3 Ways the Jacksonville Jaguars Can Improve Without a Complete Rebuild
Now with back-up running backs Rashad Jennings and recently signed Keith Toston stepping up (via foxnews.com), the tandem will do whatever it can to help an ailing Jaguars offense avert all-out disaster.
Unfortunately for Jennings and Toston, quarterback Blaine Gabbert isn't exactly easing the pressure for them.
Although establishing the run is important, Gabbert has only passed for 906 yards—second worst among quarterbacks this season.
If the Jags can't get better quarterback play, there is no way their beleaguered run game will have any success.
Averaging a league-worst 14 points per game, the Jaguars aren't exactly an offensive dynamo.
Combine a terrible offense with a mediocre overall defense (they are 29th in the league against the run) and you have a recipe for an abysmal football team.
Although their nightmare season continues, there may be some temporary solutions for the Jags.
Here are three ways the Jacksonville Jaguars can improve without totally pressing the restart button—at least for now.
Give Henne Another Shot
Although benching Gabbert in favor of Chad Henne seems like the obvious thing to do, it will not guarantee any improvement.
The Jags have had trouble protecting Gabbert and are among the seven worst teams in regards to sacks allowed with 18.
Clearly, the offensive line hasn't given Gabbert the time to act without being under duress.
Although that is a partial reason to give Gabbert the benefit of the doubt, his poor performance cannot continue to be ignored.
However, after a shoulder injury against the Oakland Raiders it may be possible Gabbert will get benched regardless of mediocrity (via profootballtalk.com) .
Assuming he isn't approved by team doctors, Henne could start favor of Gabbert in the upcoming game against the Green Bay Packers.
Although the Jag's front office doesn't want to admit the Blaine Gabbert project might be a failure, perhaps it's time to bite the bullet and give Henne another chance.
After coming in to replace the injured Gabbert, Henne wasn't exactly a savior of any sort.
Henne had a terrible game, 9-of-20 passing, and less than 100 yards of total offense.
It could certainly be argued that it would be a better idea to let Gabbert continue to improve and work out the kinks rather than benching him and stunting his growth.
However, if they are serious about finding a long-term solution, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have someone else under center, and see how it works for a few games.
Either way, the Jags offense is going to be flat-out horrible, but giving Henne another shot is certainly an option on the table.
Figure out MJD's Future
Although the NFL trade deadline is less than a week away, it is unlikely Maurice Jones-Drew will be going anywhere at this point.
After they decided to not move him during his holdout in training camp, it's possible the Jags are regretting their decision.
They need to figure out what they're going to do with their franchise running back and figure it out sooner rather than later.
In the past, MJD definitely seemed like a savior of sorts for the Jags.
After brilliant 1,000-plus yard season performances, there seemed to be light at the end of the tunnel.
Now however, the optimistic climate has certainly changed.
Considering the terrible state of the team and his current injury, the Jags may deem he's worth more to them as a bargaining chip than a piece to build around.
The injury isn't career threatening by any means, but losing MJD after his actions before the season couldn't have come at a worse time.
With the horrible record and bad offense (with or without him), they might be better of moving MJD after the season and start anew.
Fire Gene Smith
Besides all of the on-field failure for the Jags, ultimately one man is responsible for assembling their talent.
For the Jaguars, that man is Gene Smith.
Since Gene Smith assumed the role as general manger, the Jaguars are 21-33—hardly a sign of improvement whatsoever over the past few years.
What makes Smith look even worse however, is his admittance of lackluster talent,
"We've got to become a more talented team. It does start with talent. We can be a more talented team. You're always looking to add. We can do things better than we've done, and that's clearly my goal. Your greatest need is talent. That is where it starts. We've got to continue to upgrade this roster to win more games." (via foxnews.com)
By essentially saying he's failed to do his job by acquiring poor talent, Smith doesn't exactly improve his case for keeping his job.
The Jaguars are just a flat-out mess from their front-office to their team on the field.
However, getting rid of Gene Smith would certainly be the first step on the long road of rebuilding.