The Wembley-bound Jacksonville Jaguars will boast a secret weapon this season. The rebuilding Jags are ready to unleash their "OW" on opponents.
That is not a lame version of smack talk. The "OW" stands for offensive weapon and denotes the position given to rookie Denard Robinson.
The Jaguars selected Robinson in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was initially listed as a running back, but that soon changed.
In late June John Oehser of Jaguars.com reported Robinson would bear the "OW" label as a rookie. According to Oehser, Jacksonville general manager Dave Caldwell has indicated Robinson will be used on 10-15 offensive snaps per game.
The diminutive speedster could see time at quarterback, wide receiver, running back and kick returner. Robinson was a quarterback for Michigan at the collegiate level and used his dynamic rushing skills to direct a read-option attack.
He offers the Jaguars a dual-threat their stagnant offense will need as they attempt to rebound from a 2-14 record. Sports Illustrated's Peter King compared Robinson's likely role to former Pittsburgh Steeler Kordell Stewart, who earned the moniker "slash" in the late nineties, for his ability to attack from multiple positions.
NFL.com's Kevin Patra has suggested Robinson will run some version of the Wildcat in Jacksonville. That fits well with his read-option experience.
Taking direct snaps from a short-shotgun look and using the threat of the run, will keep defenses guessing. It could create some big plays for the Jags, something they are not often known for.
Their ability to use Robinson as a version of a Swiss army knife could prove crucial when they visit Wembley to battle the San Francisco 49ers on October 27th.
The "OW" label could be confused with the word most fans might have thought of when they imagined Jacksonville's anaemic offense attempting to score on the 49ers' powerful defense.
But using Robinson to create confusion could be the Jaguars best route to points in London. Of course, San Francisco's defense is not so easily fooled.
The 49ers keep things basic scheme-wise, a luxury afforded to them by their tremendous talent, particularly along the front seven. As fleet-footed and elusive as he is, Robinson may struggle to outrun ultra-athletic linebackers like Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.
San Francisco's defense is also no stranger to quirky offensive looks and speedy, dual-threat quarterbacks. After all, they practice against Colin Kaepernick, who came to prominence creating big plays from Wildcat sub-packages in the early weeks of last season.
But given the difference in talent, the Jaguars will need to give themselves an edge against a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Using their "OW" could provide that edge.
image: © joeshlabotnik