Behind Enemy Lines: Jaguars vs Vikings

Viking Update publisher Tim Yotter asks JagNation editor Charlie Bernstein some questions about the Jaguars-Vikings matchup this week.

With a 4-6 record right now, how is Jack Del Rio, a popular player among Vikings fans when he was here, viewed in Jacksonville?

Even though the Jaguars were perceived as a Super Bowl contender and are now a contender for a top draft pick, Jack Del Rio is really not having a lot of criticism thrown his way. Del Rio can seemingly do no wrong here.

Jacksonville also has former Vikings coach Mike Tice as an assistant head coach and tight ends coach. Does Tice also help out with the offensive line, as he was so successful doing in Minnesota, and how much influence does he have on the organization as the assistant head coach?

Mike Tice does help coach the offensive line with Andy Heck, and he has been successful doing it prior to this season. He has enough influence on the organization for them to sign former Vikings Brian Williams and Troy Williamson.

Another former Viking, Troy Williamson, is also there. I see he only has four catches to date. Does the former first-round draft pick stand any chance of getting a bigger role in the offense?

Williamson has been solid this year when he's been healthy. Unfortunately, he's had all sorts of nagging injuries that have slowed him down. In his limited opportunities, he's caught every catchable pass and had a 69-yard bomb called back for holding.

Jacksonville beat some quality opponents early in the season but then lost to the Bengals and Browns (when Derek Anderson was still the quarterback). What were the differences in those solid wins against the Colts and Broncos versus their losses?

In those wins the Jaguars were able to run the football against very small defensive lines. When they've struggled, it's because teams have stacked up the line of scrimmage and played cover one, and David Garrard hasn't been able to make opponents pay through the air.

While the Jaguars are on the plus side of the turnover equation and good in the red zone on offense, they are 31st in red zone defense. What's been the biggest issue there?

The Jaguars have virtually no pass rush, as rookies Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves are still adjusting to the speed of the NFL game. Veterans Paul Spicer and Reggie Hayward are on the downside of their careers, and the secondary has underachieved significantly. Other than that, the Jags defense is great.

The Jaguars are still splitting carries between Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. They each have 115 on the season. Would they be better served to have Jones-Drew start taking the bulk of the carries since he has the superior average and 11 touchdowns to Taylor's zero?

Jones-Drew seems to be a better straight ahead rusher than Taylor, and he's used more in short-yardage situations. Right now the sharing of carries is working, but Jones-Drew will command more soon, as he needs to put up bigger numbers to justify an increase in pay.


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