JaguarMaven post-week 1 mailbag: Questions on Leonard Fournette, Will Richardson and more
Each week following a Jacksonville Jaguars game, JaguarsMaven will take Jacksonville Jaguars-related questions from our readers across social media and answer them in a question-and-answer format, giving readers a chance to have their voices heard.
As we kick off the mailbag, the first few rounds of questions will be pulled from twitter. The first slate of questions focuses on the play of Leonard Fournette and Gardner Minshew against the Kansas City Chiefs, Todd Wash's scheme, the offensive line and more.
Question from @MannySemidey: How well did the OL do? If Richardson looked good at LT, should he have a starting spot on the line - whether at LT or RG?
Answer: The offensive line appeared to play solid during the live watch on Sunday, but when going back and watching the game a second time it really set in how well they did. They went against a front seven with two arguably elite players in Chris Jones and Frank Clark and the unit ended the game with only one sack surrendered, tied for the fewest in week one. The entire line also did a good job opening up holes for Leonard Fournette in the run game.
As for Will Richardson Jr., he really held his own well. If he continues to play well it will be nearly impossible to keep him out of the lineup in some fashion since he also impressed at right guard in the preseason. If any Jacksonville lineman struggled Sunday it was right guard A.J. Cann, so Richardson could alwyas slide over there when Cam Robinson returns.
From @BadGenjii: Do you think Fournette’s numbers were indicative of playing from behind all game, or a lack of faith in him/the line due to the injuries?
A: Leonard Fournette very quietly had a productive day at the office on Sunday, picking up more than five yards per carry and totaling 96 total yards on 17 touches. But while he was picking up large chunks on the ground, the team eventually fell behind by several scores due to collapses on the defense, so they simply had to shift away from the run. Head coach Doug Marrone said after the game he was impressed with Fournette's performance and hopefully in another scenario the game will be closer and he can be involved more.
From @michaeljbm_: What’s your take on how Bouye’s played lately? Seems to me like he’s gone from lockdown to almost a liability in the secondary. Overreaction?
A: After having a legitimately elite season in coverage in 2017, A.J. Bouye took a step back last season. He was often targeted on third downs and seemed to give up too many first downs in soft coverage and missed too many tackles. Logic at the time said that Bouye suffered due to being placed in bad situations with the rest of the defense and a regression in the team's pass rush.
Unfortunately, Bouye had another off game on Sunday, again suffering from soft coverage and poor tackling. He has the talent to still be a shut-down corner, but he simply can not continue to be put in situations where he is lined up several yards off the ball and asked to shut his man down. If anyone needs a change to a press man system, its Bouye.
From @DanielZbikowsk1: Realistically what kind of leash does Wash have running this defense? Many fans are tired of his zone schemes with lack of in game adjustments.
A: The Jacksonville brass has showed confidence in Wash in the past when his scheme has been questioned, and it makes sense because the defense was still highly thought of despite a disappointing 2018. If the Jaguars continue to struggle with scheme issues and miscommunications, Wash's leash could be short because the team's leaders are on the hot seat to bring a winning season, but I personally think he will finish out the season one way or another. His success in the past has likely given him enough goodwill to continue to try to turn things around.
From @YellowDmon: How much of last weeks performance was Wash out coached versus the defense not being as good as expected potentially?
A: After digesting the game and what went down over the course of it, it appears the answer is it was a little bit of both. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid frequently took advantage of the Jaguars zone coverage by utilizing crossing routes and asking his receivers to break tackles, and he also created mismatches with formations that forced Jaguars linebackers like Myles Jack to cover receivers like Sammy Watkins.
From @Jags082: Is Gardner's (play) with starters the result of playing with good supporting cast or no game planning?
A: It is probably a mix of both. Minshew struggled throughout the preseason with accuracy and arm strength but, for whatever reason, neither issue reared its head Sunday. Minshew's supporting cast during the preseason was substantially worse than what he played with Sunday so it makes sense that he would play better with the rest of the starters.
The case that Minshew produced because the Chiefs defense didn't prepare for him also should have some validity. But it should also not take away from what Minshew did. Coming off the bench cold with zero starting reps in practice isn't easy for anyone, let alone a rookie.