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Commitment, coaching drive Jags' running game

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by NewsGrabber, Oct 1, 2008.

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  1. NewsGrabber

    NewsGrabber Guest

    Â*[​IMG]Â*US PresswireÂ*Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew's complementary running styles continue to pay dividends for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Posted by Scouts Inc.'s Doug Kretz
    The Jacksonville Jaguars have gone through changes and shuffled their offensive line this season but their ability to come up with a strong running game has remained unchanged. Head coach Jack Del Rio puts a big emphasis on the ground game and wants to establish the run in order to throw the ball efficiently, and there are several reasons for Jacksonville's continued success in that area.
    The first, and most obvious is the talented running back duo of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, who complement one another perfectly. Both are strong runners but they are just different enough to throw opponents off. Taylor is the more punishing runner of the two and still has the speed to go all the way, even in his 11th year, while Jones-Drew is more apt to bounce outside with his superior lateral cutting ability. In front of them is one of the best fullbacks in the league in Greg Jones, who is the prototype fullback with the quickness to get in front of the play and the willingness to throw everything he has into lead iso-blocks. He also has excellent running skills of his own, and just when defenses are keying on Taylor or Jones-Drew, a quick hitter by the fullback can break a long one.
    Del Rio's philosophy lends itself to big, powerful blockers up front and the Jaguars are certainly massive. They do a great job of getting a body on a body in the trenches and simply wearing their opponents down. Del Rio has shown a willingness to let his line get into the flow of the game and the Jags' offensive linemen appreciate him placing that faith in them. Offensive linemen by nature would rather attack in the run game than play passively in pass protection and generally will be more willing to give a little extra when they know they are going to have a chance to get physical.
    Perhaps equally important are the coaches in charge of the line and backs. It is my feeling that no assistant on a coaching staff is as important as the offensive line coach, and Jacksonville's Andy Heck does a great job of teaching techniques as well as making sure his linemen know their assignments. Players can overcome a lot of physical deficiencies by using proper technique, which is why assistant head coach Mike Tice and his experience coaching offensive linemen are so important. Confusion and indecision on the offensive line can kill a play but those things are generally not a concern for the Jaguars.
    Kennedy Pola coaches the running backs, and having worked with him in both college and at the pro level, I can tell you he is a no-nonsense coach who is not afraid to use old-school drills that teach ball security and aggressive running skills. He demands that his ball carriers make quick decisions, stick their foot in the ground and hit the hole with everything they've got.
    Above all, though, it's Del Rio's commitment to and belief in his running game that gets his players to respond. He trusts the system to work and will not abandon it early in a game, a philosophy that continues to pay dividends in Jacksonville no matter who lines up along the offensive front or who is carrying the ball behind them.


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  2. vslyke

    vslyke In Dinger We Trust

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    And Fat Al shuts it down.
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