By DJ Siddiqi @DJSiddiqi on May 26, 2014
The Jacksonville Jaguars enter 2014 with higher hopes. With the selection of Blake Bortles in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Jaguars have found their new franchise quarterback. But the Jags have announced their intention to sit Bortles in his rookie season. With the Jags coming off of a 4-12 season in 2013, what are five moves they have to make to improve their record in 2014?
Toby Gerhart has yet to be a full-time starting running back in his four-year NFL career. The last time he was a starting running back was in 2009 with the Stanford Cardinal. Jordan Todman, the presumed backup in Jacksonville, has 79 career carries to his name. Gerhart and Todman should split carries, giving the Jaguars their best chance at running the football effectively.
Perhaps the Jaguars' biggest void on the defensive side of the football is at free safety. The team has no proven options at the position. Josh Evans and Winston Guy will return to compete for the starting position, along with newcomers Craig Loston and Jerome Junior. Though Loston is an undrafted free agent, he may win the starting job as the dark horse.
The Jaguars will be without Justin Blackmon, but they added receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson through the draft. Along with Cecil Shorts, the Jaguars should be able to establish an above-average prolific passing attack, especially if they choose to start the veteran Chad Henne in the beginning of the season.
Luke Joeckel enters his second season in the NFL, but this will be his first full season as the team's left tackle. In 2013, Joeckel spent the entire training camp and the first four weeks of the season at right tackle. He spent a quarter at LT before fracturing his ankle, which ended his season in 2013. If Joeckel proves to be an effective pass protector, the passing attack will be able to succeed.
Regardless of what general manager Dave Caldwell says in May, the Jaguars will eventually feel the pressure to start Blake Bortles in 2014. The Jags are going nowhere, and they're not going to end their season for the third straight year starting Chad Henne. Whether it's in Week 1 or in Week 10, Bortles will eventually find his way into the starting role this season.
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