If you’re not a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, you probably don’t know who the man is on the right. He is not a Persian Ron Jeremy impersonator, he’s the Jaguars new owner, Shahid Khan. He currently has a big problem with his team, their starting running back Maurice Jones-Drew is holding out and it’s getting ugly.
Take five seconds and look at the Jacksonville roster…I’ll wait. Why are the Jaguars not paying MJD?! He’s the only player on offense who has ever had elite productivity and would account for over half of their total offense in 2012.
In 2011, Jacksonville was last in the league in passing yards. QB Blaine Gabbert had a rough rookie season and only completed 50.8% of his passes. They brought in QB Chad Henne to help spark the passing game if he struggles. What should they expect from Gabbert this season?
Key Additions: QB Chad Henne, WR Justin Blackmon, CB Aaron Ross, DE Andre Branch, CB Reggie Corner, WR Laurent Robinson, QB Jordan Palmer, P Bryan Anger, LB Brandon Marshall and CB Mike Harris.
Key Losses: QB Luke McCown, WR Mike Sims-Walker and DT Lege Douzable.
Non-Division Schedule: AFC East and NFC North
Fantasy Sleeper: WR Cecil Shorts – The Jaguars are looking to open the playbook for Blaine Gabbert in 2012. Mike Thomas led the receivers in receptions last season and the addition of Justin Blackmon is huge for Gabbert’s development. The #3 and #4 spots are open to win during training camp. Shorts, Laurent Robinson, Brian Robiskie, and Chastin West will be battling for those two spots. Shorts only had two receptions last season, but he as a lot of speed. Gabbert is still a work in progress and any wide receiver other than Thomas or Blackmon will be a risky gamble.
Team Analysis: Jacksonville must find a way to get Jones-Drew into camp and on the field. They can’t afford to be without him. When a running back misses training camp, they never have great years. Two examples come to mind, Larry Johnson with Kansas City a few years ago and Chris Johnson with Tennessee last season. Gabbert will need him as safety net when he checks down on passing plays. If he fails to put up decent passing numbers, the crowd may start to turn on him. Jacksonville’s defense was the only reason why the team won fives games last season. They come back with basically the same squad that ended the season in the top-10 in both opposing passing and opposing rushing yards. Paul Posluszny anchors the defense with Jeremy Mincey pressuring the quarterback. They face a tougher schedule this season and their defense will be tested by elite quarterbacks. The best case scenario for Jacksonville would be matching their win total from last season, that’s if Jones-Drew arrives in camp this week. Worse case scenario would be if Jones-Drew’s holdout carries into the regular season and they win two or three games. They are lucky the Colts are in their division and will not end up in last place.
2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 4-12