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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Andrew Norwell quiet new force on O-line

Florida Football Insiders



Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars continue to progress towards their preseason opener with the Saints later this week, and there is some curiousity around the new faces like rookie first round pick DT Taven Bryan, speedy WR second round pick D.J. Chark, free agent TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and new backup QB Cody Kessler.

However, even though he doesn’t play a glamorous high profile position, new free agent OG Andrew Norwell is someone else worth keeping an eye on, too.

After all Norwell, a former Panther, has already cashed in with the Jags in March for the biggest deal ever for any guard in NFL free agency history giving him $66.5 million with $30 million guaranteed.

So, there’ an expectation of what he can bring, particularly on the left side of the Jaguars line next to second year LT Cam Robinson.

Star second year RB Leonard Fournette was asked about Norwell’s presence already, and said “Andrew doesn’t say much.” And a lot of times, that’s a good thing.

After Sunday’s workout, Norwell met with media in a rare opportunity for him to “say much” about how his first camp in North Florida has gone.

Norwell talked first on the subject of being out on the TIAA Bank Field for Friday night’s practice

“It felt great being out on the field. First experience out there in the helmet and shoulder pads and stuff. Just working everyday to get better.”

Then Norwell was asked about Sunday’s hot/humid workout and the mentality of coach Doug Marrone wanting practice to be tougher than games,

“It was a tough one, but you expect that in training camp….I think Michael Jordan said it best, ‘you practice how you play.’ That’s for sure with this mindset and this training camp. Out there everyday and getting better. And that’s what it’s all about.”

And on that subject of not usually saying a whole lot?

“I’m locked in. I’m doing my job….I’m learning my teammates, as well. That’s what this time’s for (training camp). I just go about my business very seriously…Building trust and all of that other good stuff.”

So, who is Andrew Norwell? Great question.

He’s a former undrafted free agent from Ohio State who was a two time All Big Ten offensive lineman, and who’s played the last four years in Carolina. And, in 2017 Norwell was named first team All Pro and is regarded as one of the top 2-3 offensive guards in pro football.

The Panthers have enjoyed tremendous success including their 15-1 regular season in 2015 and Super Bowl L appearance with Norwell starting at left guard. They were an NFC Wildcard team in 2017 with Norwell starting all 16 games and grading out as a top three guard by Pro Football Focus.

The $30 million guaranteed is a tremendous commitment from the Jags, who are also sending a message to the rest of the NFL that aren’t resting on last year’s accomplishments.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars woeful offense led to another bad loss Sunday in Dallas

Florida Football Insiders



Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Another Sunday and another poor offensive performance has most everyone questioning whether the Jaguars are destined to be average at best team in 2018.

For the third time in four games, Jacksonville’s offense was basically non-existent, as they scored only seven points in a 40 – 7 blowout to the Cowboys.

Take into account that they were handled easily by the Chiefs last week and had scored only seven points until the final 6:00 before losing 30-14. And, take into account, that three weeks ago they scored only six points at home in a 9-6 field goal fest loss to the Tennessee Titans.

And, there’s now a large enough sample size the Jags are in big trouble offensively.

In fairness, they are a different offense without their top weapon, running back., Leonard Fournette. Fournette missed his fourth game out of the last five with an injured hamstring and his status is still up in the air for the coming few games.

However, those who have been critical all along of  QB Blake Bortles will point to yet another Sunday where there were chances and plays to be made to keep his team in the game. And he once again, could not make key throws or had bad interceptions to lead to the big loss.

Let’s check in on Jacksonville’s first half possessions against Dallas: Punt, Punt, Punt, Punt, 2 plays-end of half. Cowboys lead? 24-0 at intermission.

We at F.F.I. are guilty of buying into the hype earlier this year on Jacksonville, as well. This is especially after they handled the Patriots easily, even without Fournette, and Bortles played brilliantly in a 31-20 win.

We proclaimed Jacksonville as the team to beat in the AFC coming off of that game.

Obviously, that was premature and the Jags look more like the Cleveland Browns on offense, recently

So, there is time to get Fournette healthy, and there are going to be some easier teams besides the Titans, Chiefs and Cowboys to play coming up later in the year.

However, Jacksonville will host AFC South rival Houston, who’s won back-to-back games next Sunday. Then, they will travel to London to play the defending Champion Eagles.

And this much is clear: if they don’t start playing offense better than what we’ve seen over the last month, the Jags are likely going to be three and five.

That’s not only, not the best team in the AFC, that’s a recipe for sitting home in January, if it doesn’t get better.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Gameday- Jaguars must be better in “Big D” Sunday

Florida Football Insiders



Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Jaguars (3-2) at Cowboys (2-3)

When: Sunday 1 p.m.

Where:  AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

Spread: Jaguars by 3 points (Courtesy

Off their second loss in three games in Kansas City last week, the Jags are back on the road in Dallas. We take a look at some story-lines:

Run, Run, Run

The Jaguars will be without star running back Leonard Fournette for the fourth time in five games with his injured hamstring. Alas, Jacksonville went to free agency for veteran help and signed former All Pro Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles this week. Charles, who has not been with an NFL team this season, must have wowed coach Doug Marrone, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and the Jaguars front office.

He last played a year ago in Denver, is approaching 32 years old and has torn the ACL previously in both knees earlier in his career. Does he have anything left to help the Jags in the short term?

We should still see a lot new starting RB T.J. Yeldon, who has been solid, if not spectacular in Fournette’s absence, and maybe a little of Charles.

If the Jags can run it, that will help take the pressure off QB Blake Bortles for some of this game, and he and they need that, right now.

Stay away from turnovers

In taking that second loss in three games, Bortles played poorly last week with four interceptions. Yes, don’t let the 400-yard passing day on the stat sheet fool you. More than half of that was accumulated when the Jags were down 30-7 late in the third quarter and the Chiefs were playing soft defense.

Bortles was bad and needs to be sharp against what is still a good Cowboys defense.

Most importantly, he cannot give Dallas the short field and sudden momentum changes that they will feed off of with their home crowd.

The ‘Boys have six fumble receoveries, but only one interception on the year.

Jacksonville needs to keep those numbers, right there.

Be ready for Dallas’ “Big Two”

Off a tough overtime loss in Houston last Sunday night, Dallas needs to get their offense going. That starts with running back Ezekiel Elliott (above), who is the top rusher in the league right now.

The Cowboys will try to establish him early and often in this one against what has been a good Jaguars run defense.

Then, there’s QB Dak Prescott, who had another rough game Sunday night with some poor decisions, etc. Can Prescott rev up the Dallas passing game?

He does have a familiar face that  Jaguars fans will know to throw to, in Allen Hurns, but he’s been largely non-existent for the pass game so far. DB’s Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye look to lock him down today.

Prescott can also make plays with his feet. So, LB Telvin Smith in specific, will have to be ready for his mobility.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars will see familiar face Sunday?

Florida Football Insiders



Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the Jaguars travel to AT&T Stadium Sunday in Arlington, Texas, their defense will definitely look across the line of scrimmage and see some imposing players. Names like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and a massive offensive line await them.

They will also see a familiar face, as Sunday will mean the reunion with former Jaguars receiver, Allen Hurns.

Hurns spent the first four years of his NFL career in North Florida and that included a breakout 1,000-yard receiving, 10 touchdown 2015 season. However, nagged by a high ankle sprain a year ago, that limited him to only 10 games and 39 catches with just two touchdowns on the year, he  was allowed to test free agency.

Hurns ended up signing a two-year deal in Big D that included a two and a half million dollar signing bonus and another $2.5 million guaranteed for this year.

However, he hasn’t delivered very much in the way of productivity. Just eight total catches on the year and while he had his first touchdown in Sunday night’s overtime loss to the Texans, it was Hurns’ only catch of the night for three yards.

There is clearly frustration with Prescott and the passing game, and it’s not good news that one of the best pass defenses in the NFL is coming to town in the Jaguars..

Aside from the rush that includes Calais Campbell, Yannick ngakoue, Dante Fowler and others, the Jaguars have two outstanding cover corners in Jalen Ramsey and AJ bouye.

And those two guys in particular would love nothing more than to continue the lockdown of Hurns and the Dallas passing game.

Expect Dallas to try to run it first and foremost with Elliott, but we know that the Jags will force Dallas into second and third and long at least some of the time in this game.

Will Allen Hurns make an impact against his old teammates or will his early trend of being mostly a non-factor in Dallas continue?

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