Gene Frenette: Offensive line is Jaguars' biggest fix – Florida Times-Union
The list of problems confronting the Jaguars has become so voluminous, it’s hard to keep track of them all – third-down inefficiency on offense/defense, Blake Bortles’ suspect confidence, underperforming receivers, running game deficiency, inability to create turnovers, and on and on.
But if coach Gus Bradley and his staff could fix or upgrade one critical piece of this slumping team, a lot of those issues would subside considerably. And it’s doubtful the termination of offensive coordinator Greg Olson is the cure-all.
No, it goes much deeper than changing a play-caller. Until the Jaguars do something about their woefully inconsistent offensive line, they’re going to keep intact a nearly decade-long trend of owning Top-5 or Top-10 draft picks.
A harmonious, efficient O-line does more than any unit to put a football team in position to win. It can make an average quarterback look good, and a good quarterback look great. It also reduces the burden on the defense because competent line play makes it easier for offenses to keep possession.
Unfortunately, the Jaguars haven’t had a respectable O-line since 2010, back when tailback Maurice Jones-Drew was in his prime and quarterback David Garrard had the bodyguards to provide reasonable protection.
Everything since then has been chaotic up front. Quarterbacks are either taking way too many sacks, feeling rushed to get throws off or the running game can’t get untracked, and the 2016 season is exposing the latter.
Going into Sunday’s road game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Jaguars are the most one-dimensional team in the NFL. Nobody has a bigger pass-run imbalance (68.3 percent pass, 31.7 percent run), and it’s not even close. Finding a run balance against a Chiefs’ defensive front anchored by nose tackle Dontari Poe will be challenging.
The run shortage goes beyond the Jaguars (2-5) falling