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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs Saints: Preseason Game Preview and Information

Ruairi Songer



Dec 27, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) talks after their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints won, 38-27. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars vs New Orleans Saints

Thursday, 8/9/18 @ 7pm, TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL

You can watch the game on CBS47/FOX30 in Jacksonville, as well as on the team’s live stream in select markets.


The Jaguars will be taking the field for the first time in 2018 to face the New Orleans Saints in preseason action. Although the game will have no regular season record implications, it could have significant implications on the order of depth chart.

Quarterback Cody Kessler has played very well during camp, keeping a high completion percentage and a low turnover rate. The 3rd-year QB also developed a strong connection with rookie wideout D.J. Chark, connecting on several impressive throws. Kessler should take the majority of first half snaps against the Saints, and has the opportunity to cement his status as backup QB if he outperforms Tanner Lee.

Corey Grant is another player to keep an eye on. The speedy running back finally has a chance to follow up his breakout performance against the Patriots in the AFC Championship game, where he was heavily involved in the passing game, catching three passes for 59 yards. He will be competing with T.J. Yeldon for the second spot on the Jaguars RB depth chart. The Saints will most likely be without their 1st round pick rookie defensive end Marcus Davenport, who has struggled with a muscle pull during the majority of training camp. Davenport’s absence in the run defense could benefit Grant and Yeldon’s success.

Thursday will give us our first look at DJ Chark in action. After progressing quickly in training camp, he looks ready to advance to the WR3 spot. Look for improvement in Chark’s route running, in comparison to his college career where he had to rely on his speed to create separation.

On the defensive side of the ball, Jaguars seventh round pick Leon Jacobs will have a chance to prove he belongs as the starting SAM Linebacker. The rookie from Wisconsin has impressed in training camp, winning approval from LB Myles Jack.

UDFA cornerback Tre Herndon has been a consistent play maker during training camp, who will have to extend this success to the preseason if he hopes to compete for the nickel corner spot. Herndon will have the chance to do so against talented Saints receivers such as Cameron Meredith and rookie Tre’Quan Smith.

Jaguars first round pick DE Taven Bryan is unlikely to see playing time, as he missed Tuesday’s practice with an abdominal injury. While nothing has been officially stated on Bryan’s status, I would expect the Jaguars to be cautious in order to avoid further injury to their first round pick.



Ruairi Songer is a lifelong Jags fan and Duval native. You can follow him on Twitter (@ruairi_s) for Jags news, Draft information, and off-season updates.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Editorial: The Jacksonville Jaguars have nailed their own coffin

Zach Goodall



Oct 21, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) tackles Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) and forces a fumble during the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

In electing to stick with Blake Bortles as their starting quarterback, despite benching him for a poor performance against the Texans and watching his backup Cody Kessler vastly outperform him in the same game, the Jacksonville Jaguars have nailed their own coffin.

Now sitting at a 3-4 record, on a three game losing streak, and in third place in the AFC South (the Titans own the tiebreaker for second place), it was clearly time for change to get this ship steered in the correct direction. Just seven weeks aggo, this Jaguars team was viewed as a potential Super Bowl contender. Right now, this team is projected to pick in the first half of the 2019 NFL Draft.

And they can’t blame anyone but themselves at this point.

“We can’t do s**t until we stop turning the ball over. Period. That’s just how it is,” head coach Doug Marrone said following the loss to the Texans. “…the first thing we’ve got to do is stop turning the damn ball over.”

In three consecutive games, the latest of which he barely played past halftime, Bortles has eight turnovers of his own: Five interceptions and three fumbles.

“I spoke to both quarterbacks this afternoon and told them that Blake will be our team’s quarterback. I believe this gives us the best opportunity to win,” Marrone stated in a release from the team after Bortles was named the team’s starter going forward.


In a 24 hour period, Marrone has stated that, while turnovers are the Jaguars biggest issue, the player who is responsible for countless amounts of turnovers gives the team the best chance to win football games. That is the message that is being sent to this team, and the Jaguars fan base.

And the team isn’t happy. Star cornerback Jalen Ramsey was quoted saying “It is no secret what’s going on here right now. Ain’t nobody going to say it because we can’t, but it ain’t no secret what’s going on and it ain’t right right now,” after the loss to the Texans. Given the circumstances, it’s hard to assume this was shade thrown at the quarterback situation.

Ramsey deleted a post of him and Bortles shaking hands on the field from his Instagram this morning.

Defensive tackle Abry Jones put the responsibility of the offenses deficiencies on the defense, quoted saying “We can’t let them [opposing offenses] score at all.”

The Jaguars have chosen to be complacent, and in doing so, this season will continue to plummet. The confidence is low heading into London this week, and the Eagles pass rush should have an easy job forcing Bortles into more poor decisions as this Jaguars team appears to be on track to a 3-5 record at their bye week.

This team was supposed go contend this year. At one point in September, the Jaguars had single digit odds to win the Super Bowl. But that is all in the rearview mirror, as the Jaguars have nailed their own coffin in naming Blake Bortles the starting quarterback of a team that is already beginning to implode.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars announce Blake Bortles will remain the starting QB

Zach Goodall



Sep 16, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) attempts a pass against the New England Patriots during the first half at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

24 hours removed from his first career benching, where he was clearly outplayed by his own backup in a 20-7 loss to the Houston Texans, Blake Bortles has been named the starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars for Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles in London, per the team.

Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone announced in a statement: “I spoke to both quarterbacks this afternoon and told them that Blake will be our team’s quarterback. I believe this gives us the best opportunity to win.”

This comes under two hours removed from Marrone saying he had made his decision already but planned on addressing the team before releasing that information to the public. Bortles was benched after committing two turnovers against the Texans on Sunday, and Kessler completed 21/30 passes for 156 yards, a touchdown and an interception in his place.

Bortles has committed eight turnovers in the past three weeks.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Fanspeak: “Arrogance has ruined the Jaguars” from Wale Olaogun

Zach Goodall



Oct 14, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone walks off the field in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Long-time Jacksonville Jaguars fan Wale Olaogun (@theMCWale on Twitter) sent me this opinion piece he wrote this morning in the wake of the Jaguars 20-7 loss to the Texans, putting the team in a three game slide and the future looking far from bright. I decided this strong of an opinion deserved to be heard in more than 280 characters on Twitter, and am introducing this as “Fanspeak”. Fans can utilize Locked On Jaguars to post “Fanspeak” opinionative articles in the future, so long as they refrain from profanity and are relevant to the team.

Note: “Fanspeak” articles are opinionated and written solely by fans and are not reflective of the Locked On Jaguars’ writing staff.

Arrogance has ruined the Jacksonville Jaguars

The absolute arrogance of the Jacksonville Jaguars front office is starting to seep out of 1 TIAA Bank Place like an offensive stench. This group of decision makers took a look at the 2017 squad, a team that was ten minutes away from a Super Bowl appearance, and decided that they were only a few pieces away from reaching their ultimate goal.

Fast forward to Week 8 of the 2018 regular season. The Jaguars had to bench QB Blake Bortles after two turnovers and being largely ineffective in their game against the Houston Texans. Cody Kessler had to step in and lead this team to a 20-7 loss, dropping this “Super Bowl-bound” team to a 3-4 record.

Not to say that 3-4 is an insurmountable record that can’t be turned around, but it is proof that the leadership in the organization way underestimated how fast things would change if their plan for this season didn’t go perfectly.

Let’s recap the most arrogant moves the Jaguars made so far this season.

The Blake Bortles extension 

Bortles’ performance in 2017 put this team in a very difficult situation. He didn’t play well enough for the team to want to pick up his 5th year option but didn’t play poorly enough to move on from the inconsistent QB. The team’s solution was to re-sign the guy to a 3-year, $54M contract, with a potential out in 2020 with a $5M dead cap hit. If he were to be cut next season, that number is $16.5M. Good luck eating that number.

The Nonchalant Approach to Free Agency

We all knew that the Jaguars wanted to bolster their offensive line so that their running game could be even better than it was last year and to take some pressure off of Blake Bortles. So, they signed the best guard available in Andrew Norwell. Personally, I have no issue with this.

I do take exception to how they chose to handle the wide receiver position. Allen Robinson tested free agency and signed a deal with the Chicago Bears. The rest of the WR group started to move very quickly and thus the Jaguars had to do something. They hastily re-sign Marquise Lee to a multi-year deal and then sign castoff Dante Moncrief to a one year, $10M deal. At this point, they also cut Allen Hurns because his services were no longer needed.

Looking at TE, they were fortunate to land Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, but decided to part ways with long-time veteran Marcedes Lewis in a surprise cut.

The Lee signing was a panic move simply because the market was paying larger money than they wanted and because Robinson moved on, they had to have something. They also had the ability to address the QB position here with a few free agent players like Teddy Bridgewater, but instead traded a conditional pick to the Browns for Cody Kessler

NFL Draft: The Passing of Lamar Jackson

Let’s move to late April. Free agency has already occurred, and the teams are now focused in on the draft. The Jaguars pick 29th and whispers around the league are the Jaguars are potentially interested in Louisville QB Lamar Jackson.

Would the team actually pull the trigger on a QB after they re-signed Bortles and made a move for Kessler? Could this be the insurance pick that could keep the Jaguars as a team to watch? Nope, they pass over Jackson to take DT/DE Taven Bryan from Florida. The Baltimore Ravens end up trading back into the first round and select Jackson with the 32nd pick.

Had the Jaguars picked up Lamar, even just as a backup option, his rookie contract would have been a four year, $10M deal. Instead, the Jaguars drafted Nebraska Juggs Machine Tanner Lee, who is currently on the practice squad and not even thought of as a legitimate option to lead this team.

The Handling of Leonard Fournette

Week 1 of the 2018 regular season and 2nd year running back Leonard Fournette tweaks his hamstring. Knowing the history of hamstring injuries and running backs, it’s usually difficult to tell whether it’s going to be a two-week thing or a few month kind of thing. They give him two games to rest and he attempts to make a comeback Week 4 against the Jets. He tweaks the hamstring again and this time would be out for a longer period of time.

Common sense would say that if it’s going to be a few weeks and looking at the schedule you have in front of you, make the move to shelve Fournette on short term IR, make a move a running back and just try to keep things afloat. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen. The team decides to sign Jamaal Charles and bring up a practice squad player after back up RB T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant both get injured in the game against Kansas City. Then the team makes a trade for Browns’ RB Carlos Hyde on the Friday before the game against Houston.

Injuries have decimated this offense but their poor reactions to handling them only makes matters worse.

Ultimately, this team is at a major crossroad. Not just for their season, but for their future as well. For a lot of people, this season has a lot of similarities to a decade ago. A team that surprised the NFL, made a strong push in the playoffs and hoped to achieve their ultimate goal with a few select moves in the following season, only to have it blow up in the team and the fan bases’ faces.

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