Jags want Leonard Fournette to run smarter without losing aggressiveness

AP

The Jaguars led the league in rushing attempts last season and their biggest free agent acquisition was guard Andrew Norwell, so it seems unlikely that they’re going to be changing their approach in 2018.

Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett wouldn’t mind seeing running back Leonard Fournette tweak his approach a bit in order to take as many of those carries as possible. Fournette missed three games during his rookie year — two with injuries and one because of a disciplinary matter — and Hackett said he “almost took sometimes too many hits.”

Hackett stresses that he doesn’t want any major changes to Fournette’s style, but hopes the running back has gained a better understanding of the offensive system that will leave him “able to protect himself and get more out of each run play.”

“I don’t want him to change,” Hackett said, via ESPN.com. “I want him to be him. I want him to do his style. I never want him to change. I just want him to be able to understand the system more so he can run even smarter but still never lose that aggressiveness. That’s what makes Leonard Leonard. That’s what gets everybody excited, makes me excited [and] makes me want to call another run.”

Fournette has cut weight heading into his second season and says he feels he has more burst than he did last season. Should that and a keener understanding of the game lead to fewer early collisions with defensive players, it should bode well for the Jaguars’ chances of a second straight trip to the postseason.

7 responses to “Jags want Leonard Fournette to run smarter without losing aggressiveness

  1. This is a double edge sword. I remember Adrian Peterson coming into the league and he hit the hole like Leroy Hoard. Then the running back coach Eric Bienemy tried to teach him more patience. that started all this left to right movement and he started having more negative plays then any other back in the league. They have to be patient enough for the line to move people, but the hole doesn’t stay there long. I know I’m probably full of manure but I’d love to see them work on vision instead, the ability to see the hole shaping up and hit it quickly. But these are the pros let’s see how it goes.

  2. With one year already under his belt #27 is gonna be a BEAST this year. Can’t wait to watch him run over defense’s again. If they can work him into the passing game more, this offense is gonna be that much better. With Blake Bortles very much improved and Leonard Fournette,TJ Yeldon & Cory Grant carving up the field behind a very improved O-Line, This offense combined with the leagues #1 Defense will be very scary and anything less than a Super Bowl will be unacceptable. My season prediction for the Jags is 13-3 and in the Super Bowl.

  3. “I just want him to be able to understand the system more so he can run even smarter but…”

    But what if he is uncapable of understanding the system any better?

  4. best running back in the league but unless he gets on the juice SERIOUS hes gonna burn out real quick. truth is the best back in the nfl is always a younger dude. another reason that rookie pay scale needs to be abolished

  5. All Hackett is basically saying in a tactful manner is he wants Fournette to master the offense and game plan. Last season he hit the wrong holes some of the time and was occasionally tentative because he wasn’t always sure what to do or where to go. He absolutely isn’t being asked to not run aggressively in the down field manner that’s his trademark. As a Jag fan I acknowledge that Fournette may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but he’s a beast. If he really learns his assignments and can play instinctively he can lead the league in rushing.

  6. Fournette is a darn good back, but I don’t like trying to change the way a guy runs the ball. They have to run the way their instincts tell them to.

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