They came a long way in one year. But what five players need to up their game this season if the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be better in 2018?
This past season, we saw two teams that finished last in 2016 rise up and capture division titles just one year later. In the case of the Philadelphia Eagles, a 7-9 showing in ‘16 proved to be a quick stepping stone for 13-3 campaign and a Super Bowl title.
While the Jacksonville Jaguars still haven’t reached that “Big Game,” they came awfully close this past year. Off a 3-13 season in 2016, the club turn things around in a big way. And even with two losses to close the regular season, the team finished 10-6, reached the playoffs for the first time since 2007 and won a division title for the first time since the days of the old AFC Central way back in 1999.
Jacksonville’s defense was a big reason for the turnaround and it carried Doug Marrone’s club all the way to the AFC Championship Game. Unfortunately, they fell victim to what has become commonplace in the league: A comeback win by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
The franchise appears to be on the right track with Marrone, general manager Dave Caldwell and vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin all on the same page. But this is a club that made its share of changes this offseason, which has become the norm when it comes to this roster. And speaking of the players, which five performers must make some strides this year if the Jaguars are to be better?
5. Cam Robinson
There was a time that Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback Blake Bortles had problems getting out of his own way. Of course, he wasn’t getting a lot of help from the guys up front. He played in a total of 30 games his first two seasons and was sacked an incredible 106 times. That number was reduced to 34 in 2016. And this past season, Jacksonville set a franchise record by allowing only 24 sacks.
A year ago, tackle Cam Robinson was a second-round pick by the club. The 6’6”, 320-pound started 15 games in the regular season and three more in the playoffs. He remains a raw talent who didn’t earn especially high grades from the folks at Pro Football Focus. All told, this isn’t a criticism of the former member of the Crimson Tide. Rather a reminder than Robinson must perform better in his second season with the defending AFC South champions.