Posted by:
The Ram

Coaching Changes:

Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith moved on to coach Atlanta and was replaced by Gregg Williams who left Washington after he was passed over for the Head Coach position.  This should not make a dramatic difference for the team good or bad.  Williams is a good coach who runs a similar 4-3 scheme.


Jacksonville has tremendous continuity on the offensive line.  All 5 starters are returning, and all 5 are between the ages of 26 and 31.  This makes Jacksonville an extremely safe bet to see similar production from the running and passing game.


Let's take away the name, and look at just the numbers: 12 games, 2509 yards, 18 TD, 3 Int's, 102.2 rating.  Over 16 games that would be 3345 yards, 24 TD's, and 4 Int's.  Very good numbers.  That is in the same fantasy neighborhood (depending on the scoring system) as Drew Brees and Matt Hasselbeck.  He'll likely come cheaper, though.   I'm a little cautious about him for the following reasons.

1. No way in heck he makes it through 16 starts throwing 4 or less Int's in 2008.

2. He has two years worth of starts in his career, and has not been consistent year to year.

3. Ball control offense. Garrard will never explode and carry your team. His career highs in pass yards, and TD's in a game are: 296 and 3 (which he has done twice).

Garrard is a gamble.  If the price is right, take him.  Just don't expect the world, pretty good is likely all you'll get.


Remember the days we used to refer to Fred Taylor as "Fragile Freddy?"  That nickname is toast.  Taylor has averaged 14.5 games for the last 6 seasons.  But at some point, the carries have to catch up to him.  The only active players who have carried the ball more than Taylor are Edgerrin James, Warrick Dunn, and LaDainian Tomlinson.  At best, he will get 1200 yards and 5 TD's (his marks the last 2 years), but I'm smelling a slight decline even with his 5.4 yards/carry in 2007. 

Maurice Jones-Drew is too talented to keep off the field.  That said, I still can't see him being a 1,000 yard rusher unless Taylor gets hurt.  He just doesn't get enough carries (166 and 167 in his two seasons)  He's good for 40-50 receptions, and 400 yards receiving so he's a much safer bet than  starters like Laurence Maroney and Michael Turner.


The Jaguars revamped their receiving corps by replacing their underachieving bums, with the underachieving bums from other teams.  Gone is Earnest Wilford (with Matt "Getting Cokey with it" Jones soon to follow).  In comes Troy Williamson, who was laughably bad in Minnesota.  In comes Jerry Porter who has been in the league 8 years, started 5 seasons and yet has only led his team in receiving once, being beaten out by third receivers in some cases.  Williamson has been the subject of many puff pieces glowing about how much better his hands are than the Jaguars thought, and on and on.  Don't buy it for a second.  He'll be lucky to be the fourth receiver.  Porter may start, but his health is not worth the risk.  He's already pulled a hammy (number 237 for his career) and I doubt he'll stay healthy.

The only viable receiver is Reggie Williams, but even he's nothing to write home about.  38 catches, 629 yards and 10 TD's.  The touchdowns are disproportionate to the catches and that will probably not happen again.  His TD's will probably decline, while his yards go up a touch.


Hopefully, Marcedes Lewis will start living up to his first round draft status.  Now in his third year, he should become usable in most formats.  Use his 37 catches, 391 yards and 2 TD's as a base point, but count on some improvement.  He may end up being Jacksonville's leading receiver.  Decent TE2.


Overall the Defense is solid.  They allowed 19 ppg and caused a fair number of turnovers.  They are a safe option when grabbing a defense.  They did make a few minor changes, though.

Marcus Stroud was traded to Buffalo, but he has some ankle issues and was capably replaced by Rob Meier last season.  The Jaguars traded up to draft DE Derrick Harvey and took another DE in round 2 with Quentin Groves.  The Jaguars already had a decent pass rush and these additions should help, but you can never count on rookies producing.


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