As some of you are tired of hearing, I started writing for the Fansided Network on the Jaguars site (Black and Teal). So, it’s fair to say i’ve got plenty of Jaguars knowledge.
Let’s put it to work and devise a plan of attack.
The Jaguars defense carries a stigma of failure in the pass-rush department. If you haven’t watched any of there games, you’ve more than likely still heard that the team absolutely cannot, under any circumstance sack the quarterback. In the pre-season, that I noticed, there were only two sacks by the team and both were in the 4th game……by an undrafted guy.
In 2010, the team signed Pro Bowler Aaron Kampman as a Free Agent from Green Bay. The Packers recently completed a move to the 3-4 defense and with Kampman strictly performing as a 4-3 defensive end….well, the combination wasn’t the best for Kampan and the Packers. Week 1 of 2010 saw Kampan pressure Kyle Orton on nearly every play. The problem? The Jaguars secondary couldn’t cover the spread, much less anyone that reported eligible for the Broncos. Kampan looked every bit what the Jaguars needed at DE, that is, until he injured his knee and went out for the year. This year the Jaguars will look to limit his snaps in order to preserve him for the season.
The secondary looks to be much improved, after signing safety Dawan Landry away from Baltimore. Landry graded out as Pro Football Focus’ #4 ranked safety in the entire NFL in 2010. Two new starting linebackers from Free Agency: MLB Paul Posluzny (formerly Bills) and WLB Clint Sessions (formerly Colts). Neither linebacker receives consistent praise for pass coverage skills, however both, along with Landry, receive high regards for how hard they hit. The Jaguars also signed nickel cornerback Drew Coleman, formerly of the Jets #2 ranked pass defense (2010).
The Jaguars defense could be much better, or it could not be familiar with itself yet. In week 2 of the pre-season, the Jaguars allowed a 76 yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Harry Douglas. The throw went about 8 yards as Douglas took it the rest of the way. The reason? A slip in communication by the team allowed a big play out of thin air. Note this.
The team will get better with time, but this is week 1. Right now, we know the Jaguars aren’t top-15 in the league in the sack department. They might not be top-25 by years end. We also know that there are 3 new starters on defense, 4 if Coleman is in, and that the Lockout earlier this year did not allow them to gel. As far as I’m concerned, the secondary is an opening that the team can exploit. Hasselbeck looked great this pre-season. The only problem he faced steadily remained the timing issues with his receivers. That will come with time and may have come already, after Hasselbeck seemed to get on the same page with Washington late in the pre-season.
A healthy does of Chris Johnson keeps any defense on its toes. We know the run game will be effective enough, add in a balanced passing attack and the game begins to look winnable from the offense’s standpoint.