Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Add to Needs: WR Who Can Make Big Plays

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Add to Needs: WR Who Can Make Big Plays

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

The Jaguars need a quarterback.

The Jaguars need a pass rusher.

The Jaguars need a center and left guard.

But what has also surfaced during the season's second half is the need for a playmaker downfield.

The Jaguars need a No. 1 receiver. Period.

When healthy, Cecil Shorts is an ideal No. 2, able to stretch the field and run by man coverage. But he had groin surgery last week and there are in-house concerns about his short- and long-term durability.

Justin Blackmon? The fifth overall pick in 2012, Blackmon is serving his second suspension and he only remains in the team's plans because he remains on the roster.

The statistics illustrate how a receiver-quarterback combo in rounds 1-2 could be the way to go.

YARDS PER COMPLETION

1. Philadelphia***14.1

31. Jaguars******10.7

The reality: The Jaguars don't make big plays in the passing game. They also don't have Desean Jackson like the Eagles. Philadelphia is first in passes of 20 or more yards (75) and passes of 40 or more yards (18) and the Jaguars are tied for 25th in both categories (41 and six, respectively). The Jaguars count any pass play of at least 16 yards as an "explosive" and they have 58 such plays.

Yes, but ...: No buts - the Jaguars don't have enough personnel to make everything go right on the same play. "You can't take shots just to take shots," offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said. "We'd like to take shots for sure, but with that you have to get the right coverage and you have to win that battle and then you have to be able to hold up [in protection] to throw it."

TOUCHDOWN PASSES

1. Denver*********51

T29. Jaguars******15

T29. Buffalo/Oakland***15

The reality: Any kind of touchdown was a rarity during the season's opening half when they used two quarterbacks, two No. 1 receivers, two right tackles and three left tackles. In the first eight games, the Jaguars failed to score more than 20 points, were held to 10 or fewer five times and didn't score a touchdown in Jacksonville. Henne does have four straight two-touchdown games entering Sunday.

Yes, but ...: How can a passing game be functional when Blackmon is suspended for 12 games - the first four and final eight - because of substance abuse violations, Shorts' groin injury bothers him during the last month and he ends up shut down for the final three weeks? …

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