No matter the OTs, Jags run up the middle

GM Gene Smith locked up offensive tackle Jordan Black with a contract not that long ago, a deal that said the team has faith in Black as their third tackle.

With Eben Britton out for the season with a shoulder injury, Black is now the starting right tackle. Sunday in Dallas he will try to create space for Maurice Jones-Drew and keep David Garrard upright as he returns from the concussion that knocked him out of the Oct. 18 game against Tennessee. He didn’t even travel to Kansas City last week while he recovered.

Garrard said the Jaguars need to be on the lookout for Black against the Cowboys’ 3-4 front.

“You want to help him out, you want to make sure you’re helping him out as much as possible without sending everybody over there to help,” Garrard told Jacksonville media. “You want to be smart with him. They’ve got a really good pass rush and we understand that. I really think it would be the same way regardless, you’re going to have guys over there helping out on both sides chipping so that doesn’t really change that much.”

The Jaguars had talked early on about trying to run behind a strong right side of the line, but when Vince Manuwai didn’t secure a starting guard job that talk dissolved. Britton is a better and more powerful run-blocker than left tackle Eugene Monroe.

Katharine Sharp of ESPN Stats & Information looked up the Jaguars' rushing by direction for me, and the numbers suggest no matter who’s playing at tackles, the Jaguars are going to look to power up the middle first.

According to Scouts Inc., Black “lacks the bulk and power to be a strong drive blocker and is more of a finesse blocker who gets by with technique and a good feel for angles.”

That doesn’t mean the Jaguars will not run behind him, especially if he’s getting that help Garrard is talking about from people like Marcedes Lewis and Greg Jones.