Urban Meyer praises Jaguars tackles for play against ferocious Denver pass rush

Meyer said both Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor played well against Denver’s talented edge-rushing duo.

There wasn’t much praiseworthy about Jacksonville’s offensive performance on Sunday, but one thing the unit actually did fairly well was protecting quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The Broncos’ edge rushing duo of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb is one of the NFL’s best, and while Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor didn’t do a bad job holding their own Week 1, fans still had concerns about how they would fare Week 2 due to the duo’s penalty issues.

In Week 2, they were much better. Lawrence was only sacked once, by Miller, and he had plenty of time to make throws (though that didn’t necessarily correlate with success).

On Monday, coach Urban Meyer said he was pleased with the play of the offensive line, particularly with Robinson and Taylor.

“Our offensive line was very much a positive,” he said. “They kept a nice, solid pocket for him [QB Trevor Lawrence] for the most part. Obviously, against two elite pass rushers, Jawaan Taylor really hung in there. I know we chipped a little bit and helped him, but for the most part, he hung in there. They had one sack and it was on a twist. But straight pass rush, we hung in there really well.

“I was really proud of the offensive line. They put us in position to win the game if we didn’t have a couple other areas where – in the first half, we left two of the touchdowns right there on the field and it’s a whole different ball game if you don’t do that.”

Though Chubb missed a large portion of the game when he exited with an injury, the tackles still held their own against the pass rush for most of the contest.

As fans are aware, both players need big years to solidify their roles moving forward. Robinson was franchise tagged last offseason, and he’s currently making his case for a long-term contract. Taylor, meanwhile, is under contract through 2022, but his play has been inconsistent, and Jacksonville drafted another tackle in the second round this year in Walker Little.

But Robinson and Taylor have been solid through two games, and while it hasn’t correlated with offensive success, it’s definitely a positive sign moving forward.

Pair of offensive linemen are Jaguars’ 2021 X-factors

The play of Jacksonville’s two offensive tackles, Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor, will be crucial in the development of Trevor Lawrence.

Jacksonville did a lot this offseason to bolster both the offense and the defense, but the most momentous move was the decision to draft quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick. For the first time in decades, the Jaguars have a franchise quarterback, but his play as a rookie will be largely determined by other variables around him, most notably the play of the offensive line.

The Jaguars have one of the league’s more experienced units, and it allowed for rookie running back James Robinson to finish fifth in rushing in 2020. Now with another playmaker in the backfield in first-round pick Travis Etienne, the play of the offensive line will be key this season, both in establishing the run and protecting Lawrence.

According to Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon, the Jags have two “X-factors” in 2021, and they both play along the offensive line. While the interior of the Jags’ line is solid, there are a bit more questions at the tackle spots. The team chose to franchise tag Cam Robinson this offseason, and his play hasn’t quite lived up to his payday this year. But the team was desperate to make sure it had a starting-caliber player along the blindside, and Robinson fits that bill.

On the other side is Jawaan Taylor, who was the Jags’ second-round pick in 2019 and has great potential. The former second-round pick is listed as an X-factor, alongside Robinson.

We’re cheating here and giving you two relatively young second-round picks who will start at the same critical position and be charged with making sure Trevor Lawrence’s rookie season is less dangerous than Joe Burrow’s was with the Bengals in 2020.

PFF ranked the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive line in the bottom 12 last year, and much of that had to do with the fact that offensive tackles Cam Robinson, 25, and Jawaan Taylor, 23, didn’t get the job done.

But the Jags are rolling with the status quo for Lawrence. They somewhat surprisingly hit Robinson with the franchise tag, and they seem to be hoping Taylor can break out in his third season. They did draft offensive tackle Walker Little in Round 2, but he’s got a small college sample and a large injury history, so they’re putting most of their eggs in baskets belonging to Robinson and Taylor.

If both can put it together in Urban Meyer’s offense, Lawrence will have a good chance of meeting expectations as a rookie No. 1 overall pick. If not, he could be running for his life for much of 2021.

Though Jacksonville certainly could have upgraded at tackle this offseason with players like Trent Williams and Orlando Brown, none of those options worked out or came at a reasonable cost by the Jags’ standards. In Robinson, the team at least secures a guy who is capable of getting the job done. Taylor has much more of a future on the team, but he needs to take a step up this season.

Expectations are high for Lawrence as a rookie, even though he’s inheriting a team that went 1-15 last year. But if he’s going to meet (or exceed) those expectations, he’ll need some help. And that will start with the players tasked with blocking premier NFL edge rushers in Robinson and Taylor.

A.J. Cann discusses bond with Brandon Linder and Jawaan Taylor

A.J. Cann discussed his bond with both Brandon Linder and Jawaan Taylor on an episode of the “O-Zone Podcast.”

Guard A.J. Cann has seen a lot of iterations of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The third-longest tenured member of the Jaguars (behind fellow offensive linemen Brandon Linder and Tyler Shatley), the 2015 third-round pick has started 90 of the 91 games he’s appeared in throughout his career, and he’s had three head coaches and two general managers in that time.

So any quick change to the franchise’s culture would be easily recognized by Cann. He discussed the difference he’s felt during the first offseason under Urban Meyer on an episode of the “O-Zone Podcastwith Jaguars writer John Oehser.

“We know where he wants to go,” Cann said. “He wants to win and he wants to win now. As a team, we’re hungry. We hear a hungry head coach talking like that and working his butt off to give us everything he can to win and increase our value. That makes you want to go out there and give it all you have for a guy like that. He’s been everything and all of that since he has been here.”

Cann is a part of the position group expected to have the most continuity under the new regime. The offensive line is the most experienced unit on the team, and Cann plays between the most experienced member of the offensive line in Linder and the least experienced in Jawaan Taylor, a former second-round pick who the Jags believe has a lot of potential.

Cann discussed his relationship with both on Oehser’s podcast, saying that the group is often on the same page and communicates well due to the amount of time they’ve played together.

“Just knowing who you’re going to battle with, and knowing that person in and out,” Cann said. “I’ve been beside Brandon for a while. Sometimes when we see something, we’ll look at each other and it’s like, ‘You saw that? I saw it, too.’ I just know what he’s thinking about and I am able to think on the same page.

“It’s the same with Jawaan: He can make a point and I say, ‘I’m already watching it.’ That’s a cool thing. You can feel the presence of the group. We’ve got guys who have been there. We made some strides last year. We’re working to build on that.”

Cann remains one of the more consistent members of the Jacksonville offensive line, and it’s why he’s held down a starting job for so long. In 919 snaps in 2020, he allowed only two sacks, per Pro Football Focus. His play, along with the play of his cohorts, will be key in both the development of rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence and building off the strides made in the run game last season.

5 players who could break out for the Jags in 2021

Josh Allen wasn’t able to match his rookie season, but with a scheme more suited to his strengths, he should make a jump in 2021.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were one of the teams who went through the most drastic of changes this offseason after winning just one game last season. However, the positive part about their 2020 roster is that it was the youngest in the NFL, meaning there is a lot of upside and nowhere to go but up.

When looking at the Jags’ roster last season, there are several names from the 2020 roster who flashed, and some who didn’t, who could look even better in 2021 thanks to the new regime. Here’s a look at five of the most important ones who could drastically improve their performances from what fans witnessed a year ago:

3 Jaguars to watch on offense vs. Titans

The Jaguars will need Andrew Norwell and Jawaan Taylor both to have a solid day in the trenches if they are to beat the Titans Sunday.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have the opportunity to stay undefeated and be alone at the top of the division with a win in Nashville Sunday afternoon. After a surprise win at home against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, the Jags will be hoping to continue that momentum into this game against another division rival as they look to steal a match on the rest of the AFC South.

To many people’s shock, the Jaguars’ offense was largely effective in last week’s win. Gardner Minshew II went 19-of-20 and leads the NFL in the completion percentage category, whilst rookie running back James Robinson looked like a starting calibre rusher in his NFL debut.

Simply put, the unit will need to score points in abundance if they are to keep pace with running back Derrick Henry and the Titans this week. With that in mind, here’s three Jaguars to watch on offense in Week 2.

Laviska Shenault Jr.

Laviska Shenault Jr. quietly had one of the better performances on the team last weekend. The staff said they would use him in a variety of ways this offseason and they stuck to their word early. Shenault was given the ball out of the backfield twice and even lined up at wildcat quarterback at one point, in addition to receiving multiple targets as a receiver.

When looking at his stats, Shenault was the only rookie receiver to catch a touchdown last weekend, scoring on a nice in-route for a 15-yard touchdown. If the Jaguars want to keep the defense guessing, Shenault will be used to create mismatches on defense early and often Week 2.

Andrew Norwell

Norwell has come under a lot of criticism by Jaguars fans and media in recent years. It is safe to say that the team expected a lot from the former All-Pro having made him the richest interior lineman in the entire NFL when he signed in 2017.

Fortunately, he looked vastly improved in Week 1 (registering a 73.3, per Pro Football Focus) as the Jaguars were able to keep Minshew’s pocket clean and saw his production improve as a result. Given the talent in the Titans’ front-seven, Jacksonville needs Norwell to repeat last week’s showing if they want to keep their quarterback off the grass.

Jawaan Taylor

Two offensive lineman you say? It could be one of those games.

Taylor makes the cut here because he flashed very brightly last week. Taylor showed vast improvements in the second half of 2019 and started this year relatively strong. Whilst the Jaguars did allow multiple sacks last weekend, the former Florida Gator lit up Colts’ All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard on a screen play.

The second-year tackle will be lining up against Jadeveon Clowney for much of this game. That means it will be imperative for Taylor to slow down the former first overall pick.

Taylor and the Jags’ offensive line will have to be physical with the Titans’ defensive line to set the tone Sunday. If they can stay on the field that keeps Henry off of it and gives the Jags an opportunity to win the time of possession battle.

Listen to the latest from Jags Wire’s own James Johnson and Phil Smith on their podcast “Bleav in the Jags.” Subscribe via Apple Podcasts and check out our archived episodes via Bleav Podcasts.

K’Lavon Chaisson discusses how battling Jags’ starting OTs has helped him

K’Lavon Chaisson is learning more by the day in training camp and his competition on the OL has been a vital part of the process.

As a first-round selection for the Jacksonville Jaguars in April’s draft, many fans and media members understand how important K’Lavon Chaisson is to the team’s success in 2020. That’s why he’s been one of the most analyzed players since his return from a hamstring injury he sustained a few weeks ago.

So far, the reviews on him have been encouraging on the No. 20 overall pick as he’s soaking in a lot of tips from players on the defensive side like Josh Allen, Abry Jones, and Dawuane Smoot. However, another aspect of practice that has helped him is the reps he’s taken against starting offensive tackles Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor.

“I feel like it’s great. It’s new sets and I feel like those two guys [Robinson and Taylor] are elite,” Chaisson told the media in a virtual presser Monday. “Just going against them two every day, it kind of brings me a new pass rush offense arsenal. Obviously, you’re going to be going against different sets every week. [It’s great] to go against them every day in practice and those guys give me gems after practice and even during practice on what I can and cannot do. ”

While many have been critical of the Jags’ offensive line, Chaisson certainly could learn a lot from both tackles as they faced elite talents like J.J. Watt, Cam Hayward, Frank Clark, Melvin Ingram, and Joey Bosa last season just to name a few. Additionally, they are players who also practiced against a line that consisted of Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue as fans witnessed last year in training camp.

With just three weeks left before the season, both the Jags offensive line and defensive line will need to continue pushing each other to new heights. That especially should be a point of emphasis for rookies like Chaisson, who won’t have a preseason or joint practices to see different personnel.

Jags activate OT Jawaan Taylor, 2 others from Reserve/COVID-19 list

The Jags’ Reserve/COVID-19 list got smaller this weekend with Jawaan Taylor and two others being moved to the active roster.

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ Reserve/COVID-19 list got smaller Sunday as three players were cleared from it. Those players were right tackle Jawaan Taylor, tight end Charles Jones, and rookie nose tackle DaVon Hamilton, who now join corner Luq Barcoo as the latest to be cleared of the list and join the active roster.

With the three returning, the Jags now only have three players remaining on the list in offensive tackle Ryan Pope, guard Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms, and cornerback Parry Nickerson.

As previously reported, the Reserve/COVID-19 list is one that was recently created by the league this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those placed on the list are either players who’ve contracted COVID-19 or players who’ve come in contact with a person (or a group) with COVID-19. With their needing to be a quarantine and testing process in both aforementioned cases, the Reserve/COVID-19 list was created to hold players until cleared.

Getting Taylor and Hamilton back are especially huge announcements. Taylor, the Jags’ second-round pick of 2019, will be returning from a season where he started at right tackle and played in 100% of the snaps he was eligible for. He struggled with penalties early, however, he played well down the stretch and cleared up his problem.

Hamilton could end up being a starter as well, especially with veteran Al Woods opting out. Coming out of Ohio State, he was the Jags’ third-round selection in April’s draft. While with the Buckeyes he was an under-the-radar prospect who was a key part of their defense, finishing his career with 66 tackles and seven sacks.

Jones, on the other hand, is a player who is more of a practice squad candidate. He spent last preseason with the Jags and was placed on their practice squad after the 53-man roster was completed. In November, he was activated to the main roster with the Jags having several injuries at tight end and finished the season with one catch for five yards.

Listen to the latest from Jags Wire’s own James Johnson and Phil Smith on their podcast “Bleav in the Jags.” Subscribe via Apple Podcasts and check out our archived episodes via Bleav Podcasts.

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Look: Jawaan Taylor reels in a massive 400-pound grouper

Jags OT Jawaan Taylor has been keeping busy during his break away from football and reeled in a massive fish during a recent trip.

With the Jacksonville Jaguars and NFL currently on break before training camp, a lot of players are taking time out to enjoy themselves in productive ways. For Jacksonville Jaguars right tackle, Jawaan Taylor, that involved some deep sea fishing this week.

During his most recent fishing trip off the coast of Jupiter, Fla., Taylor experienced a once in a lifetime situation, reeling in a 400-pound goliath grouper. Taylor posted the video via his social media accounts, which has gone viral since.

Per the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, goliath grouper can get astonishingly bigger, as the largest one ever caught off the state’s coast was 680 pounds. That catch occurred off the coast of Fernandina Beach in 1961, which coincidentally is a part of the Jacksonville metropolitan area.

Still, despite how significantly bigger the species can get, Taylor’s haul was quite impressive and an experience Floridians would love to have. Plus, it seemingly gave him a good workout.

Per the FWC, the goliath grouper species saw a drastic decline in numbers from the 1970s to the 1980s, which led to harvesting and possessing the fish being illegal. That said, Taylor and company had to release the fish, but were sure to snap a picture in the process.

Which second-year Jag will have the best 2020 season?

The Jacksonville Jaguars got a great deal of production out of their 2019 draft class, and there are several players from the unit who could be big-time contributors in 2020. Of course, first-round pick Josh Allen is set to be a starter with Yannick …

The Jacksonville Jaguars got a great deal of production out of their 2019 draft class, and there are several players from the unit who could be big-time contributors in 2020.

Of course, first-round pick Josh Allen is set to be a starter with Yannick Ngakoue looking to possibly hold out. Meanwhile, on offense, tackle Jawaan Taylor and Gardner Minshew II will be second-year starters, too. Third-round pick and tight end Josh Oliver will be returning from injured reserve and will have a chip on his shoulder, although he likely won’t start. 

Typically, most would want the quarterback (in this case Minshew) to be the obvious answer, but it isn’t that easy because Allen had a great rookie campaign. He was able to break the Jags’ rookie sack record with 10.5 sacks and go to the Pro Bowl. The astonishing part of that was the fact that he only started in four games and is still learning the game. As previously mentioned, his chances to start now look good and with more snaps could come more production. 

Minshew, on the other hand, started in 12 games. Like Allen, he has the potential to start in all 16 games if healthy, which means he’ll surpass his 2019 stats where he completed 60.6% of his passes (285-of-470) for 3,271 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, and six picks. Like Allen, those figures put him in the Jags’ book for the rookie record in passing yards and touchdown passes. 

Of the aforementioned names, Taylor may be the dark horse to have the best season, but for that to happen, it would probably mean Minshew didn’t fare well in 2020. Taylor struggled with penalties early in the season but got the issue cleaned up during the last quarter and showed great promise. He’ll be looking to continue that progress in 2020, and practicing against Allen frequently this offseason could help him to take that step. 

Who do you think will have the best second year of the aforementioned names? Let us know in the poll below.

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Jay Gruden excited to see the progress Jawaan Taylor makes in second season

The Jags got a great deal of production out of their 2019 draft class but Jay Gruden seems to especially be high on RT Jawaan Taylor.

Quarterback Gardner Minshew II isn’t the only player who fans are excited about from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 2019 rookie class as the team’s early selections showed promise, too. Of course, the first name that comes to mind is Josh Allen, who beat the Jags’ rookie sack record with 10.5 and was nominated to the Pro Bowl.

The second player is someone who went under-the-radar in offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor, who already appears to have made a fan of new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. In this week’s video call with the media, Gruden was asked about rather or not he was excited about the growth of the young tackle and it led to a bunch of high praise towards him.

“One hundred percent, yes,” said Gruden in the Zoom conference. “He’s long, he’s athletic and he plays with the tenacity that you love from a tackle. I am very excited to get to work with him at right tackle. He can run, he can pull, he can get out there on screens, he’s physical in the running game and he can pass protect, he’s got great feet. He’s got every quality that you want in an offensive tackle and the more experience he gets and handing some of the movement up front, the better he’s going to be.”

Talk about high praise for the second-year player.

Gruden’s fondness towards Taylor isn’t shocking when looking at what he had in Washington. On the blindside for his group was Trent Williams, who was a massive force at 6-foot-5, 318 pounds. While Taylor (6-foot-5, 312-pounds) plays on the opposite side, the traits that Gruden explained are very identical to those of Williams, who is a seven-time Pro Bowler.

Taylor will be coming off a rookie season where he struggled early and garnered 16 total penalties, good for second in the league. However, during the last quarter of the season, he played significantly better and many have been excited to see his growth in 2020. He also proved to be an ironman for the Jags and was the only rookie in the league to play in 100% of his snaps, so Gruden also is probably impressed with his toughness, too.

Listen to the latest from Jags Wire’s own James Johnson and Phil Smith on their podcast “Bleav in the Jags.” Subscribe via Apple podcasts and check out our archived episodes via Bleav Podcasts.

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