Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Forsett

Jaguars chat wrap

March, 21, 2014
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1JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Here's a sampling of some of the questions from the weekly Jacksonville Jaguars chat.

You can find the full transcript here.

Len Barker (Cleveland): Is Gerhart an admission that [David] Caldwell whiffed on Justin Forsett?

Forsett
DiRocco: Justin Forsett got hurt and then fell behind Jordan Todman, who really came on. So, yeah, it was a bit of a whiff on Forsett. But it was more that the team needed a No. 1 back and Forsett wasn't going to be that guy even if he was healthy.

Bruce Benedict (Atlanta): Why is there a $25K work out clause in Red Bryant's contract? If you have to pay a guy to work out in the offseason, he can't be very motivated. Horrible signing.

DiRocco: Most every contract includes that. It's just a little incentive to make sure guys come to the "voluntary" workouts. Plus, it's a way to squeeze in extra cash in a contract.

Jay Williams (Durham, N.C.): Please sell me on the re-signing of Chad Henne. With guys like Schaub, Vick and The Sanchize available for next to nothing, why didn't we go that direction?

DiRocco: You really would rather have Mark Sanchez than Chad Henne? That's hard to believe. And the team that ends up with Matt Schaub in the trade the Texans are trying to swing [Oakland] is on the hook for $11 million. That's crazy. Michael Vick is nearly 35 and he's an injury risk getting out of the shower. Henne was the smart choice there.

Scott McGregor (Baltimore): What kind of identity is [Gus] Bradley trying to build with the D? To me, the FA signings seem random and ill-conceived. Thanks for doing these chats.

DiRocco: Well, they beefed up the run-stopping DE spot with Red Bryant (over Tyson Alualu). They added a speed rusher in Chris Clemons, which they haven't had in years, and added a young linebacker who can play strongside linebacker and leo. They got better at each spot so I'm not sure why you feel they're ill-conceived.

Gus Williams (Seattle): I saw the team-friendly deal that Ben Tate signed in Cleveland and the fact that LeGarrette Blount and MJD are still on the market. Do you think the Jags have any buyer's remorse on Toby Gerhart?

DiRocco: No. He's a young RB with low mileage (276 carries) and no injury history. It was a solid signing.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have released running back Justin Forsett after one disappointing season.

Forsett
With only three backs now on the roster -- and only one with more than 100 career carries -- and the doubtful return of Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jaguars are almost assuredly going to try and add a No. 1 back in free agency and/or the draft.

When Forsett signed to be Jones-Drew's backup last March, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said he envisioned a bigger role for Forsett, but a pair of injuries derailed that. Forsett suffered a sprained toe on his right foot on Aug. 1 in the first live practice period of training camp and missed the rest of camp and all of preseason. Meanwhile, first-year back Jordan Todman led the team in rushing in the preseason (223 yards) and earned a bigger role on offense.

Fifth-round pick Denard Robinson eventually landed at running back after a stint at wide receiver and also was worked into the rotation.

Forsett carried the ball just six times for 31 yards and caught 15 passes for 82 yards before suffering a broken bone in his foot against Houston on Nov. 24. He has rushed for 1,692 yards and eight touchdowns and caught 115 passes for 850 yards and one touchdown in his six-year career with Seattle, Indianapolis, Houston and Jacksonville.

The most experienced back remaining on the roster is Delone Carter, whom the team signed on Dec. 9. He did not appear in a game for the Jaguars but had 133 carries for 499 yards and five touchdowns in his first two seasons with Indianapolis.

Todman ran for 256 yards and two touchdowns in his first season, including 109 yards on 25 carries against Buffalo in his first start in place of the injured Jones-Drew. Robinson has just 66 yards on 20 carries.

The free-agent market for running backs is pretty solid, with Ben Tate topping the list. Other players available include James Starks, LeGarrette Blount, Knowshon Moreno, Anthony Dixon and Darren McFadden. The Jaguars may add one free agent, most likely a young back, and also are likely to draft one in the middle rounds in May.
Got questions about the Jaguars? I'll try to answer a representative selection of them every Saturday. Submit your questions via Twitter to @ESPNdirocco.

Free-agency series: Running backs

February, 25, 2014
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Here is the second of a 10-part series breaking down the Jaguars’ free-agency needs, position by position:

Running backs

Who’s on the roster: Delone Carter, Shaun Chapas (FB), Justin Forsett, Maurice Jones-Drew, Denard Robinson, Jordan Todman and Will Ta'ufo'ou (FB).

Analysis: Jones-Drew becomes an unrestricted free agent next month, but every other player is under contract through at least 2014. Jones-Drew fought through ankle, hamstring and knee issues to rush for 803 yards and five touchdowns. The running game, though, never really got going until the 11th game of the season. The Jaguars ran for at least 112 yards in games 11-14 but things dropped off the table after that: 105 yards in the last two games combined. Part of the yearlong issue was due to the offensive line’s struggles, but the fact that the Jaguars rarely made any explosive plays in the run game was a big factor as well. The Jaguars had just four runs of 30 or more yards all season. Todman was solid as Jones-Drew’s backup and ran for 109 yards in his only start, but he’s not a featured back. Forsett was hurt in camp and never found his fit in the offense and likely will be released. Robinson never had a defined role until settling in at running back midway through the season and he has had ball-security issues. Carter and Chapas (practice squad) were signed late in the season.

NFL free agents of interest: Ben Tate, Darren McFadden, Knowshon Moreno, James Starks, Anthony Dixon and LeGarrette Blount.

Need meter: 7. If Jones-Drew does not re-sign with the Jaguars -- and right now it appears he won’t -- the team needs to sign a replacement via free agency. There are a lot of affordable options on the market because of the number of players available. Tate tops the list and should be the Jaguars’ top target at this position, but if they’re looking for a cheaper option then Starks, who has been a featured back in spurts with Green Bay, could be an option. Robinson is an intriguing player on the roster, though, because the staff is having him bulk up a bit to handle the pounding of playing running back. If he can solve his fumbling problems, he could be a surprise. Expect the team to draft at least one back as well.
With the NFL combine starting Wednesday, here's a look at the Jacksonville Jaguars' positions of need on offense and which prospects the team might be looking to take a closer look at in Indianapolis. Positions of need are listed in order of importance. A look at the defense comes Tuesday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars have a lot of holes to fill on the roster and the next part in the process comes this week when general manager David Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley evaluate, watch and interview prospects at the NFL combine.

Here's a breakdown of what the Jaguars need, in order, on offense and some potential targets:

Quarterback: There's no question this is the Jaguars' top need, although pass-rusher is only slightly behind. Caldwell wants to re-sign Chad Henne before free agency begins next month, but Henne is a bridge player or someone who can mentor a young quarterback and begin the season as the starter if the rookie isn't ready. The Jaguars haven't completely given up on Blaine Gabbert, either, but he's entering the final year of his contract and it would be surprising if he were re-signed after 2014.

Potential targets: Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Jimmy Garoppolo, Derek Carr, Aaron Murray.

Interior offensive line: The Jaguars have to find a center to replace the retired Brad Meester and a left guard to upgrade from Will Rackley. The Jaguars will address this area in free agency as well but the team also wants to add some young talent. The Jaguars appear set at both tackles (Luke Joeckel and Austin Pasztor) and right guard Uche Nwaneri has two more years remaining on his contract. He's scheduled to make $4.775 million in each year, though, and could be a cap casualty after 2014. Mike Brewster and Jacques McClendon can play guard and center but neither appears, now anyway, to be the long-term answer. It wouldn't be surprising if the team took an interior offensive lineman in the third round, especially if the Jaguars took a quarterback earlier.

Potential targets: G Gabe Jackson, G David Yankey, G Brandon Thomas, C Marcus Martin, C Weston Richburg, C Russell Bodine.

[+] EnlargeMaurice Jones-Drew
Stephen Morton/AP PhotoThe Jaguars need to find a feature back in the event they do not re-sign Maurice Jones-Drew.
Running back: The Jaguars are more than likely going to lose Maurice Jones-Drew in free agency, which leaves them with Jordan Todman, Denard Robinson, Delone Carter, and Justin Forsett on the roster. Forsett is likely going to be cut, but even if he's retained none of those players is a feature back. The Jaguars don't need to invest a high pick at this spot because good backs can be found in the later middle rounds.

Potential targets: Lorenzo Taliaferro, Jerick McKinnon, Tre Mason, Lache Seastrunk, Dri Archer, Andre Williams.

Receiver: The Jaguars aren't planning on getting anything from Justin Blackmon in 2014 because they don't yet know his status, which is the correct way to approach his situation. Cecil Shorts is entering a contract year but has yet to stay healthy for a full season. Ace Sanders, Mike Brown, Kerry Taylor, Lamar Thomas, and Stephen Burton are complementary players. The Jaguars need to find a bigger, physical receiver. If they do that in free agency, this area drops to the bottom of the offensive needs list.

Potential targets: Josh Huff, Odell Beckham Jr., Davante Adams.

Tight end: Marcedes Lewis came on strong at the end of the season and he should be a 50-catch player in Jedd Fisch's offense if he stays healthy. After Lewis, though, there isn't much. Clay Harbor is a flex tight end but he's a free agent and the Jaguars will have to decide if they want to re-sign him. Danny Noble is raw and needs more work. The Jaguars want a bigger tight end who can line up next to Lewis in two-tight-end formations.

Potential targets: Marcel Jensen, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Crockett Gilmore, Jake Murphy.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars general manager David Caldwell can be very aggressive in free agency if he chooses because the Jaguars are projected to have the third-most cap room available when the free-agency period begins next month.

According to a Feb. 7 report from Roster Management System, the Jaguars will have nearly $30 million in cap space. The team's cap number -- which includes salaries, penalties, dead money, and futures contracts -- for 2014 is $96,517,190, well below the estimated 2014 salary cap of $126 million.

That leaves the Jaguars with $29,482,810 to spend on free agents and draft picks.

Only two teams in the NFL have more projected cap room: Indianapolis ($33,096,844) and Oakland ($58,242,920).

But just because the Jaguars have a significant amount of money to spend doesn't mean Caldwell will be writing a lot of big checks. The Jaguars will target some offensive and defensive linemen in free agency, especially a center, and will be somewhat aggressive early and then back off in the hopes of finding a bargain later in free agency.

That doesn't mean the Jaguars are going to jump into the competition for Alex Mack, who is one of the league's top centers. Ryan Kalil signed a six-year, $49.12 million deal in 2011 with Carolina that made him the NFL's highest-paid center and Mack's deal is expected to top that.

He may not even be available, either, because Cleveland could sign him to an extension before his contract expires last month. Mack also said he would give the Browns the chance to match any offer he received.

"Some of these guys [available linemen] are going to get signed before free agency becomes available," Caldwell said. "We'll just have to wait and see who becomes available and who's out there. You have the franchise tag and some other methods that teams use to keep their guys so we'll see.

"There will be another influx of guys that become available when teams have to get under the salary cap."

Waiting paid off for the Jaguars last year. They signed four unrestricted free agents from other teams (linebacker Geno Hayes, cornerback Alan Ball, running back Justin Forsett and defensive tackle Roy Miller) from March 13-15 and then added defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks on April 2.

Marks had a career year and ended up signing a four-year contract extension in December.

Injured Jags on track for OTAs

January, 22, 2014
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MOBILE, Ala. -- The Jaguars should be nearly completely healthy by the time OTAs begin in late April.

Coach Gus Bradley said offensive tackle Luke Joeckel (ankle), receiver Cecil Shorts (sports hernia), defensive tackle Roy Miller (shoulder), linebacker Geno Hayes (knee), running back Justin Forsett (foot), guard/center Mike Brewster (ankle) and defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick (elbow) are progressing in their rehab and are on pace to return to the field when OTAs start on April 21.

"Luke Joeckel, I just saw him right before he left and he was walking around doing pretty good," Bradley said. "He’s working his tail off. Those guys are really going at it, so it’s great."

Joeckel said he’s eager to get back on the field because he got very little experience at left tackle before suffering a fractured bone in his ankle against St. Louis in Week 5. He had played right tackle the first four games before being switched to the other side – his natural position – after the Jaguars traded Eugene Monroe to Baltimore.

"I’m going to be excited about next year and hopefully being a left tackle again," Joeckel said. "I’m excited about being in my position and becoming better at that and blocking the guys I’m going to be blocking."

Joeckel did a solid job in the short time in which he was a left tackle. He didn't allow Robert Quinn, who finished with 19 sacks, or Chris Long to pressure quarterback Blaine Gabbert. That's a good start, but he'll essentially be a rookie again in 2014 since he spent so little time at left tackle. He'll be ahead of where he was physically, especially after a full offseason in an NFL weight program, but he'll still have to prove he can be a foundation piece on the offensive line.
Each day for the next two weeks we’ll review how each position group performed in 2013, and take an early look at 2014. Today we’ll examine the running backs. We did quarterbacks on Monday, and we will do tight ends on Wednesday.

Running back

Jones-Drew
Breakdown of starts: Maurice Jones-Drew (15), Jordan Todman (1).

Recap: Jones-Drew led the Jaguars in rushing for the sixth consecutive season with 803 yards, but his 3.4 yards per carry average was the lowest single-season total of his career and more than a yard shy of his career average (4.6). The offensive line's struggle to adjust to a zone-blocking scheme, and Jones-Drew being less than a year removed from Lisfranc surgery were contributing factors. He said he wasn’t able to do his normal offseason training routine because he was rehabbing the injury. Jones-Drew also battle knee, ankle and hamstring issues throughout the season.

Jones-Drew clearly wasn’t the player he was when he led the NFL in rushing in 2011, but he was still effective. The biggest difference was his lack of explosiveness. He had just three runs of 30 or more yard this season (30, 44 and 48 yards).

Todman didn’t have much more success than Jones-Drew did statistically -- he also averaged 3.4 yards per carry -- but he matched Jones-Drew’s number of 100-yard games. He ran for 109 yards against Buffalo in his only start of the season. Jones-Drew sat out that game with a hamstring injury.

It was Todman’s emergence this season that kept Justin Forsett from getting on the field much. The Jaguars signed Forsett in March, but he suffered a sprained toe on his right foot on Aug. 1 in the first live practice period of training camp and missed the rest of camp and all of the preseason. Meanwhile, Todman led the team in rushing in the preseason (223 yards) and earned a bigger role on offense.

Forsett ended up with just 21 touches in the first 11 games (he was active but did not play in two games) before fracturing a bone in his foot against Houston on Dec. 5.

Fifth-round draft pick Denard Robinson started the season as an offensive weapon, moved to receiver, and finally settled in at running back in October, but the former Michigan quarterback didn’t get much work (20 carries for 66 yards). He had trouble holding onto the ball.

Looking ahead to 2014

Players under contract: Todman, Forsett, Robinson, Will Ta'ufo'ou (fullback), Delone Carter, Shaun Chapas.

The skinny: The big issue is whether the Jaguars will be able to re-sign Jones-Drew, who becomes a free agent March 17. Jones-Drew said money is a factor, and the Jaguars might not be willing to pay what he wants. However, Jones-Drew might find he’s not going to be able to find what he wants on the open market because teams could be reluctant to pay much for a nearly 30-year-old running back with injury issues the past two seasons.

If the Jaguars do not re-sign Jones-Drew, expect them to address the position either in free agency or the draft. Todman has proven to be a complementary back at this point in his career, but isn’t capable of being a feature back.

Robinson is a bit of a wild card. If he can improve his ball security, he should get more work. He’s got good speed, and is a very good open-field runner. The Jaguars would love to be able to use him as a receiver out of the backfield, but they have to trust his hands, and they’re not close to being able to do that.

Ta’ufo’ou is on the field for roughly a third of the offensive snaps, and coach Gus Bradley said he was pleased with his performance. Carter joined the team in early December and was active for two games. Chapas joined the team in late November, and recently signed a futures contract.

Arrow indicates direction team is trending.

Final Power Ranking: 29
Preseason Power Ranking: 29

Biggest surprise: When the Jaguars signed defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks to a one-year, $1.5 million contract last April, they thought he’d be a good fit in coach Gus Bradley’s system. Turns out he was a perfect fit. Marks plays the three-technique, which means he lines up on the guard’s outside shoulder, and that position is supposed to provide interior pass rush. Marks finished with four sacks, nine quarterback pressures and eight pass breakups -- all numbers that equaled or surpassed the totals from his first four seasons. He seemed to make at least one impactful play every game and he accounted for two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. His play earned him a four-year contract extension as one of the building blocks of the defense.

Biggest disappointment: The Jaguars’ inability to consistently run the ball, especially early in the season, was vexing. The Jaguars switched from a predominantly man-blocking scheme to a zone-blocking scheme, and the offensive line had trouble with the transition. Four of the five starters at the beginning of the season also started in 2011, when Maurice Jones-Drew led the NFL in rushing. The Jaguars mixed in more man-blocking schemes as the season progressed and things got better, but the problem wasn’t “fixed.” In addition, Jones-Drew clearly was not the same player he was two years ago. He missed all but six games last season with a Lisfranc injury and also battled ankle, knee and hamstring issues this season.

Biggest need: The Jaguars have a pretty long list of needs, but two stand out above all others: quarterback and pass-rusher. Quarterback is the top need because former first-round pick Blaine Gabbert isn’t the answer and neither is Chad Henne, who will be a free agent but wants to return to Jacksonville in 2014. The Jaguars haven’t had a bona fide threat at quarterback since coach Jack Del Rio put Mark Brunell on the bench for Byron Leftwich in 2003. New general manager David Caldwell and Bradley need a player around which to build the franchise, and the Jaguars will have the opportunity to possibly find one when they pick third overall in May’s draft.

Team MVP: The first impulse is to go with middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, whose 161 tackles ranked second in the NFL. He was clearly the team’s best defensive player and arguably the best overall player. However, what Henne did to stabilize the offense earns him MVP honors. Gabbert had played terribly in the first part of the season (seven INTs, one TD) and Henne stepped in and played the most consistent football of his career. He didn’t always light it up and he made some poor decisions and mistakes, but he kept the Jaguars in games in the second half of the season and made enough plays to go 4-4 after the bye. He threw nine touchdown passes -- including the game winner against Cleveland with 40 seconds to play -- and five interceptions over the final five games.

Handicapping notable veteran returns

December, 27, 2013
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars general manager David Caldwell has some interesting decisions ahead of him in the next several months regarding several notable players who are under contract in 2014 and beyond.

Does he try and restructure those deals to be more cap friendly and avoid over-paying for veterans who aren’t as productive as they have been or no longer fit into the team’s plans? Are those players will to restructure, which often means taking a pay cut?

Or does Caldwell just cut them outright?

The Jaguars are more than $20 million under the salary cap so there’s no financial reason to do any of those things other than it’s bad business to overpay for players who aren’t performing or don’t fit into the team’s future. That’s how teams do get into trouble with the salary cap.

Here’s a breakdown of several notable players who are in the above situations along with my guess on whether they’re back or not:

QB Blaine Gabbert

Why he may be back: His salary of little more than $2 million is guaranteed for 2014 so there’s really no reason to cut him. The Jaguars would owe him his salary anyway so why not keep him on the roster? Maybe the last two months have been good for him in terms of seeing the game from a different perspective and that allows him to finally take the next step in his development.

Why he won’t: If the Jaguars have decided to move on and take a quarterback with their first-round pick, it’s going to be awkward in the locker room. You never know how that dynamic will work, so why take the chance of having any issues? Plus it would mark a clean break and give Gabbert a chance to hook on with another team before training camp.

My guess: He’s back, at least through training camp.

RB Justin Forsett

Why he may be back: The Jaguars’ running back situation is unclear because of Maurice Jones-Drew’s status. If Jones-Drew decides not to return, the Jaguars will have to add at least one running back. If that’s a young player through the draft, the Jaguars will need some veteran leadership in the locker room and meeting rooms. Forsett would certainly provide that. Plus, he’s only scheduled to make $1.1 million next season.

Why he won’t: Injuries and the emergence of Jordan Todman never allowed Forsett to find a place in the offense. He doesn’t add anything that Todman doesn’t as a runner and while he is a good receiver out of the backfield the Jaguars could certainly find a cheaper alternative.

My guess: He doesn’t return.

WR Justin Blackmon

Why he may be back: There’s no denying his talent, and he was clearly the Jaguars’ best offensive player in the four games in which he played.

Why he won’t: He has already been suspended twice for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and another violation will cost him another indefinite suspension. There’s no way the team can make him a key part of the offense because there’s always the threat of another violation.

My guess: If he’s granted reinstatement by the commissioner, he’ll be back. Personally, I think they should cut him as soon as he’s reinstated.

TE Marcedes Lewis

Why he may be back: He has been very productive over the last five games (14 catches, four TDs) and has shown he can be a viable part of the passing offense. In fact, if the Jaguars made more of a commitment to getting him involved he could be a 50-catch player who scores six to eight touchdowns. Plus, he’s a great blocker, which is a tremendous help in the running game. Though he’s scheduled to make $6.7 million next season, the Jaguars can absorb that number because of how far they are under the cap.

Why he won’t: His salary is still a significant chunk of the team’s cap and he would be the team’s second-highest paid player behind linebacker Paul Posluszny ($7.45 million). Plus, he’ll be 30 in May and the Jaguars want to get younger at every position.

My guess: He’s back in 2014 but may be gone in 2015.

DE Jason Babin

Why he may be back: Babin isn’t a double-digit sack guy any longer, but he has still been productive (6.5 sacks) and coach Gus Bradley and defensive coordinator Bob Babich both said he has played better than his stats indicate. A veteran presence is always good in the locker room, especially if the Jaguars are going to draft several young pass rushers. He has indicated that he is willing to re-negotiate his contract.

Why he won’t: Babin, who will be 34 in May, is scheduled to make $6 million in each of the next two seasons, but there is a rule in the new collective bargaining agreement that allows him to declare himself a free agent after this season. That’s allowed when a vested veteran claimed after the trading deadline -- which the Jaguars did last season -- can declare himself a free agent after the season following the season in which he was claimed. He could opt to become a free agent and try and find another team.

My guess: He’s back, but at a reduced salary.

Jags put two on IR, sign a RB

December, 9, 2013
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars put receiver Stephen Burton and running back Justin Forsett on Injured Reserve and signed running back Delone Carter on Monday.

Forsett
Forsett (broken foot) has six carries for 81 yards, and 15 catches for 82 yards in nine games. He was hurt in the Jaguars' victory against Houston on Nov 24.

Forsett signed a two-year contract with the Jaguars in March, but he suffered a sprained toe on his right foot on Aug. 1 in the first live practice period of training camp and missed the rest of camp and all of the preseason. Meanwhile, first-year running back Jordan Todman led the team in rushing in the preseason (223 yards) and earned a bigger role on offense (18 carries for 53 yards in nine games).

Burton has played in just four games this season because of multiple concussions, and has eight receptions for 76 yards

Carter was a fourth-round pick by Indianapolis in 2011 and rushed for 499 yards and five touchdowns in two seasons with the Colts. Indianapolis traded him to Baltimore on Aug. 1, and he hasn't been with a team since the Ravens cut him Aug. 30.

RTC: Jaguars clinging to No. 1 pick

November, 26, 2013
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars would have the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft if the season ended today -- but just barely.

Florida Times-Union columnist Gene Frenette writes that while the Jaguars (2-9) are tied with Houston and Atlanta for the NFL's worst record, they currently sit in last place because the combined won-loss record of their opponents is slightly lower than Houston's and Atlanta's opponents. The Jaguars' opponents are 91-84 (.520 winning percentage). Houston's opponents are 96-79 (.548) and Atlanta's opponents are 98-75-1 (.566).

Those marks include the remaining opponents as well.

Here are some additional pieces of Jaguars content from around the web in our daily Reading the Coverage feature:

Ryan O'Halloran breaks down five key plays from the victory over Houston in his After Further Review feature, including Ryan Davis' interception. He also reviews how well the Jaguars accomplished the four keys to the game.

The T-U's Hays Carlyon writes that Bradley was impressed with Davis' effort.

Here is Frenette's report card from the Houston victory. He doled out two A's.

Coach Gus Bradley says the Jaguars' second victory is further validation of the approach he and GM Dave Caldwell have taken this year, O'Halloran writes.

Here is a roundup of items from this blog: the Blaine Gabbert era isn't officially over, but it's pretty darn close; a breakdown of offensive and defensive snaps against the Texans; running back Justin Forsett is done for the year after fracturing his foot; ESPN fantasy football writer Eric Karabell discusses whether running back Maurice Jones-Drew is on the rise.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Offensive snaps for Jaguars skill-position players in Sunday's 13-6 victory over Houston, while analyzing what it means:

QB Chad Henne: 68 of 68

WR Cecil Shorts: 66 of 68

TE Marcedes Lewis: 62 of 68

WR Kerry Taylor: 55 of 68

RB Maurice Jones-Drew: 42 of 68

WR Ace Sanders: 35 of 68

FB Will Ta'ufo'ou: 31 of 68

RB Jordan Todman: 20 of 68

TE Clay Harbor: 19 of 68

RB Justin Forsett: 4 of 68

TE Danny Noble: 3 of 68

WR Denard Robinson: 2 of 68

Analysis: One week after complaining about not being involved in the offense, Shorts was targeted 11 times and caught eight passes. He also had two drops. ... Lewis' main role continues to be as a blocker despite the fact that he's averaging 13.0 yards per catch. Since his return from a calf injury, he has caught nine passes for 117 yards. … Guard Mike Brewster actually lined up as a tight end for a play on the goal line and went out for a pass but was covered and Henne threw the ball to Ta'ufo'ou. ... Forsett played for the first time since the San Francisco game on Oct. 27. He caught pass for 9 yards. ... Not having WR Mike Brown (shoulder) meant a lot more playing time for Taylor, who played 20 more snaps against the Texans than he did in his Jaguars debut against Arizona. He caught one pass for 8 yards.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars running back Justin Forsett will miss the rest of the season after suffering a fractured foot in Sunday’s victory over Houston.

Coach Gus Bradley said Forsett will miss four to six weeks and Bradley and GM Dave Caldwell will talk this week about whether to put Forsett on IR. The Jaguars (2-9) have five games remaining, beginning with Sunday’s game at Cleveland (4-7).

Forsett has six carries for 31 yards and 15 receptions for 82 yards.

Bradley said linebacker Geno Hayes (knee) and defensive tackle Roy Miller (shoulder) likely won’t practice on Wednesday but he expects them to play on Sunday.

Receiver Mike Brown (shoulder) and cornerback Will Blackmon (shoulder) should return to the practice field on Wednesday. Neither played against the Texans.

Jaguars running out of options

November, 21, 2013
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars have tried various things to get the running game going.

They've used more of the gap blocking scheme instead of being an exclusively zone blocking team.

Jones-Drew
Robinson
They've used the pistol formation.

They've given Denard Robinson, who never quite worked out as an offensive weapon, the No. 2 spot on the running back depth chart and some carries.

Nothing has worked. The team is still last in the NFL in rushing (61.7 yards per game), Maurice Jones-Drew is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry and they're coming off a game in which they rushed for just 32 yards -- the fourth-lowest single-game total in franchise history.

"We need to find a way to run the ball," coach Gus Bradley said. "We just have to. It doesn't matter how good they are up front, we still have to find a way."

There's really not much left to try. Bradley said Thursday that Jordan Todman and Justin Forsett, who has played in the past two games, will get more opportunities to run the ball Sunday against Houston. Robinson may get a carry or two as well.

Jones-Drew will still get the majority of the work, but Bradley said taking some of the load off his shoulders may help him stay rested and be more effective. Jones-Drew has 157 carries. The rest of the running backs, which includes fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou, have 42.

"One of the things we looked at is throughout the NFL you see teams go with one lead back and another back might get five or six reps a game in order to keep the No. 1 guy fresh," Bradley said. "We haven't been doing that as much so that's something that we're looking into.

"It might be with MoJo that if we do that and he's fresher, we get more production."

The running game problems aren't only due to a tired Jones-Drew. The offensive line hasn't played well at all. The unit, especially the interior, struggled with the zone blocking schemes early in the season so offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch called more gap-scheme plays. That has helped a little bit but the line is still struggling to create space.

Injuries have been a factor as well. Jones-Drew was coming off a Lisfranc injury, suffered a sprained ankle in Week 2 and has been dealing with knee soreness. Left guard Will Rackley and right guard Uche Nwaneri battled knee injuries early in the season. Rackley has missed the last two games with a concussion. The Jaguars ran for a combined 86 yards in a victory over Tennessee and a loss to Arizona.

Bradley said he and Fisch have challenged the offensive line this week because they're facing a Houston defense that ranks No. 1 in the league in total defense but 23rd against the rush.

They want to see more explosive plays. The Jaguars are last in the NFL with just three rushes of 15 or more yards this season and 58.7 percent of runs have gone for 2 or less yards.

"I think I told you all a bunch of weeks ago there's going to be a lot of 2-yarders and 3-yarders," Fisch said. "The problem we're having is we're not getting the ex-play [explosive play] runs. If you don't get an ex-play run you're never going to have more than 60 yards rushing.

"What we haven't been able to do is break one. There's been times that you're like, 'Oh, that's a nice -- oh, almost broke that.' Until we break a few we'll be hovering in that 40-60-yard range and that's not good enough."

Nothing they've been doing on the ground has been.

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