With the Indianapolis Colts facing the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday, Stampede Blue's Josh Wilson talked with Big Cat Country's Ryan Day about the Jaguars and this Sunday's matchup. The questions are in bold and then Ryan's responses follow.
1. Since the last time these two teams met, the Jaguars seem to have shown some signs of improvement, winning three games and being in the AFC South discussion for a bit. How much have the Jaguars actually improved as the season has gone on, and what have been the biggest factors contributing to it?
They've shown signs of improvement, but they've also gotten worse. The offense is clicking -- especially in the middle of the field -- and I don't think the red zone scoring is too far off, if not here already. But the defense -- getting pressure on the quarterback, pass coverage, intermediate routes over the middle -- have gotten so, so bad.
I think the team has improved on offense, and the only reason we're 4-8 and not 2-10 is because of a very fortunate special teams play by Rashad Greene and the referees making a huge blunder at the end of the game against the Ravens. The reason we're still this bad after three years? Gus Bradley doesn't know how to fix our defense.
2. Blake Bortles seems to have taken several steps forward as an NFL quarterback this year compared to last year. What have the Jaguars and their fans noticed from Bortles this year, and is there more confidence in him being the guy going forward?
We absolutely have confidence in him. We actually have a quarterback for the next 7-10 years and it's really, really exciting to see him develop from Game 1.
His decision-making is a lot better. It's not perfect, but it's a lot better. His athleticism and mobility -- especially in the pocket -- is getting better every week. And his arm strength is *kisses his hand in a stereotypical Italian chef way*
I'd say the thing I'd want to see him improve in is his touch, especially near the goal line. Bortles can throw a 40-yard dime, but he can't throw a 4-yard fade to save his life. And if the throw isn't open, just tuck it and run. I don't like his reluctance to run anymore.
3. What are the biggest strengths and weaknesses for the Jaguars' defense?
The strengths are the interior defensive line, Telvin Smith, and Davon House. The weaknesses are... well, everything else.
4. What is the job security of head coach Gus Bradley? Is he expected to get another year in Jacksonville?
Sadly, I think Gus is safe for next year. I think he gets 2016 even if we lose out and that sucks because it means offensive line coach Doug Marrone -- who I'd love to see be our head coach -- will probably get a promotion and coach elsewhere next year. My prediction is that we fire defensive coordinator Bob Babich after the season, Bradley stays through the beginning of next year, we start off slow, and he gets fired early in the season.
5. Knowing what you do of the Jaguars, how would you attack them if you were the Colts' offensive and defensive coordinator?
Offensively, just blitz Bortles all day. Play Cover 3 and bring extra rushers on at least 60% of your defensive snaps.
Defensively, with Paul Posluszny out, just run up the middle on us. Posluszny's replacement, Jordan Tripp, is probably better in pass coverage than him, so just run up the middle.
Thanks again to Ryan for taking the time to answer these questions, and be sure to check out Big Cat Country for complete coverage from the Jaguars side of things!