Defense wins championships….lets hope so.Posted: August 11, 2011
Let’s be honest and state the obvious. The one thing the Jaguars desperately needed to do from 2010 to 2011 was revamp the defense. All you have to do is look at last year’s numbers (or have watched a single game) to know that.
The 2010 Jaguars were the only team in the NFL to allow a completion percentage better than .500 on passes thrown 15 yards or more downfield. The Jags were also one of just four teams that did not record an interception when using secondary pressure.
So let’s focus right now on the secondary. Derek Cox led the team in interceptions with 4. Not a bad number but this is the same Derek Cox who was pulled after the beginning of the season due to poor play and who ranked 8th among the team for the most solo tackles. And who are some of those players who rank ahead of him? Kirk Morrision. Gone. Justin Durant. Gone. Sean Considine. Gone. Ill give D-Cox some credit. Some of those late season interceptions were beautiful. But we need more. And most of all, we need consistency.
As far as Rashean Mathis…word on the street last year was that Rashean was so worried about making sure other guys were in place as well as making up for lost ground that when they weren’t, that’s why his on-the-field performances were mediocre at best. Maybe some of that is true, but even if it is, he’s got to be better this year. I can just imagine opponent’s team meetings before facing Jacksonville. “OK guys, we’re gonna pass the ball. That will work. It has for every other team.” Rashean had one interception last year. One! And was it just me, or did he seem to be about 15 yards off his receiver each play? Again, maybe that has to do with him trying to cover “two positions” at once, but we need the ’06 Rashean (who had 8 interceptions on the year) back. I’d love to see it and I believe he will have a better season if the guys around him can step up and do their part.
Switching to the linebackers…. I loved Kirk Morrison. Not because he was necessarily a great player; but because he was such a great guy. Im going to miss talking MLB and NBA with him in the locker room but I’m ridiculously excited about seeing this newly revamped linebacker corp in action. I think Jacksonville made some nice moves during free agency in acquiring Clint Session from Indy and Paul Poslusny from the Bills. I had a chance to interview both players and they both seem genuinely excited to be in Jacksonville and optimistic about this upcoming season:
As of today, the Jags have added defensive end Matt Roth, which should be a nice addition to the d-line. Roth started all 16 games last season for Cleveland, where he had a career-best 86 tackles and 3½ sacks. He also has 20 career sacks in seven seasons with both the Dolphins and the Browns. That, combined with a healthy Aaron Kampman, Tyson Alualu, who has a year of experience now under his belt, and Jeremy Mincey, who had flashes of brilliance last year, should get things going in the right direction. Jack Del Rio thinks so too. And according to the Coach, he will be looking for results immediately: