Jacksonville Jaguars: Is Josh Scobee’s Job in Jeopardy?


Entering his 12th season, Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee is the current longest tenured Jag and is the franchises leader in points (1,022) and field goals (235 on 291 attempts). (Stats retrieved via O’Halloran)

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After being drafted in the fifth round of the 2004 draft out of Louisiana Tech, Scobee has been one of the league’s top clutch kickers since entering the league. Of course being a kicker and playing in Jacksonville hasn’t helped Scobee’s chances of getting recognized much, but if he played in a bigger market, Scobee would have been to multiple pro bowls.

Scobee is known for his strong leg, which is evident here back in 2010, when he nailed a 59 yard game winner to beat, at the time, division rival Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. For that kick alone Scobee earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

On Monday Night Football in 2011, Scobee single handedly beat the Baltimore Ravens. The Jaguars won 12-7, and he would be responsible for those 12 points. Scobee drilled, an NFL record, three field goals from over 50 yards, two of them from 54. Once again, he would earn AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

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On a team that has not been consistent and has lacked star players, Scobee has been one of the best offensive weapons for the Jags in recent years.

The Jaguars have brought in kickers over the years around this time during training camp, but that was mostly as a camp leg so Scobee doesn’t tire out.

However, after a down year in 2014, Scobee may start feeling his seat get a little warmer. Scobee had a 76.9 field goal percentage last year, which was significantly lower than the previous three years. In 2011 Scobee was 92%, in 2012 he was 89.3 percent, and in 2014 he was again 92%. Is this notable drop the result of age? Or is it the fact that three of his kicks were blocked? With block kicks it’s easy to place blame on the line for not blocking, but Scobee’s kicks were low anyway.

Leg strength has been an asset for Scobee, but it looks like after 11 years his strength may be declining.

The Jaguars again brought in a camp leg for Scobee this offseason signing first year kicker Jason Myers back in March. Myers, at 5’10 and 180 lbs, was a four year letter winner at Marist College. Myers connected on 24 out of 38 field goals at Marist, and in addition to kicking, he also spent time as a punter for the program. Myers spent most of the 2014 season in the Arena Football League.

Many thought Myers was just like the rest of them, another camp kicker who would be a camp casualty once preseason ended. However, Myers has turned heads so far during training camp, more notably at the Jaguars scrimmage Saturday night that was witnessed by 25,000 fans.

Jason Myers notched a 60 yard field goal with ease. Josh Scobee would miss his attempt. This wasn’t just luck though. Myers was consistently connecting on field goals from long range while Scobee was inaccurate with his.

Like Scobee, Jason Myers doesn’t shy in leg strength. Here is a video of Myers nailing a 70 yard field goal.

Granted the kick was on a tee and with no pressure, but still impressive nonetheless.

From what I could see of the Jaguars scrimmage, most of Myers kicks flew to the back of the end zone while Scobee just stuggled getting them there.

If Myers continues to outshine Josh Scobee during camp and into preseason, then general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley have some decisions to make.

One thing to consider for Caldwell and Bradley is that Scobee is entering the final year of his contract and if they did in fact let him go, the team would save close to $3 million dollars in cap space by opting for Myers.

According to Ryan O’Halloran of Jacksonville.com, Scobee’s sole focus is on kicking.

“It’s an important year,” Scobee said. “Hopefully I’ll go out, have a great year and re-sign here for however long.”

While admitting it’s an important year, Scobee said he’s not focused on the contract.

“I don’t think about that stuff,” he told O’Halloran. “Luckily, I know how to focus on the right things. If you’re focusing on [the contract], you’re not focused on the right things. I’ve been in contract years before and it’s not something, when I walk on the field, I’m thinking about. Being a kicker, you have to focus on the things you can control and kicking is the one thing I can control.”

In my opinion, I expect Scobee to make the 53 man roster come September, but this very well may be his last season in Jacksonville. Myers struggles with accuracy as shown from his college days, and we may see that once the lights turn on when the Jaguars open up preseason Friday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Next: Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 Important Players of 2015

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