Could this be the year we see another Pro Bowl appearance by Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis?
Could he put together a season like 2010, shock us all and prove to be more than one of the better blocking tight ends in the NFL?
The Jaguars could sure use his hands and his size in the red zone. Lewis is hoping to have that opportunity to show he still has some of the same skills he exhibited only three seasons ago.
While the 2011 season could be blamed on a myriad of things from a new quarterback (Blaine Gabbert) that was learning the system to personal problems that affected his concentration, it looked like 2012 would be another repeat of 2010.
Then head coach Mike Mularkey had been in command of the Atlanta Falcons' offense, the one with Matt Ryan, a host of receivers, including Roddy White and all-world tight end Tony Gonzalez. Surely the offensive-minded Mularkey would use Lewis in an effective way to produce for this team.
The numbers increased slightly and the production got better, but wasn’t great.
Now, with 2013 in front of him and a new offense and energy on the field, Lewis might be the forgotten man in the Jaguars’ offense.
Underrated? Maybe. Underutilized? Most definitely.
With a tight end who is 6’6” and can block like an extra tackle, the Jaguars are going to not only need his hands in the red zone and on passing downs, they will also need his veteran leadership.
Lewis was the team’s first round selection in 2006, the same year they selected Maurice Jones-Drew in the second round. Both will be key cogs in the Jaguars offense this season.
If the team is looking for a player who maybe has not lived up to the hype so far in camp, then maybe the franchise should give Mohamed Massaquoi a long hard look.
The former Georgia Bulldog, the former second-round selection of the Browns and the current free agent signed by the team this offseason, has not been able to put it all together yet in camp. Once he shows signs of his speed and his ability, he takes a step back or two. At the team’s scrimmage on Saturday night, Massaquoi started to show those skills, but is still not the same guy I think the team envisioned as the second receiver in the offense when the season started.
Free agents like Mike Brown and Tobias Palmer have outplayed him most of camp. And defensive backs have been able to keep him under wraps, especially fellow free agent Alan Ball.
The Jaguars' receiving corps right now is in a flux situation. Justin Blackmon is suspended for the first four games of the season following a violation of the league substance abuse policy. Cecil Shorts, who has been an all-everything talent this offseason is nursing a pulled calf muscle.
Other free agents have stepped up, but there is no real player to take over after Shorts. Ace Sanders is not the guy you can look to as the leader of the unit because he is a rookie, the fact he is 5’7” and that he is not familiar with this offense yet.
Massaquoi was expected to come in and be all those things. He hasn’t and now, I think there is some thought of what his role with this team really is.
He has to step up, stop being the overrated player who cannot do anything (Jerry Porter) and prove he can help this team in the clutch. If not, there are others on this team that would gladly step into his slot, with more effort and a lot more cost efficiency.