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Updated Jacksonville Jaguars Confidence Ratings: Offense

September 8th, 2011 at 12:04 PM
By Brendan Sonnone


Jaguars 101 began revealing its position-by-position confidence ratings in July.
It was a simple system. Analyze the Jacksonville Jaguars roster and break it down by depth, overall talent, potential, injury questions and track record.
After viewing all of those factors Jaguars 101 gave each position a rating of 1-10 with one being the lease confident, 10 being the most. 
With the 2011 kickoff versus the Tennessee Titans just days away, this seems like an appropriate time to revisit our old confidence ratings and upgrade our grades on each position.

Pre-Free Agency Confidence Rating: 5
Highlights: “(David) Garrard gets paid an awful lot and might have to take a pay-cut to stick around. That scenario can easily come to fruition and if it does, look for him to be the opening day starter. If not, he might be gone”… ”  Luke McCown is solid yet unspectacular but could make some noise if he has a good preseason. At the very least, he provides good depth”… “Garrard will likely have some moments early on in the season but some big game letdowns will open up the door for (Blaine) Gabbert in late November.”
Updated Confidence Rating: 6
Even months ago we could tell that Garrard was not long for this team, especially if he didn’t get his act together. Well that didn’t happen and he got the ax even sooner than we expected. McCown definitely made some noise following another good preseason and gave the Jaguars enough confidence to go with him.
At this point, McCown is an upgrade over Garrard and Gabbert looks to have the makings a star quarterback.  McCown may not win the Jaguars tons of games but he won’t lose them as many as Garrard did.

Pre-Free Agency Confidence Rating: 8
Highlights: “An elite player, a promising youngster and a solid third-down back means there’s plenty of reason for optimism in regards to the running game. The only worry is if Maurice Jones-Drew has any problems from his knee injury. If he’s near 100 percent then this group of backs should be amongst the best in the NFL in 2011. If not, Rashad Jennings can carry the load for a while but is likely not ready to be a full-time back.”
Updated Confidence Rating: 7
It was good to see Jones-Drew back in action late in the preseason. The long-term strength of his knee is still a concern but he looks like he’ll be 100 percent when the season starts. Losing Jennings though is a huge loss. He would have been able to prevent a big drop-off in production if MJD went down and also would have been able to spell Jones-Drew. Deji Karim had a nice preseason and instills some confidence as a RB but he’s not on par with Jennings. 

Pre-Free Agency Confidence Rating: 6
Highlights: “ Mike Thomas may not be a typical No.1 target but his quickness and fluidity will create enough mismatches for the Jaguars to have a respectable passing game. Jason Hill will likely have his ups and downs but his production will be supplemented by Jarrett Dillard, who is ready to break out. Marcedes Lewis’ numbers will be down this season but his presence will certainly impact games.”… “My gut feeling is that Thomas will emerge as a 1,000-yard player and at least one of player will step up and compliment him. This group isn’t great but it should be respectable and there's upside here.”
Updated Confidence Rating: 5
Thomas still has the makings of a 1,000 yard receiver but it doesn’t seem like anyone is chomping at the bit to step up next to him. Hill was sluggish and Dillard was underutilized. Cecil Shorts will get a lot of chances as a rookie but expect some big ups and downs from him. Lewis will be fine at tight end but it’ll be interesting to see how his production will be without Garrard focusing on him.

Pre-Free Agency Confidence Rating: 4
Highlights: “I like the potential of Eugene Monroe and Will Rackley but everyone else scares me. There’s either too much inconsistency or age is a concern at every interior position. Eben Britton is really the wildcard of this unit.”
Updated Confidence Rating: 4
There still isn’t much reason to really feel good about this group. Monroe has been up and down this preseason and the same can be said for Rackley. There’s no telling where Britton will be when the year starts because he’s missed so much time with a back injury. Brad Meester is solid at center and Uche Nwaneri is an adequate right guard at best. Jason Spitz was a nice addition because of his versatility and he could get some starts this year. May God help whoever is at quarterback if Guy Whimper gets in the game though.

Overall: 5
I had the choice to round down to five or up to six…I chose to round down. There are a lot of things to like about Jacksonville's offense but there are still way too man question marks heading into the season. Even though I like him, McCown is a wildcard at quarterback. The offensive line left a lot to be desired in the preseason, as did the receivers aside from Thomas. The offense will go as Jones-Drew goes, which is a good thing, unless he gets hurt. And if that's the case, the Jaguars are missing one of the top backup runners in the league. Bottom line: The offense has some weapons but there's a lot that can go wrong here. 
Tags: Eben Britton, Eugene Monroe, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jason Hill, Luke McCown, Marcedes Lewis, Maurice-Jones Drew, Mike Thomas, Will Rackley

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