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Marcedes Lewis Needs to Step up for the Jacksonville Jaguars

October 20th, 2011 at 6:45 PM
By Brendan Sonnone

How can the Jacksonville Jaguars’ anemic offense get on track?

Some are suggesting that getting Marcedes Lewis going would be a start.
 
 
Vito Stellino wrote on Thursday that the Pro Bowl tight end needs to be a more intricate part of the Jaguars’ passing attack going forward. That’s a logical assertion, but is Lewis capable of being a prolific weapon through the air?
 
Obviously he had the talent to haul in 10 touchdown receptions last season, but one has to wonder if he’s regressed after signing a five-year, $34 million extension this offseason.
 
Lewis, who missed Week 2’s contest versus the Jets, has logged just 10 receptions this season for 116 yards. He looked off against the team’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week when he caught just two passes for 29 yards, despite being a focal point in the game plan. That didn’t sit too well with Jaguars’ head coach Jack Del Rio.
 
"We're looking to him,” Del Rio said. “He had, I think, eight or nine targeted plays [against Pittsburgh] where we tried to go to him and we only connected on two of them. So we've got to become more efficient in utilizing him. It's good for us, it's good for him, it's good for the quarterback. We've made our efforts to try to get him involved and we just haven't connected nearly often enough. That's something we'll continue to work on.”
Some of that is because the Jaguars are working with green quarterback Blaine Gabbert, but Lewis didn’t help the rookie out at all last week, dropping two very catchable passes.
 
In a league where using the tight end has become all the rage, the Jaguars would be wise to continue targeting Lewis. Nothing can relax a rookie quarterback’s nerves more than looking down field and finding a 6-foot-6, 275-pound monster streaking across the hashes.
 
The problem with that though, is that monster has looked ghoulish with his dropped passes. David Garrard did look Lewis’ way often last year, so a lack of chemistry with Gabbert makes sense for some of Lewis’ struggles.
 
But eventually, Lewis is going to have to man up and make plays for his team. He’s a great blocker and emerged last year as a solid red-zone target.
 
Now can he take his game to the next level and become a play maker for the Jaguars? Based on his play so far this year, the early answer to that question is no. 
Tags: Blaine Gabbert, Football, Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Marcedes Lewis, NFL, Pro Bowl

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