Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Lewis wants to make bigger impact in '14
By Michael DiRocco
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis is looking forward to the 2014 season because he believes he can make an impact on offense -- for the entire season.
Lewis was certainly a weapon over the past five games of 2013, catching 16 passes for 242 yards and four touchdowns. He could have been doing that all season had a calf injury not stalled his progress, he said, and it’s proof that he can have a one of the most productive seasons of his career next year.
"This last five-game stretch, I don’t remember making plays like that in 2010, and I went to the Pro Bowl in 2010," Lewis said. "I feel like at a point it just started clicking, and it just started being a routine. I look forward to that [next season]."
Lewis said he was having the best camp of his eight-year career when he suffered a strained calf during pregame warmups for the Jaguars’ second preseason game. He re-injured it during practice on Sept. 5 and missed the first three games.
He tried to return against Indianapolis in Week 4, but he played just two snaps before aggravating the injury. He missed the next two games before finally getting on the field in Week 7. His first catch was a 27-yarder, but he found he really wasn’t fitting into the passing game as well as he’d hoped.
It took another five games, but eventually Lewis and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch meshed.
"It sucks that I had the calf injury, because I wasn’t able to grow with the offense," Lewis said "The timing was off. It was just a whole big old debacle about how I was going to be getting used. The last month-and-a-half Jedd has just really taken the time to be, ‘Okay, this is what we’re going to do. We’re going to make it a point to get you the ball here.’ I really just started using my size to my advantage."
If Lewis can do that in 2014, he could be headed for one of the best seasons of his career. He averaged 3.2 catches for 48.4 yards per game over the final five games of 2013. Apply that to a 16-game schedule and Lewis would end up with 51 catches for 774 yards -- his third-50-catch season of his career and a career-high in receiving yards.
"During the spring and summer time I was really excited about what Marcedes could bring to the passing game,” Fisch said. "I remember there was some talk that he’d be able to really impact the passing game.
"Clearly you guys can see that when people start coming back and people start becoming more comfortable [in the offense] we’re moving the ball a lot better."