It’s been a couple weeks since I visited with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jags are likely working more and more in practices on things they feel they are good at, while scrapping more and more of what doesn’t feel comfortable for them.
When I visited with offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, we talked about how his unit could simultaneously build confidence while discovering all the stuff it wouldn’t latch on to.
“If you take a whole playbook and say how much of this do you do well and how much do you do not as well, there is probably more not as well than well,” Fisch said. “That’s the case universally. You want to teach the whole system and then you want to make a decision. Even a team like Houston or Washington with the whole zone scheme, they still teach power. They decide not to run it.
“We teach the whole NFL offense and we say, ‘OK, we’re a little better at that’ or ‘we’re a little better at this’ and ‘let’s continue to build off of that.’ Then you see a guy is better because he’s doing it more, so you do it more.’ We talk about it every day. I say the offensive players will set our identity, I won’t set our identity.”
A lot of teams with established offenses probably start out with a better sense of what a group can do well and what it can’t. But even for them, every year is a new start. You don’t simply pick up where you left off. There is some degree of roster turnover. There are themes that developed out of the previous season that need to be addressed going forward.
For a team like the Jaguars, with a new head coach, a new coordinator, a new scheme and an influx of new players, there is a lot more to sort through as they started a lot close to zero.
In the Jaguars' second preseason game, we saw a no-huddle offense that was very effective against the Jets. That certainly qualifies as something they can do well.
I suspect the Jaguars will look to build on that, though they can’t do everything they want and their progress is slowed now because quarterback Blaine Gabbert is sidelined until the opener with a thumb fracture.