Pump The Brakes

The Jags have made big moves this offseason, and expectations are higher than ever. There could be as many as six new starters on defense alone. The fans and media have embraced this "new" Jags team and though there should be optimism, expectations need to be held in check.

It's no secret the Jags offensive line has been among the worst in the NFL. Blake Bortles has been sacked 106 times in his two years as an NFL quarterback. That is unacceptable, and he will not last the entire 2016 season if he keeps taking hits at that rate. Kelvin Beachum was brought in during free agency and is coming off an ACL tear. The team did not take any offensive linemen during the draft. How is this team supposed to compete if their quarterback is sacked three times or more a game?

There could be as many as six new starters on defense, this team is young and it will take time for all these players to connect. Is the talent there? Most definitely, but they need time to mold and develope as players and teammates. When has their ever been a case where a team trotted out six new starters on defense, half of them being rookies and came out with a winning record? It's unrealistic to think this team has more than eight wins this year. However, you will still hear fans and media members alike saying this team will go 10-6, 11-5 and so on.

Players are getting in fights at training camp. This is not a huge concern, it's training camp and tensions are high. However, when Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue are fighting against the entire offensive line, there is cause for concern. These are rookies, and they need to know how to handle themselves in a professional way. The media, does not seem to care and no one is holding these players accountable for their actions. Fowler threw a punch, that would get him thrown out of an NFL game. This Jags team cannot afford to have their starting defensive end thrown out because he can't control himself. If these players are getting angry in practice, what will happen if Green Bay is up by three scores at half time?

There are so many moving pieces to this Jags team. Who is the starting left tackle? Can they run the ball consistently? Winning football teams do not have these questions. When a team has one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL and does little to nothing to change it, they will be in for a rough season. It all starts in the trenches, the Jags addressed that issue on the defensive line this year. The offensive line still has so many questions.

At the end of the day, the talent is there for this Jags team. The experience is what needs improvement, and that will only happen over time. There is a lot of promise on this team, but claiming they will go from 5-11 to 11-5 or 10-6 is unrealistic. The schedule is tougher this year than it was last year, they have so many young players, the oline has too many questions, and the run game has yet to show major improvement. Let's keep the expectations in check for this Jags team, the team has promise, but they still have a long road ahead of them.


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