushed throws, not setting his feet, ducks and the “bad Blake”.
Jamal Charles can do all of the above, plus catch out of the backfield and give Borltes a calming presence, an extra pair of eyes. He may not be Le’Veon Bell, but he could give everything the Jaguars needs to bring out the “good Blake”. Not to mention, he can mentor the young guys.
Combine all of the above and while Charles may or may not add a lot in yards per carry, what he does bring is sorely needed in a long list of, “howevers“.