The Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff still has its work cut out for itself.
Players have participated in OTAs and minicamp, but questions still abound about how good this team might be in 2017. For a roster that newcomer Calais Campbell said is "stacked" there's been more uncertainty as to which direction the Jaguars will travel this upcoming season.
Right now, head coach Doug Marrone and his position coaches are still doing their homework as well as their players during this down period. Once players return for training camp, the real work begins. Who stands out? How does the running game look? How accurate well Blake Bortles be once he returns from California? And which five players will line up on the offensive line?
Fans are hoping for this franchise to turn itself around, but until those questions and the ones I present to you are answered, none of us will know how things will play out in 2017.
Will Brandon Allen Win The Back Up Job?
Last season, it was clear the Jacksonville Jaguars wanted Chad Henne on the sidelines in case of injury to Blake Bortles. There were a few instances where the coaching staff could have benched their starter and no one would have batted an eye.
This year might be a little different. The Jaguars invested a sixth-round pick in the Arkansas product. It’s time to see if they will get a return on their investment. Ultimately, this staff will need to make a decision – does Henne remain in the backup role or will Allen prove he has the right tools to step in if needed.
Henne has the makings of a solid coach on the next level. Can Allen come in and lead this team to victory?
What Will Happen At Tight End?
Marcedes Lewis is the team’s most tenured player and one of the most respected Jaguars in the locker room. He is a solid blocker, like having a third tackle on the field. He is also a decent red zone option and third down chain mover.
But in this offense, how will the tight end be used?
The Jaguars signed former Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera in free agency. He should compete for the starting job. Rivera is a good receiver and could become a nice underneath option for Bortles on third down. The Jaguars have other questions to answer at this position as well.
What will the team do with both Ben Koyack and Neal Sterling? Each have shown flashes, but have not been on the field enough to claim a starting role.
Can This Team Keep All Its Receivers?
It’s a question for general manager David Caldwell. The Jaguars gave Allen Hurns a new deal last season after a solid 2015 campaign. Injuries hurt his progression. Both Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee want to get paid. It’s a good problem to have, but it also has its drawbacks.
Robinson should be the next player to get a new deal, but Brandon Linder and Telvin Smith are also playing on their rookie deals. What’s a team to do?
If Robinson and Lee produce, they get extended. Linder will get a new deal since he is the best offensive lineman this team has.
Even if the team has three top-flight wideouts coming out of the 2017 season, can the team keep all of them. If not, who gets traded?
Where Will Cam Robinson Fit?
Now that Branden Albert is in camp, he will win the left tackle job. I am convinced the team will not look to move the former Dolphins tackle inside. There have been rumors of Robinson moving inside, but for now, talk has been tempered.
Why wouldn’t the Jaguars create competition across the line?
AJ Cann did not have a great season. Jermey Parnell is not a world beater, but can be solid at times. Would it hurt this team to make changes with Robinson competing for both tackle slots and see what happens? If competition makes the offensive line better, then I am all for this happening.
Robinson can play both sides of the line, so this should be an open competition.