How a Rejuvenated Marcedes Lewis Will Add a New Dimension to the Jaguars Offense

Daniel ShanksAnalyst IJune 7, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 23:  Marcedes Lewis #89 of the Jacksonville Jaguars makes a reception against Madieu Williams #20 of the Minnesota Vikings during the game at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on November 23, 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

When the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Marcedes Lewis with the No. 28 pick of the 2006 NFL Draft, they thought they were getting a receiving tight end who would play a huge role in the passing game.

After all, the 6'6, 256-pound tight end caught 58 passes for 741 yards and 10 touchdowns during his senior year at UCLA. That was the kind of production he was supposed to bring to the River City.

Up to now, Lewis' three-year tenure in Jacksonville has been nothing short of a disappointment. Lewis hasn't taken the Jaguar offense to the next level and is actually known more for his blocking ability.

To make matters worse, Lewis has shown a propensity toward dropping passes. He dropped eight balls last year, including four in a game against Houston that saw him catch zero passes.

With the offense taking on a decidedly new look in 2009, Lewis is hopeful that he will play a more prominent role in Jacksonville's attack.

According to an article written by Michael C. Wright of the Florida Times-Union, Lewis is showing a great deal of dedication to his craft this off-season.

Lewis has a stack of Post-it notes detailing tips on making him a better tight end. One of them dealt with eliminating a false step in order to get into his route quicker.

He's also taken the step of staying in Jacksonville for the entire off-season, instead of shuttling back and forth from Florida to California.

Assistant head coach Mike Tice was quick to note that Lewis' presence in Jacksonville was critical to his maturation process.

"One, he's been here through the off-season workouts. He's been here on the weekends," Tice said in Wright's article. "So he's able to get that timing down with David (Garrard) in the passing game, and he's been able to critique and refine some little things that, if you're back and forth, in and out of town, you can't do.

"Every time you go back and forth, in and out of town, you take a step back, then you go forward again."

It seems that Lewis' hard work is paying off. Wright reports that Lewis hasn't dropped one pass during the Organized Team Activities.

According to Wright, Lewis has figured out that just because he's talented doesn't mean he'll necessarily be an effective tight end in the NFL.

He realizes the amount of work that needs to be put in to reach that upper echelon, and he's willing to sell out to make that happen.

"This is just one of those years that where I'm going to be able to relax and play football because the game is slowing down a little bit," Lewis said. "I feel it now."

If Lewis can carry over his early success over into the regular season, Jacksonville will have a much more potent attack in 2009.


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