Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette could get more work as a receiver
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette isn’t famed for his work at receiver. He’s a big, bludgeoning, power back that forces defenses to stack boxes. But, that may change. New offensive coordinator John DeFilippo told John Oehser of Jaguars.com that he plans to involve backs in the passing game.
“That’s a role that position needs to play. There are pass plays [in DeFilippo’s scheme] that are extensions of your running game.”
DeFilippo mentions that Fournette has seen some training camp reps catching passes.
“He has caught numerous balls each day in practice.”
The hope is that it helps open up the offense and adds a new dynamic to Fournette’s game.
“I don’t want to say it’s going to be a huge piece of our offense, but that’s a credit to Leonard because we’re trying to find different, unique ways to get him the football – not just handing it to him.”
Fournette caught 22 passes in his shortened 2018 season. As a rookie, he caught 36. A top-five pick in 2017 out of LSU, Fournette hasn’t quite lived up to the hype. He was expected to be a big part of what the Jaguars do on offense. We saw that his rookie year, as he ran for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns on 268 attempts (3.9 yards per carry), but his second campaign was disappointing. Due to injuries and other concerns, Fournette played eight games as a sophomore. In his half-season, he ran for 439 yards and five touchdowns on 133 carries (3.3 yards per carry).
Hopefully, adding a receiving role to Fournette’s game will help him thrive come 2019. Both he and the Jaguars need it.