Today at Jaguars Training Camp I caught up with Jacksonville Kicker Jason Myers. We talked about conditioning, his free time, and the PGA. Myers is a huge golf fan and it really isn't that surprising when you consider the mental aspect of his position compared to an athlete on Tour. I mean, Jordan Speith lining up a big putt on 18 is pretty similar to Myers lining up a big kick to win the game as time expires.
The parallels are obvious; and it got me thinking... if Jaguars players were golf clubs, which clubs would they be?
Driver - Blake Bortles
Bortles is the big stick in the Jag's golf bag. Everything starts with him, and although you can have a solid round even if your driver isn't playing great for the day... it's extremely difficult. A big drive is an exciting thing to see, just like a deep ball flying through the air off of Blake's hands but at the end of the day accuracy is more important than simply slinging it far.
3 & 5 Wood - Malik Jackson & Telvin Smith
Sometimes on the course you find yourself in a bad spot, and the only option is to hammer it out with a wood. If the offense is slacking during a game, the defense can provide a spark, that's when you look to Malik & Telvin to come up with a body breaking hit and hopefully cause a fumble. It's not always pretty, but as the great Lon Hinkle once said, "Golf is golf. You hit the ball, you go find it. Then you hit it again."
3, 4, 5 Irons - Ramsey, Fowler Jr, Jack
The 3, 4, and 5 irons aren't exactly the clubs you rely on and expect to use often; NFL rookies in general are viewed in a similar light. But they're there and if a time comes up and you're stuck in the woods, you might have to create some magic with those irons. I guarantee the Jaguars don't want to lean heavily on Ramsey, Fowler Jr, and Jack this season but regardless it will happen, and these rookies need to shine.
6, 7, 8 Irons - Robinson, Hurns, Lee
A drive is only as good as your next shot; so the 6, 7, & 8 irons are a HUGE deal because typically those clubs are next up after your tee shot. So no matter what Bortles makes happen on his end with his arm, he needs his receivers to come down with catches on the other side. Robinson, Hurns, and Lee are fully capable of getting Jacksonville close to the pin and on the scoreboard.
9 Iron - Tashaun Gipson
The 9 iron works as a safety net, when you're too close to use a stronger iron and too far to switch to a wedge. Gipson seems every bit of a safety net for the Jags secondary, as he amps up for his first season in Duval.
Pitching Wedge - Jason Myers
I was tempted to make Myers the putter, but as a kicker he's not always "dancing on the green." Think about his 40+ yard field goal attempts, those are not the same as putts, and every time he swings his leg he's still aiming for the ball to go in. Not to mention, the phrase "chip shot" is synonymous with kicking extra points in the NFL.
Sand Wedge - Julius Thomas
If you're golfing, the last place you want to end up is the beach. In Jacksonville, being in the sand is a popular choice but the guys on the PGA Tour aren't as eager to end up in there. On the field, Bortles will find himself in some very high pressure situations and a big target like Thomas is a great dump pass option. Most bunkers are also located around the green, and I know Thomas is an unmistakable red-zone threat.
Putter - Chris Ivory/TJ Yeldon
Putting has always brought balance to the game of golf. You can't just be a long hitter on the course and you can't just be a passing team in football. Ivory and Yeldon will bring balance to the Jaguars aerial attack, and punch it in when necessary.
Club Covers - Offensive Line (No brainer- keeps the clubs safe)
Range Finder - Gus Bradley/Dave Caldwell (Decides what clubs are the right ones to use, and when to use them.)
Score Card - Shad Khan (Keeps track of everything, and has the final say at the end of the day)