NFL teams are in the midst of training camp and preseason games are just around the corner. What do we expect from the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017?
It’s safe to say we’re not shy when it comes to getting you ready for the upcoming NFL season. Since March, we have strung together four different series in preparation for the fall. We just concluded looking at all 32 teams’ most improved area. That was preceded by pieces on a club’s best offseason addition, some facts, figures and feats for each squad, as well as an up-and-coming player for each roster.
So call this one for the thumb. With the regular-season rapidly approaching, we’ll take a look at what we could expect from each team. Every team wants to win the Super Bowl. However, 31 teams will obviously be disappointed. So we’re taking a look at all 32 clubs (in original 2017 draft order) and doing a little analysis. We’ve previously looked at the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears. What are we really expecting from the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017?
Safe to say that the first week or so of Jacksonville Jaguars’ training camp didn’t go so well. Quarterback Blake Bortles had a session where he threw five interceptions. And left tackle Branden Albert, acquired from the Miami Dolphins this offseason for tight end Julius Thomas, suddenly opted for retirement. Earlier in July, defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. had a publicized off-the-field incident (via Will Brinson of CBS Sports).
In all honesty, this has been a tough team to get a gauge on. It’s certainly not been for a lack of talent. The team has added its share of quality free agents. This year’s veteran haul includes defensive end Calais Campbell, strong safety Barry Church and cornerback A.J. Bouye. With the fourth overall pick in April’s draft, the team grabbed LSU running back Leonard Fournette, then used a second-round choice on University of Alabama tackle Cam Robinson.
While Bortles and the offense took a step backwards this past season, the defense began to make strides. Thanks to 2016 rookies Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack, as well as free-agent pickups Malik Jackson and Tashaun Gipson, the defense bears watching.
Six straight seasons of 11-plus losses isn’t exactly encouraging for a Jacksonville Jaguars franchise that has spent its share of money the last few years. But the organization has nothing to show for its investments. While Doug Marrone takes over full time as head coach, there’s a new presence in the front office in two-time Super Bowl champion Tom Coughlin.
In any case, this is a team very capable of dramatic improvement this season. Of course, we seem to say that every year. However, these summertime issues may be something that winds up building a little character for a young club. It won’t be surprising to see Marrone’s club actually flirt with a 7-9 or 8-8 campaign in 2017.