According to Lindy’s Sports Pro Football Preview, the Jacksonville Jaguars have the best combination of receivers in the NFL.
While there is no scientific method in determining the best of the best, the news of one unit reigning supreme in the NFL should make Jaguars fans extremely happy.
It should also put a smile on the face of team general manager David Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley.
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Jacksonville’s offense ranked 10th in the league last season, and it could be even better this year with a healthy Marqise Lee to play in the slot, a new running back combination of TJ Yeldon and Chris Ivory, and a second year with Julius Thomas is the lineup.
I’m not going to go as far as to say the magazine is correct in its assessment, but I will relish in the prognostication, nonetheless.
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“The Jaguars like to think they have the best young pass receiving duo in the league. In Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, who had breakout years in their second seasons,” said Vito Stellino, who wrote the review and is a trusted NFL insider.
I’d like to think that having too many pass catchers on the team is a problem many teams wish they could have.
There may not be enough balls to go around in offensive coordinator Greg Olson’s game plan. If that is the worst thing this franchise has to worry about this coming season, they should consider themselves very lucky.
The excitement over such a talented unit also highlights the fact there isn’t much wiggle room in deciding who stays on the roster and who is cut when it comes down to filling out the final roster spots.
The first four in the rotation, with Rashad Greene being the fourth option and top return specialist, are locked down. After that, there is some competition, but it’s brief.
The same thing holds true for the tight end position, where there is Thomas, Marcedes Lewis and then Nic Jacobs. Who fills the final spot is yet to be determined.
Mike Kaye of firstcoastnews.com wrote an interesting article on just how difficult the decision might be in keeping players and letting them go. Bryan Walters provided some solid moments last season, and there are others to consider.
“Tony Washington was active for four games last season, while Rashad Lawrence, Shaq Evans and Rasheed Bailey spent the majority of last season learning the offense on the practice squad. Veteran Arrelious Benn has also returned and shown flashes during the early stages of the offseason program," he said.
If anything, this tells me some quality players will be released and will find a home on another roster. A team like New England is always looking for roster cuts to add to Tom Brady’s arsenal who shine at moments throughout the year.
Some will have to count on special teams play to claim their spot. Look for Washington, Lawrence and Bailey to attempt to stick via this route, Kaye explains.
As long as the first four (five if you count Walters) can produce anything close to last season and quarterback Blake Bortles can sling the ball all over the field while cutting down on his interceptions (18 last season), this offense will once again be dangerous.
Being a top 10 unit is great for such a young corps of talent. Being a top five group means this is a team ready to compete for the post season.
Anything more than last year will certainly be a plus for Bradley and his team. What the coaching staff has to determine is who is the right fit for the right situation and what player will have the big moment at the right time.