Aug 9, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley talks with cornerback Kevin Rutland (22) and teammates on the bench during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
To preview tomorrow nights game against the Jaguars, we called upon our FanSided brothers over at Black and Teal to answer some questions Eagles fans had about the state of Jags right now. There are many common links between the two teams. Gus Bradley, the new head coach for the Jags, was interviewed by the Eagles before Chip Kelly had changed his mind about staying at Oregon. Many Eagles fans were excited about the opportunity to bring in Gus. Jason Babin – former Eagles public enemy no. 1 – got picked up by the Jags after he was released here.
Many thanks to Daniel Lago (follow him on twitter @dlago89) for helping us out here!
1. How is the team looking under Gus Bradley so far? Do the fans feel confident in the direction Gus has the team going in?
The fans are in love with Gus Bradley and for good reason. Bradley has injected enthusiasm and vigor into the team, something that was sorely lacking with Mike Mularkey last year. He has a similar style to Pete Carroll in Seattle – he preaches competition at every position and it’s sincere. It’s also nice to have modern, novel schemes on defense rather than the vanilla, old-school formations and plays we’ve had over the past few years.
2. What’s the vibe in Jacksonville now that Blaine Gabbert has been named the starter? Do people feel he’s the long term answer?
Aug 17, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) passes the ball against the New York Jets during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Most Jaguar fans who actually know what’s going on weren’t surprised at all when Gabbert was named the starter. While almost no one genuinely thinks he’s the long-term solution, almost everyone agrees that it makes more sense to see if he can play up to his potential this year rather than start Chad Henne. Henne is pretty much tapped out and we know what he is, while Gabbert still has a chance – albeit small – to develop into something more.
3. Jason Babin (former Eagle) and Luke Joeckel (linked prospect) are 2 Jags players that Eagles fans are familiar with. How have they looked this training camp and how do you think they’ll fare this season?
Aug 9, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Jason Babin (58) runs on to the field before the start of the game against the Miami Dolphins at Everbank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Babin provided a much needed pass rush last year and he’s a great fit for the main pass rushing position (the LEO) in Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme. He hasn’t shown much in the preseason but the playbook will open up a little bit in the regular season and he should produce. Luke Joeckel has been solid in camp and played well in his first preseason game. He probably won’t see any more play time until the regular season due to a hip injury. Joeckel doesn’t have the elite athleticism of your first round pick Lane Johnson, but he’s fundamentally sound and should be a long-term fixture at right tackle.
As you can see the Eagles and the Jags have many similarities, mainly a renewed sense of optimism under a new head coaching regime. We look forward to seeing how the team looks in 2013!
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