Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette caught 36 passes as a rookie and 22 passes in 2018. He could see even more in 2019.
Via Jaguars.com, offensive coordinator John DeFilippo explained that his offense will involve plenty of passes being thrown to the running back.
“That’s a role that position needs to play,” DeFilippo said, adding that he and new quarterback Nick Foles have been discussing the importance of that aspect of the offense in recent months.
“There are pass plays [in the scheme] that are extensions of your running game,” DeFilippo said. “If you throw that guy a wide route, it’s basically like tossing a football trying to circle the defense.”
As a result, Fournette has been catch plenty of passes in camp.
“He has caught numerous balls each day in practice,” DeFilippo said. “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.”
A top-five pick in 2017 who was selected when players like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, and Deshaun Watson were on the board, Fournette has been a disappointment to date in the NFL. If Foles can help push Fournette’s buttons in a way that coaxes the most out of him, if DeFillippo’s offense uses him in new and dynamic ways, and if Fournette can stay healthy (perhaps the biggest if of all), he could have a huge year in Jacksonville.