Jacksonville Sports Day

Moeller: Patience Will Be a Virtue for Jaguars’ Fans This Season

In order to enjoy this 2021 Jaguars’ season, you’ll need to keep your emotions in check.

In other words, lead with your head and not with your heart. That may be difficult to do. I know one coworker who is excited to go to the home opener.

You have a legendary coach, and a presumed generational play to lead the charge. For what it’s worth, Trevor Lawrecne was named a team captain this week.

Remember, this is a team that had a 1-15 record last year.

Yes, there is a long-range plan with two key pieces in place. It all begins in Houston Sunday.

Keep it practical. The Jags likely won;t be able to turn it around quickly.

Will they be better? Yes, it’s hard to get any worse. But this team has a chance to make some major strides this season.

In the preseason, the Jags scored 70 points in three games, the final 34 mainly against Cowboys’ backups.

Lawrence completed 31 of 44 passes for 352 yards with two touchdowns during the preseason. Even though it was preseason, that still can open some eyes.

When the ball snaps for real Sunday, the jury will still be out on Lawrence, even though he looked crisp and confident in three games. He’s bound to see something he hasn’t yet. It will be productive, however, to allow the Clemson comet to work through an offense that ranked 30th in scoring points last season.

A big key for Lawrence will be the offensive line, which has kept its starters intact for the past two seasons. They placed their franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson and drafted tackle Walter Little for depth.

In the backfield, James Robinson, who was seventh among rookie rushers last season, has all the signs pointing to him. Lawrence teammate Travis Etienne was slated to have a big year until he broke his foot. Veteran Carlos Hyde provides a balance for Robnson, and Dare Ogunbowale will provide some speed and versatility,

The Jags are deep at tight end led by Chris Martinez and James O’Shaughnessy, and have depth at wide receiver with the foursome of DJ Chark, Marvin Jones, Tyron Johnson, and Lavishka Shenault Jr.

New defensive coordinator Joe Cullen has the tall task of rounding his unit into a respectable one, primarily being able to stop the run.

Edge rushers Josh Allen and Myles Jack will need to create constant pressure, and last year’s top pick K’Lavon Chiasson will need to make his presence felt.

Roy Robertson-Harris, DaVon Hamilton, and Malcolm Brown were effective in stopping the run in the preseason. Linebacker veteran Lerentee McCray should help.

Corner Tre Herndon, who is the Jags’ only major scratch from Sunday, and fellow corner Shaquill Griffin will be a major factor along with free agent pickups Rudy Ford and Rayshawn Jenkins.

The defense looks to have some playmakers, but can the entire unit jell in time this season?

The Jags first four games with Houston, Denver, Arizona, and Cincinnati are ones in which they should be able to stay within striking distance.

They all will be a good measuring stick for Lawrecen and his offense.

Whatever happens, keep the faith. This season will be about making a dent in the new foundation.

Don’t worry about the wins and losses this season.

Beginning Sunday, it’s all about keeping it realistic and keeping your patience.

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