Behind Enemy Lines: Jaguars

The Giants Beat lead writer David Aitken asks five burning questions to Jags Insider Charlie Bernstein ahead of the Week 13 contest in Jacksonville.

David Aitken | The Giants Beat

Q: The Jaguars made a splash in the 2014 draft by making Blake Bortles the first quarterback off the board. His numbers and the Jacksonville’s record suggest he has been struggling quite a bit. How would you evaluate what you’ve seen from him so far?

Charlie Bernstein | JagsInsider.com

A: Blake Bortles has shown flashes that he can become a great player, but in recent weeks those flashes have been few and far in between. He has the mobility, arm strength and intelligence to become a great quarterback but he simply has no help around him. He's a tough kid, but you have to wonder if he's going to pick up too many bad habits from playing behind a subpar offensive line with receivers that don't get separation.

David Aitken | The Giants Beat

Q: With Oakland’s win last week, the Jaguars moved into the top spot in the draft order. What position do you see the team addressing with their first round pick?

Charlie Bernstein | JagsInsider.com

A: The "beauty" about the Jaguars situation is that everything outside of quarterback is on the table. With the worst defense in the NFL in many categories you'd have to think the Jaguars would go there and with a draft that doesn't expect to have a lot of impact players the team will probably try to move out of their pick with a partner that wants a quarterback. If they have to make that first or second-overall pick I would think they would upgrade the defensive line, and USC's Leonard Williams would seem like a great fit.

David Aitken | The Giants Beat

Q: Quietly the Jaguars are in the top three in sacks, and Football Outsiders grades the team’s defense as the 11th best in the league. Who are the difference makers for Jacksonville defensively?

Charlie Bernstein | JagsInsider.com

A: Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks is the best player on the team as he is great at getting penetration and has really turned into one of the best in the league at his position. Defensive end Chris Clemons can still rush the passer and rookie linebacker Telvin Smith has a lot of playmaking ability. The defensive line has a lot of good players and one great player in Marks. The linebackers have Smith and a bunch of guys and the secondary has safety Jonathan Cyprien, who looks like a good player and not much else.

David Aitken | The Giants Beat

Q: Last May the Jaguars approached the draft with a clear focus on offense, building on the 2013 selection of Luke Joeckel by dedicating the team’s first four picks to offense. What do the early returns look like for the team’s offensive rebuild?

Charlie Bernstein | JagsInsider.com

A:As you can see by the stats, the early returns on the offensive picks haven't looked so good. Luke Joeckel can't be considered anything more than mediocre at this point and wide receiver Allen Robinson was really starting to ascend before getting hurt and being placed on IR. Marqise Lee has had more downs than ups and the only reason he's playing now is strictly out of desperation. Bortles looks like he could be the real deal but he can't do it all alone.

David Aitken | The Giants Beat

Q: With the Jaguars on pace for a record even worse than their 4-12 2013 season, are Gus Bradley and David Caldwell in any jeopardy of losing their jobs? Should they be?

Charlie Bernstein | JagsInsider.com

A: When Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley took over they completely gutted a terrible roster. Fans don't want to hear this but there's no magic overnight fix to the team's problems. Where most teams legitimately have 53 NFL players on their rosters the Jaguars have about 30-35. They are starting a rookie quarterback who was an early entry draftee and losses are expected. There's probably not more than a couple Jaguars starters that would start for other teams and that's the truth of the situation. There was a gentlemen's agreement that Bradley and Caldwell would get time to rebuild and they're only a year and a half in. Both guys aren't being judged on wins and losses yet and there's no chance that they lose their jobs at the end of the season, regardless of whether the team loses out.


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