Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Punch Line Up Front; Improving Jags Linemen Face a Tough Challenge against Dolphins

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Punch Line Up Front; Improving Jags Linemen Face a Tough Challenge against Dolphins

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

The Jaguars' young offensive line might be growing up.

Just ask the Browns.

The unit was pushed around for much of the first six games, all losses, but found its groove in Sunday's 24-6 win over Cleveland at EverBank Field. The Jaguars ran for a season-high 185 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries, a 5.3-yard average.

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley challenged the linemen heading into the game to get to the second level of the defense faster and the unit responded.

"I thought we made really good improvements," Bradley said. "We worked up to the second level. It looked more like an offensive line and how it should look. I think the communication was very good up front. We didn't have many errors."

The Jaguars entered the game averaging 69.5 yards a game (last in the NFL). Their previous rushing high was a 105-yard output against Indianapolis in Week 3. The Jaguars now enter Sunday's home game against Miami (3-3) having moved up two spots to 30th in the league in rushing at 86 yards a contest.

"That's the fun thing, run blocking," Jaguars left tackle Luke Joeckel said. "We were able to take the physicality to the defense. In pass protection, we're backing up. In the run game, we can take it to them. When we're able to do that in the second half it's fun."

With right tackle Austin Pasztor starting his third consecutive game coming back from a broken hand, the starting five were playing their third game together against the Browns. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch credited the line's play to a greater sense of familiarity and experience.

The average age of the starters on the offensive line is 23.4 years. Left guard Zane Beadles, 27, has started 69 career games, with the other four accounting for 42 combined.

"I think it's just them working together," Fisch said. "You just started seeing the offensive line becoming more and more a unit and with that I think it gives us a chance to continue to develop the running game. …

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