<
>

Jaguars' Leonard Fournette says second half of season will be even better

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Leonard Fournette has rushed for 596 yards and he scored at least one touchdown in each game he has played for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft believes he can be even better in the second half of the season.

Fournette said he's a different running back now than he was a month ago. He has a better understanding of the offense and a better feel for the game, which should translate into even more success as the Jaguars (4-3) make a run at the AFC South title.

"At the beginning of the season I was still trying to figure out the plays and stuff," Fournette said. "Just understanding [the] course of my runs and also just being more patient, I guess as the season has gone on I've gotten better with that."

Fournette said the biggest reasons for his improvement are the experience he gained in the first six games (he missed the team's seventh game with a sprained ankle); practicing against the Jaguars' defense every day; and working with running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley, a first-round pick in 1995.

Fournette rushed for 311 yards and three touchdowns and averaged 6.3 yards per carry in his past two games. Fournette had a 90-yard touchdown run against Pittsburgh on his 28th and final carry. He next touched the ball on the Jaguars' first offensive snap against the Los Angeles Rams and went 75 yards for a touchdown.

If he scores again on Sunday against Cincinnati (3-4), he'll become the first player in NFL history to score a touchdown in each of the first seven games of his career, per Elias Sports Bureau.

That is exactly what the Jaguars drafted him to do. "We don't get the ball in the end zone enough," Tom Coughlin, the team's executive vice president of football operations, said moments after selecting Fournette on April 28. "We need players to put the ball in the end zone. This guy can help us in regard to that."

He certainly has. Jaguars running backs scored seven touchdowns last season (five rushing, two receiving). Fournette already has seven (six rushing).

"That's my job," Fournette said. "What he [Coughlin] says I stand on it, and that's what we believe in as a whole. That's my job and I try to do it to my best."