The Jacksonville Jaguars are returning roughly the same roster this season as they had in 2018, when they struggled en route to a surprising 5-11 record. That is, aside from one major difference: the quarterback.
According to one of Duval's most senior members, that one transaction could make all the difference in 2019.
"First things first, last year sucked," Jags defensive lineman Calais Campbell told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on the RapSheet & Friends podcast. "Our youth really showed. Once we started losing guys, having some injuries, having some real adversity, we really didn't handle it well. And that's youth. Experience really pays dividends in a situation there."
Campbell said that after the Jags beat the New England Patriots in Week 2 and started 3-1, "a lot of guys kind of got too excited." Jacksonville lost 10 of its last 12 games, finishing last in the AFC South just one year after making the AFC Championship Game.
Jacksonville's addition of a fellow tricenarian in Foles might turn things around, Campbell explained.
"The thing I love about this year is it really comes down to Nick Foles," the 32-year-old captain told Rapoport. "He's a guy who's over 30, has a lot of experience, won a Super Bowl MVP, but really what he brings is that confidence. He's a natural leader. When he breaks the team huddle at the end of practice, you can see guys really hear him and that's so important. Obviously what he can do throwing the ball is great, but what he does for the actual overall team, giving us more confidence and belief..."
In seven regular-season and postseason games in 2018, Foles completed 69.2 percent of his passes, averaged 268.6 yards per game and threw 10 touchdowns to 8 interceptions. Jaguars QBs completed 61.4 percent of their passes, averaged 214.4 YPG and tossed 15 TDs to 13 INTs.
But numbers, as Campbell explained, didn't tell the whole story last year and won't do Foles' impact justice going forward either.
"Our defense is incredible, and I feel like we're going to play so much better trying to get him the ball because we know what he'll do with it," Campbell said. "You hear him speak and it's contagious."