Jacksonville Jaguars – Can the youth rise to help the defense succeed?
The Jacksonville Jaguars defense last season ranked 19th in the NFL in sacks, dead last in interceptions and had the fifth most completions of 40 or more yards against them. These are bad stats and area that the Jags needed to improve upon. Therefore, Shad Khan hires Tom Coughlin to oversee player development and that he did.
First, he brought in Calais Campbell, as well as Barry Church and AJ Bouye. This gives them some good playmakers on defense now. In addition, they are moving Myles Jack from outside linebacker to the middle, which will shore up the run defense as well.
Upfront on the D-Line, they now have a front of Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, and Yannick Ngakoue. They will be able to switch in Dante Fowler as well. Defensive Coordinator Todd Wash wanted the ability to run two-platoon depth and he has achieved that with the free agents and draftees he has selected.
The linebackers will look similar the only major changes will be Myles Jack moving to Middle and longtime Veteran Paul Posluszny moving to strong side linebacker. Telvin Smith will still be the weak side linebacker but will definitely need to improve on his missed tackles as he had 26 last season.
The Jaguars completely revamped the secondary and now will feature AJ Bouye and Jalen Ramsey as the top two corners, in addition, they brought in Barry Church from the Cowboys to replace Jonathan Cyprien. The major change that will happen is Wash will make Church and Gipson interchangeable to allow the team a little more deception than last season.
If the Jacksonville Jaguars defense can improve on forcing sacks and cutting down the big plays, they will be a much improved. They will have improved to the that they will be similar to their division rivals the Houston Texans defense. If they do improve from last season, it will only help Blake Bortels and company because they will feel as if they do not have to score on every possession to keep their team in the game.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will be making a return trip to the postseason this year led by former Knight Blake Bortels and enforced by former Seminole Jalen Ramsey.
Editor’s Note: This article can also be seen in our upcoming NFL Preview Edition.