Thinking back on running back Leonard Fournette‘s 2018 season conjures up many reactions, but it’s hard to imagine too many people coming up with confidence builder.
Fournette missed six games with a hamstring injury, one game with a foot injury and was suspended for another game after leaving the bench to join a scuffle during a game against the Bills. He averaged just 3.3 yards per carry in the eight games he did play and got ripped by executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin at the end of December.
Coughlin had a more positive take on Fournette recently, though. The Jaguars released Carlos Hyde this month, leaving Fournette as the clear No. 1 back and Coughlin said last year’s foibles have not dimmed the team’s confidence in the 2017 first-round pick.
“With Leonard, a prepared Leonard coming into camp with a mindset that he discussed and we talked about … I have full confidence in him,” Coughlin said, via ESPN.com. “He does have some things he’s got to prove when he comes back about his preparation, but he’s a young, young player, he loves football, had an outstanding year, had a very disappointing year, and I think he wants to — we want him to be a great player and I think he’s in the same mindset.”
David Williams and Thomas Rawls are the other backs on the Jacksonville roster right now and the vote of confidence in Fournette will look even stronger if that remains the case heading into the season. Given the way last year played out in Jacksonville and the hope for a rebound in 2019, coming up with a Plan B in the event Fournette fizzles again still seems like a sensible course of action.