JaguarMaven week 6 mailbag: Questions on the safety position, Taven Bryan, the offseason 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.
Question from @zach_goodall: If you could shake up the starting OL right now, what would it look like? You can add street FAs?
Answer: I’ve always been of the belief that the offensive line is the most important position in football. Without proper protection up front – it doesn’t matter how good your skills guys are. That said, I’m giving this offensive line another week together if I’m Doug Marrone.
The one player you could make a case for replacing in the starting lineup, Jawaan Taylor, is working through the typical rookie growing pains. The only way he will improve is by getting game reps, and I think he’s shown flashes of the player that Jacksonville envisioned when they selected him with the 35 overall pick in April.
As for street free agents, the one player that was intriguing was former Jaguar, Stefan Wisniewski, who has experience at center and guard. Wisniewski signed with the Chiefs earlier this week, however.
Question from @aprovost90: Will Fournette go for 100 yards and a TD again this week?
A: With the Saints defense allowing an average of 108.4 rushing yards/game, this seems like a sure thing, right? While I think Fournette ends up with a respectable stat line, game script will likely force the Jaguars to pick up yards through the air in an effort to keep pace with a dynamic Saints offense. I have Fournette falling around ten yards shy of the 100-yard mark as he makes his return to his hometown.
Question from @cbass904: Should we add a veteran safety? With the lack of experience on the back end?
A: Ronnie Harrison’s ankle injury will be something to keep an eye on heading into the weekend. The second-year safety has played well, amassing 35 tackles, 1 sack, 2 passes defended and 1 interception. Should Harrison be unavailable for the Week 6 matchup, veteran Cody Davis would likely get the start. Davis, a seven-year pro, spent his first five seasons as a member of the LA Rams before signing with Jacksonville in 2018. He’s been a stellar special teams performer throughout his career, and has five career starts under his belt.
Should the Jags add a veteran safety? Most definitely.
The aforementioned Davis and undrafted rookie Andrew Wingard backup Jarrod Wilson and Harrison, respectively. Like Davis, Wingard is a special teams maven who isn’t quite ready to step into a role on defense. One name to consider would be veteran D.J. Swearinger. The 28-year-old has started 70 of his 94 career games – for four different teams. Swearinger started the first four games for the Cardinals this season before being released. He would add a veteran presence on the backend who has played in multiple schemes.
Question from @Nu_PeRSoNa: It’s the end of the season 2019. #Jaguars end up 7-9. What’s top 5 things you do if you had full control of this team?
A: 1. Pay Jalen Ramsey.
2. New coach.
3. Solidify the offensive line.
4. Bolster depth at linebacker/safety.
5. Draft a dynamic tight end to balance the offense.
Question from @speediusreedius: Will Telvin come back? Please.
A: When Smith announced on Instagram in May that he wouldn’t be playing football in 2019 to “get his world in order”, it sure seems as though he’ll be sticking to his word. A number of teams suffer from lack of depth or subpar play at the linebacker position around the league, so its not as if Smith hasn’t had options. It’s also unclear if he’s even in football shape at this current time.
While rookie Quincy Williams has had his rookie struggles, and his backups are mostly special teamers, the Jaguars likely won’t find a better option on the free agent market five games into the season.
Question from @daddygoombs: Do you see this Jags team beating the Saints this week? Also will Ramsey ever play another game as a Jaguar?
A: Short answer: Yes and Yes
It is conceivable to think the Jaguars can beat the Saints. For one, it’s a home game. Had the Jaguars had to play the game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, subjecting their rookie quarterback to that raucous crowd, I’d lean the other way. If the Jaguars can get to Teddy Bridgewater early and often, they can force the Saints to become one dimensional. Their secondary has been vulnerable, and I anticipate another strong game from D.J. Chark – who I expect to move around quite a bit.
To elaborate on the second part of your question, I think Ramsey plays this week.
Question from @BJordanLogue: What was with Bryan’s low snap count?
A: Bryan’s 8 snaps against the Panthers was one of the more perplexing storylines coming out of Sundays loss. I believe that the game plan called for more Abry Jones, who played 32 snaps, against the run-heavy Panthers. Jones is a far superior run defender than Bryan, so if that is the reasoning, it makes sense.
I suspect this won’t be the last time we see Bryan in a limited capacity either, as each specific game plan/script often dictates personnel usage.