Jaguars OC Hackett wants RB Fournette to run ‘smarter’

The Jacksonville Jaguars want running back Leonard Fournette (27) to take fewer hits this season, his second in the NFL.Photo Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (file photo)

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Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett wants running back Leonard Fournette to run “smarter” in an effort to reduce contact.

“I think as a young player getting to this level and then he really ran hard and did a really good job,” Hackett told the Florida Times-Union on Friday. “But I think he almost took too many hits. I just want him to be able to understand the system more so he can run even smarter, but still never lose that aggressiveness.”

Jacksonville’s offense will far from begin and end with Fournette.

“We have always talked about wanting to be as versatile as possible,” Hackett said. “If you put three tight ends out there and then a fullback out there and then all tight ends and all wide receivers and just always continue to mix it up, I think that is always something that you can really utilize to your advantage.”

Coach Doug Marrone, in his first season last year, initially received some resistance from veteran players because of more intensity and tough conditions during practice. However, it paid off as the team came within a game of the Super Bowl.

“We can do that again and maybe even more,” Hackett said. “I think that is the thing that from the offensive standpoint those guys are excited about. They know that they have to work even harder just to get over the hump.”

Those higher expectations apply to Fournette as well as he enters his second NFL season.

In 13 games last year, Fournette ran for 1,040 yards on 268 carries (3.9 yards per rush) with nine touchdowns. He also caught 36 passes for 302 yards with one receiving TD.