Punter of the Week is a weekly series here on UKPigskin all about you, the fans.
Whether it’s a particular franchise, player or just your general love for the NFL, if you’re passionate then we want you to get involved and share your story.
In this latest edition, Robson Kightley, a 24-year-old from Towcester in England, tells us how his love for the Jacksonville Jaguars came to fruition.
Why Jacksonville Jaguars?
I follow the Jacksonville Jaguars, not the most glamorous or successful franchise in recent years but there’s a reason behind why they’re my team.
I was a late starter with following a team or even following the NFL in general but I first came across and followed it closely in 2015.
As I was new to the sport I didn’t want to follow a successful team and seem like a glory supporter, so I said to myself that I would pick a team with no Super Bowls to their name and go from there.
Luckily the opener of of the 2016 season the Jaguars were at home to the Green Bay Packers and I thought I’ll check it out (more to see Aaron Rodgers) as I’d heard he was the G.O.A.T so I thought I’d stick it out and see what all the fuss was about.
Great decision as not only was Rodgers good but the game itself was great. Although it ended 27-23 to the Packers, the Jags put up a great fight to make it close despite being 20-3 Green Bay at one point.
Unfortunately a Jags win wasn’t to be but by the end of the game I was hooked and wanted to know and learn more. So from that point the Jaguars became my team and I’ve followed them ever since.
It seemed as though I started to follow them at the right time as the next season saw a new coaching staff hired and they went all the way to the AFC Championship Game.
A game they really should have won if it wasn’t for a horrid call by the official that saw Myles Jack strip the ball from James White only to be wrongly called down.
The last couple of seasons since that game have gone downhill rapidly for the Jaguars with controversy on and off the field. As everyone knows, we have been in the press for mostly the wrong reasons.
I wonder if the 2020 season will see some much needed change. We shall see…
This off season has seen the franchise strip most of that 2017 team apart and look to rebuild a new identity with coaching additions, free agent pick ups and also 12 well executed draft selections.
Although it seems all doom and gloom, I’m really excited to see what the Jaguars show us on the field under Gardner Minshew despite the tough schedule ahead of us.
Who is your current favourite player(s) within the NFL?
My favourite offensive player is Russell Wilson. He’s not only the nicest guy in football but he’s definitely the ultimate play-maker in the whole league.
Often viewed as an under achiever in terms of Super Bowl wins but you can’t dispute that he has the ability to turn average receivers into great receivers and even makes an offence work so much more efficiently.
We also can’t forget that he’s a dual threat QB. Despite the Seahawks being viewed as mostly a running team, Wilson has put up 29,734 passing yards with 227 TD’s to his name with a career pass completion percentage of 65%.
The difference to other QB’s in the league is his pocket presence and rushing ability as he’s put up amazing numbers with 3,993 rushing yards making him so hard to game-plan against and he must cause headaches for many defensive coaches in the league. I’m hoping he can get a few more rings before he calls time on his career.
My favourite defensive player is TJ Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Despite always seeming to be in his brother’s (JJ Watt) shadow, TJ Watt has had a great three years in the league and is getting better and better each year.
Averaging 14.5 sacks per year is just insane and he torments QB’s with some of the hardest hits I’ve ever seen He will surely get a mega new deal and hopefully a ring or two to go along with that.
Watt is apart of a stacked Steelers defence that surely will stay on top as
long as he’s on the field making huge plays for them and he will be a mainstay in the NFL for some time.
What are your first memories of the NFL?
My first memories of the NFL aside from the Jaguars being horrid to watch and taking a lot of beatings has to be the major dispute with the NFL and Colin Kaepernick.
Seeing it make the main headlines over here in the UK showed how big the situation was and seeing how that unravelled.
On a more positive note I got to witness my first Super Bowl that I’ve watched live and it didn’t disappoint with the New England Patriots coming back from 28-3 at half time to beat the Atalanta Falcons in overtime to win their fifth Lombardi.
Have you been able to form a relationship with other members of your fan base through social media?
Largely most of my interactions with fans of the Jags comes on social media with various groups and pages that I follow.
A lot of my friends follow the sport with as keen of an interest as me and we’ve had quite a few Sunday night Red Zone sessions chatting football and watching some great games, so it’s nice to get their opinion on the talking point in the game.
What do you expect from the Jacksonville Jaguars this season?
In terms of the season as a whole I expect us to find it tough as there’s a lot of change going on within the franchise and with a very tough schedule it does look like dim reading.
The main parts are to see us do well in the division as I feel we have one of the most unpredictable divisions going as it seems anyone can beat anyone most years so you never know with that side of it.
I’d love for us to complete the double over the Titans as they always seem to have our number.
Overall it will be hard, playing loads of established teams with ‘win now’ goals but it shall provide a good test for our roster as a whole.
On the team front, although it looks like we’re tanking for Trevor Lawrence according to most of the US Media, I have a feeling that although we are in rebuild mode there are plenty of positives to look out for.
The main things I’m excited about is to see the progression of Gardner Minshew and DJ Chark on the offensive side and Josh Allen and CJ Henderson on the defensive side of the ball.
Both sets of players are in what seems to be new offensive and defensive schemes, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out but hopefully they can have crazy good years and bring some success to TIAA Bank Field.
If you could add one player to your franchise, past or present, who would it be and why?
If there was one player that I could have either past or present on my team to make us better it would have to be Darrelle Revis.
As we lost Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye to trades we are crying out for a corner to play out there on his own an shut off those big threats.
We may have drafted a top CB in the draft but what a way to learn and take the pressure off him by having Darrelle Revis to lean on for advice.
He would give the Jaguars more room to scheme different looks on defence and help that D line get serious pressure on the QB.
Not only that but he could also cause havoc to various elite receivers in the league, limiting them to little receptions and yards. They didn’t give the nickname Revis Island for nothing.
Thank you once again to Robson for his contribution. You can find him on Twitter: @RobsonKightley