Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Offensive Makeover: Tempo Replaces Dull

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Offensive Makeover: Tempo Replaces Dull

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

As described in the NFL's official game book, the play is completely ordinary.

2-5-JAX 35 (14:08) (No Huddle, Shotgun) C.Henne pass short right to W.Ta'ufo'ou to JAX 43 for 8 yards (D.Sims).

But hitting "pause" on the DVR remote reveals why Jaguars fans should be excited Jedd Fisch's offense is the opposite of last year's eyesore that was equal parts bad and boring.

Fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou ran to the right wide receiver position, and quarterback Chad Henne received the snap 14.94 seconds after the previous play was whistled complete.

Philadelphia wasn't ready.

Nobody covered Ta'ufo'ou - strong safety David Sims was late to respond.

Nobody pressured Henne - all four Eagles defensive linemen had yet to get in a three-point stance.

Henne threw quickly (.81 seconds) to Ta'ufo'ou, who dodged an over-pursuing tackle attempt by Sims to get the first down. The Jaguars would finish the drive with a touchdown.

The Jaguars are expected to occasionally operate at the same kind of pace - tempo is one of their big buzzwords - starting Sunday against Kansas City.

The Jaguars are likely to enter each game with a significant talent deficit, relying on young players to contribute. So why not think outside the box? Why not dictate what the defense will do instead of vice versa? Why not be different?

"I think it's good," said Jaguars center Brad Meester, starting his 14th season. "When you continually fire off plays, it will settle a defense down and they can't call something crazy."

A crazy defense - a double A-gap blitz by two linebackers, an end-tackle stunt, etc. - can be an effective change-of-pace.

But a gassed defense - the linemen are unable to leave the game, the normal two-down linebacker can't be replaced by a nickel cornerback, etc. - can be a mess.

"It strains a defense for sure," Jaguars left tackle Eugene Monroe said. "If you keep the same personnel, the defense can't sub and you see the d-linemen tapping their helmet [to come out], but nobody can come in for them. …

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