2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Winless Jaguars turn to backups along O-line

By MARK LONG - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-09 18:58

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Cam Bradfield and Austin Pasztor went from the bench to the trench in less than week.

The Jacksonville Jaguars actually performed better with them on the field.

The former backup offensive tackles are now starters for the Jaguars, whose patchwork offensive line could prove to be a turning point or a trouble spot for the winless franchise.

The Jaguars (0-5) traded left tackle Eugene Monroe to Baltimore last Tuesday, then lost rookie Luke Joeckel for the season five days later. That thrust Bradfield and Pasztor into spots they've never been before - Bradfield starting on the left side for the first time in his three-year NFL career and Pasztor on the right. How they handle the promotion could be the key to Jacksonville getting its sputtering ground game going.

``It's going to force us to communicate even more,'' guard Uche Nwaneri said Wednesday. ``Some guys are stepping in. They've been here, so they know how we're running things. But we need to be able to be on the same page at the same time.''

Jacksonville's line has looked discombobulated most of the season.

The Jaguars rank 30th in the league in rushing, averaging a little more than 58 yards a game. Switching to a zone-blocking scheme and getting three-time Pro Bowler Maurice Jones-Drew back from a foot injury did little to boost a ground game that struggled most of last season.

Outsiders blamed the inside guys, saying Nwaneri hasn't fully recovered from knee and ankle injuries, that 36-year-old center Brad Meester is showing his age and that third-year guard Will Rackley simply had to be replaced.

The attention has since shifted to the edge protectors.

The Jaguars traded Monroe for two third-day picks in the 2014 draft, a move they made mostly to get Joeckel in his more natural position at left tackle. It also got the franchise something in return for Monroe, the eighth overall pick in 2009 who was in the final year of his rookie contract.

Monroe wasn't a perfect fit in the new scheme, so the Jaguars had decided they were unlikely to pay him the kind of money he would garner in free agency.

The move backfired when Joeckel broke his right ankle in the first quarter Sunday at St. Louis. Joeckel was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

Now, the Jaguars are left with Bradfield and Pasztor.

``They did a nice job,'' coach Gus Bradley said. ``We talked earlier about the world being big for some of those guys, but when they're thrust into it like that, I think that they performed pretty well.''

Jacksonville ran for a season-high 96 yards against the Rams. Jones-Drew finished with 70 yards on 17 carries, though 68 of his yards came after contact.

``It's just how it's been,'' Jones-Drew said. ``Runs are set up for you to beat one guy and now the guys have been a little bit lower in the box than before. You've just got to be ready for that.''

Having receiver Justin Blackmon back from a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy may have helped open things up. It also could have been that Jacksonville played St. Louis, which ranks 23rd in the league in total defense and 27th in rushing defense.

``I felt like a number of things came together,'' Nwaneri said. ``Having Justin back took that extra man out of the box and Maurice started to get into a little bit of a groove. We started to see him break those tackles and stretch those runs out into bigger gains and us getting some movement on the line and creating some lanes for the running backs.

``It really allowed us to get into a rhythm with that running game in the second half last week.''

Now the challenge is whether the Jaguars can continue to move the ball on the ground.

Jacksonville plays at Denver (5-0) on Sunday. The Broncos lead the NFL in rushing defense, giving up less than 70 yards a game. That's one of the many reasons the Jaguars are 28-point underdogs.

``Every man who's here is paid to do a job and paid to go out and perform at a high level,'' Nwaneri said. ``People on the outside are going to say whatever they want to say. It's just people's nature. People like to see others go through misery, like to see people go through problems. But inside these walls, we're all confident in what we can do.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Steven JacksonDec 22 09:33a

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson (quadriceps) is expected to be ready for Week 17.

Mark SanchezDec 22 08:43a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez will start in Week 17 against the New York Giants instead of QB Matt Barkley, according to head coach Chip Kelly.

Johnny ManzielDec 22 03:33a

The Cleveland Browns may look to upgrade the quarterback position in the offseason despite the presence of QB Johnny Manziel. League sources have said Browns general manger Ray Farmer [ More ]

Aaron RodgersDec 22 12:02a

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (calf) tweaked his calf in the Week 16 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but said Sunday, Dec. 21, that he expects to [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Dec 21 09:13p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. posted eight receptions for 148 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Week 16 game against the St. Louis Rams. He [ More ]

Alameda Ta'amuDec 21 07:42p

The Arizona Cardinals have declared DL Alameda Ta'amu, OG Anthony Steen, WR Brittan Golden, SS Chris D. Clemons, QB Drew Stanton, OG Jonathan Cooper, DL Kareem Martin inactive for Week 16.

Chris MatthewsDec 21 07:32p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared WR Chris Matthews, DL Demarcus Dobbs, WR Kevin Norwood, C Max Unger, OT Russell Okung, TE Tony Moeaki, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 16.

Matthew StaffordDec 21 05:12p

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford completed 22 of 39 passes for 243 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in the Week 16 game against the Chicago Bears. He [ More ]

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin won't face Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) Sunday, Dec. 21, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) is out Sunday, Dec. 21.

Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is receiving trade interest from the Tennessee Titans. If the Titans landed him, it would alter the 2015 NFL Draft board dramatically.

T Y HiltonDec 21 10:22a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is a long shot to play Sunday, Dec. 21. However, he's going to try to suit up.

DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will play Sunday, Dec. 21, but the team is nervous how well he'll hold up in pass protection. If the team qualifies for [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz had 15 catches for 115 yards Saturday, Dec. 20. Both of which are career highs.

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group