Jaguars Report Card - Offensive Line
OT Khalif Barnes (Getty Images)
OT Khalif Barnes (Getty Images)
Posted Jan 16, 2009
Charlie Bernstein

JagNation is going to look at the Jaguars, position by position, and give our final evaluation of what happened during the 2008 season. We’re going to move to the offensive line next.

Stats- 110.9 rushing yards per game; 4.2 yards per carry; 42 sacks allowed;

Positives- Left tackle Khalif Barnes had a solid season in a contract year as he did surprisingly well against some of the league’s toughest assignments. Guard Uche Nwaneri received some great experience while being thrust into the starting lineup due to injuries to both Manuwai and Williams. Dennis Norman can play all five line positions and is serviceable when forced into action.

The Jags lost both starting guards, Vince Manuwai and Maurice Williams in the season opener, and the dominant line that most people expected never materialized. Barnes is a free agent, Tony Pashos had a down year by all accounts as he was beat repeatedly and had several penalties, and the interior line had issues moving defenses off the ball. It is a question whether Manuwai and Williams will be back to their pre-injury form next season.

Overall- The Jags offensive line took a lot of grief for most of the season, but they weren’t the weakest part of the team. They gelled as the season progressed and were a solid unit in pass protection. Still, they couldn’t move eight man fronts off the line of scrimmage enough for the team to flex their offensive muscles, which is running the football, and when forced to throw the offense struggled.

Solution- The Jaguars need more depth at the tackle positions, as Khalif Barnes is likely not in the team’s plans any longer, and Pashos was certainly shaky. The interior of the line looks okay, but the team needs to get younger at center, as Brad Meester was average at best in 2008.

Final grade: C

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OT Khalif Barnes (profile)
C Brad Meester (profile)
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