Jacksonville Jaguars ’09 Quick Hits
Snappy one-liner analysis on every significant Jaguars players and offseason move.
2008: 5-11 (4th AFC South)
Head Coach: Jack Del Rio (7th year)
Roster Quick View (*new veteran, **rookie)
Offense (coordinator: Dirk Koetter)
QB: David Garrard
No, he didn’t play well last season, but look at the receivers and interior blockers he had. He’ll never be a star, but he should prove solid in 2009.
RB: Maurice Jones-Drew
The keystone of this offense.
RB: Chauncey Washington
Coaching staff and front office like him; Jags fans look at him and are liable to get misty eyed about Fred Taylor.
FB: Greg Jones
Physical thumper, but too much of a tweener. Not quite big enough to consistently clear paths as a lead-blocker, not quite quick enough to consistently generate yardage as a ball-handler.
WR: Torry Holt*
Thirty-three and has some knee issues. But not the worry – the bar at wide receiver here is set pretty darn low.
WR: Troy Williamson
Part of the reason why the bar is set low. Contract expires after ’09; must stay healthy and drop fewer passes if he wants to continue his career.
WR: Mike Walker
Gifted pass catcher, but injuries to both knees has cost him all but nine games in his first two years. Rookies Mike Thomas and Jarett Dillard could push for the slot job.
TE: Marcedes Lewis
Stellar receiver who has grown into one of the better blocking tight ends in football.
TE: Greg Estandia
Jacksonville relies heavily on tight end blocking in the run game. He’s decent.
LT: Tra Thomas*
When the lumbering 34-year-old decided to sign here, he probably didn’t know the Jags would be drafting Eugene Monroe.
LG: Vince Manuwai
Looking to bounce back from a torn ACL. Jacksonville faltered without him last year.
C: Brad Meester
Powerful, feisty veteran who blocks with excellent angles.
RG: Maurice Williams
Missed virtually all of ’08 with a torn biceps. Outside chance he’ll get demoted to a utility role off the bench.
RT: Tony Pashos
Has decent quickness, but it’s hollow quickness given his poor balance and inability to sustain blocks. Second-round rookie Eben Britton should snatch this job.
6 OL: Dennis Norman
Versatile G/C ephemera, but too finesse for this running scheme.
Defense (coordinator: Mel Tucker)
LDE: Quentin Groves
Should have played more as a rookie. Given his speed and change-of-direction dexterity, plus his inability to gain weight, he’d make more sense at OLB.
DT: John Henderson
Destructive run defender who has enough power to dominate even on plays where his leverage is poor.
DT: Rob Meier
Ineffective unless he’s in a rotation. Expect third-round rookie Terrance Knighton to capture this starting job soon.
RDE: Reggie Hayward
Hard to believe he’s made it all the way to the final year of his contract. Rising backup Jeremy Mincey is likely to steal a lot of his reps.
3 DT: Derek Landri
Plays with good enough leverage and strength to warrant a few snaps a game.
3 DE: Derrick Harvey
Better run-defender than pass-rusher right now, which is NOT a good thing. Needs to be taught some mechanics.
LOLB: Clint Ingram
Firm tackler who doesn’t seem to respond well to job competition. The good news for him is, Jacksonville has absolutely no linebacking depth this year.
MLB: Justin Durant
Fast, instinctive and athletic. If he can handle the responsibilities of being the Mike, he could become a star.
ROLB: Daryl Smith
Not as fierce as you might like to see, but a good, sound player overall. Doesn’t miss many tackles.
4 LB: Brian Iwuh
His last name reads like what someone’s impersonation of a farm animal might sound like.
CB: Rashean Mathis
His aggressive pursuit of the ball usually – though not always – works in his favor. Needs to stay healthy for all 16 games.
CB: Brian Williams
Wasn’t assertive enough as a safety. The move back to CB is just fine considering the Jags have no one else here.
NB: Derek Cox**
William & Mary product whom some draft scouting services didn’t even rank in the top 100 of CB’s. So why did Jacksonville trade next year’s 2nd round pick to move up and get him in Round 3?
SS: Sean Considine*
Limited athlete, but always filled-in well as an Eagle. Still, won’t electrify this secondary.
FS: Reggie Nelson
Solid run defender, but mediocrity in coverage makes the original comparisons to Ed Reed seem downright laughable.
6 DB: Gerald Alexander*
Former second-round pick of the Lions is looking to rebound from a severe ’08 neck injury.
K: Josh Scobee
Inconsistent last season, but his career body of work is stellar.
P: Adam Podlesh
Capable NFL punter, but so is his ’08 injury replacement, Steve Weatherford. Will have to win a training camp competition.
RS: Brian Witherspoon
Handles both punt and kick returns. Not dazzling, but Jags just need him to be solid enough to keep Maurice Jones-Drew out of this role.
Offseason Quick Glance
RD PK (OVR) NAME POS SCHOOL
KEY PLAYERS ACQUIRED
S Gerald Alexander (traded Lions)
QB Todd Bouman: FA Ravens; terms unknown.
S Sean Considine: UFA Eagles; $3M/2 yrs, SB unknown.
WR Torry Holt: FA Rams; $13M/3 yrs, $4M guaranteed.
OT Tra Thomas: UFA Eagles; 3 yrs, terms unknown.
KEY PLAYERS LOST
OT Khalif Barnes: UFA Raiders; $1.2M/1 yr.
CB Drayton Florence (released).
WR Matt Jones (released).
DT Tony McDaniel (traded Dolphins).
WR Dennis Northcutt (traded Lions)
MLB Mike Peterson: UFA Falcons; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
WR Jerry Porter (released).
S Pierson Prioleau: UFA Saints; terms unknown.
S Gerald Sensabaugh: UFA Cowboys; $1.75M/1 yr, guarantees unknown.
DE Paul Spicer (released).
RB Fred Taylor (released).
Jacksonville loves to aggressively correct their weaknesses. Before last season, their pass-rush stunk. So, they sacrificed a fortune to draft DE’s Derek Harvey and Quintin Groves. This year, Jacksonville felt their offensive tackle position was waning. They released the disappointing Khalif Barnes, then, after signing veteran Tra Thomas, they drafted LT Eugene Monroe No. 8 overall and RT Eben Britton No. 39. Monroe is a quality athlete, and Britton’s arrival could shift current RT Tony Pashos inside, ameliorating any weaknesses at guard.
At wide receiver, former first-round picks Reggie Williams and Matt Jones, both low-character underachievers, got released. So did disappointing free agent Jerry Porter. And longtime No. 2 receiver Dennis Northcutt was traded to Detroit for young safety Gerald Alexander.
To replenish the receiving corps, veteran Torry Holt was signed and draft picks were spent on Mike Thomas (4th round) and Jarett Dillard (5th round). Both rookies are undersized – Thomas especially – but capable of making big plays.
Third-round pick Terrance Knighton could immediately compete for the starting DT job next to John Henderson. Jacksonville has been reeling at that spot since losing Marcus Stroud. Third-round CB Derek Cox could capture the starter/nickel duties of recently released free-agent bust Drayton Florence. Cox is a bit of an unknown, but Jacksonville gave up next year’s second-round pick to get him.
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