Maybe it’s desperation, or maybe it’s just a gimmick to keep players paying attention during a season that won’t end in the playoff hunt.
But whatever the motivation, the Jaguars — yes the Jaguars — are spicing things up with some trick plays at the right time to spark a stagnant offense.
Last week it was running back Maurice Jones-Drew throwing the first touchdown pass by a non-quarterback in franchise history (since 1995). It took less than a week for someone to join him, with wide receiver Ace Sanders taking a lateral from quarterback Chad Henne and firing back across field to Jordan Todman to help the Jags put away the Texans.
“You can only call those on certain down-and-distances,” offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said, via Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union. “You try to get tendencies on coverages and when you think is the best chance to get man coverage. We just felt in that situation, it was a good time to take that shot [with Sanders' pass]. We were thinking about calling it a series or two earlier. The down-and-distance just hit at the right time.
“The ball was also on the correct hash, the right side. It was in the area of the field where we practiced it from, between the 25 and the 15. You don’t want to do those [double passes], in my opinion, and not get a touchdown with it. Things just worked out for us.”
The play worked, and things have sufficiently loosened up. Jones-Drew ran for over 100 yards for the first time in more than a year, and the Jaguars showed something resembling a personality.
They’re still 4-9, and they’re still last in the league in offense.
But for a project which coach Gus Bradley and General Manager Dave Caldwell knew was going to take more than a year, such plays are the kind of thing that helps keep players pulling in the same direction, allowing the organization to work toward a larger goal.