Hill Could Play a Role on Sunday
The Jaguars have been growing impatient with second-year wide receiver Tiquan Underwood's lack of production on the field. Underwood has had the uncanny ability to maintain his roster spot despite dropping passes in seemingly all the key moments of his NFL career. Those moments may be nearing an end.
"I think there were some plays out there where we had an opportunity that we didn't finish with a catch on the other end with Tiquan," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said.
Underwood dropped two passes in Sunday's victory and has caught one pass in the last month. He continues to disappoint and it appears that newly acquired wideout Jason Hill will receive a chance this Sunday against the Giants.
"He's got good size, good speed," Del Rio said. "I don't know a lot about him yet. We're learning about him. He's eager, he's got a great attitude, he's been working with Todd Monken."
The team isn't quite giving up on Underwood yet, but from now on he won't get any more free passes.
"You can't worry about a guy being fragile," Del Rio said when asked about Underwood's confidence. "He will have to fight his way back. We put in a spot, probably the spot was maybe a little too big for him. He didn't play well. He had an opportunity. He's going to have to fight his way back and get that opportunity again. We're not going to keep handing a guy an opportunity that doesn't take advantage of it like that.
If Mike Sims-Walker can't play on Sunday, the Jaguars will need to find someone on the outside to make plays as New York is ranked fourth against the run and will make it their mission to shut down Maurice Jones-Drew.
"You got to get a lot of people to the ball," former Jaguars and current New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said when asked about how to defend Maurice Jones-Drew.
With Sims-Walker potentially out, the role of Jaguars receiver Mike Thomas changes significantly, as he becomes the guy that teams will key on. Cleveland focused their pass coverage on Thomas, who finished with just five catches for 36 yards.
"I was getting a lot of bracket on the inside," Thomas explained when asked about the Browns coverage schemes last Sunday. "They would stack the safety on the inside. Also they would put a nickel guy underneath me a lot on third down so they were trying to take me away I guess in some kind of fashion, but we were able to get the win so that's all that matters."
Jacksonville will likely use Jason Hill as a compliment to Mike Thomas, as well as Kassim Osgood and Zach Miller. Jack Del Rio has been impressed with what he's seen from Miller lately, as the second-year tight end from Nebraska-Omaha has caught seven passes for 106 yards and a touchdown over the past two games.
"He's showing progress," Del Rio said of Miller. "He's as healthy as he's been, he's as confident as he's been. He's probably as strong and everything is kind of coming together for him right now. He's prepared I think to play his best football right now for us probably than what we've seen in the two years we've had him."
If the Jaguars are going to pull off the minor upset and win their fourth consecutive game for the first time in three years, they will need their receivers and quarterback to step up on Sunday, whomever they may be.
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