Jaguars Mailbag: Why is the running game struggling? Posluszny's first taste of success?

This week's Jaguars Mailbag features questions about the running game, the Week 14 matchup against Seattle and more.

@RayCharlesBans asks: Why has our running game been stagnant at best if not on the decline the last four games? Have teams figured out  Leonard Fournette?

Mike Kaye: I don't think it's a matter of figuring out Fournette. The rookie has seen stacked boxes all season. 

What I will say is that the ankle injury has slowed him down at least from my viewpoint. He also hasn't been helped by the musical chairs along the offensive line.

When teams are stacking the box and the offensive line isn't creating holes, it's hard to get going as a power runner. If his injury is impacting his speed, he has little room for improvisation.

Chris Ivory has also struggled with limited reps. T.J. Yeldon is more of a third-down back.

Fournette hitting a rookie wall - if you want to call it that - has limited the Jaguars' approach to the running game over the last few weeks. 

It's been well-acknowledged that the passing game needs to win some of these contests and it did on Sunday.

 

Chris Herman asks: Is this Paul Posluszny first time on a team with a winning record?

MK: This will be the first .500 or better team that Posluszny has played for.

He has been on this team since 2011. He won just 22 games prior to this season while in Jacksonville.

While his workload has dropped significantly, Posluszny is a team guy and he is finally seeing the benefits of his team-first mentality. 

 

Matt Thompson asks: What exactly changed culturally with the new head coach? Better discipline etc.?

MK: Doug Marrone has given this team set goals. It's not about getting better, it's about obtainable, clear-cut goals.

Marrone constantly talks about winning the division. The Jaguars have motivational fixtures set up in the hallways and there is a huge emphasis on division games.

Marrone is also a big believer in the quarters system. The season is broken up into four quarters and Marrone wants to have a winning record in each of them.

There is no room to be content in that locker room. The group has bought into Marrone's "one win at a time" approach.

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@Willinjax07 asks: Which is the bigger threat Doug Baldwin or Jimmy Graham? Do you think they would use Jalen Ramsey on Graham in goal line situations?

MK: Wide receivers have struggled consistently against the Jaguars' cornerbacks. Tight ends have had some success against the Jaguars' Cover 3 zone defense.

Jimmy Graham is a guy that could have a big game in Week 14.

I think if you're the Jaguars, you need to rely on your safeties and linebackers against Graham in coverage. The Seahawks have several wide receivers who can make plays and the problem with playing against Russell Wilson is that he extends plays with his legs.

You want your best coverage guys on the wide receivers because they'll have to cover them for longer than usual against Wilson.

 

@DuvalDweller asks: How do they contain Wilson? Do they have to contain his receivers and just hope the rest takes care of itself?

MK: The Jaguars are likely to designate a "spy" on Wilson to make sure he doesn't get lost in the shuffle. That works ... sometimes.

Wilson is special because he can bob and weave around pass rushers. He extends plays for so long that receivers are able to break free from stellar coverage after a few moments.

Wilson is responsible for an overwhelming majority of the Seahawks' offensive production. The Jaguars will need to pick their poison of coverage or contain.

I would think forcing Wilson to beat them with his arm as opposed to his mobility would be the right strategy.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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