2013 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS PREVIEW
June 12, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
2013 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS PREVIEW
LAST SEASON: 2-14 in the AFC South
HEAD COACH: Gus Bradley, first season.
Are the Jacksonville Jaguars going to figure it out? People in Jacksonville don’t care about the Jaguars any more. Especially, since they have become a bad football team. You know Los Angeles is an open market and it might be a good idea to head west.
Until they do, Jacksonville fans will have to endure another long season. New Head Coach Gus Bradley will find out very soon just how bad this football team is. This is a team that won just two games in 2012 and didn’t do much to make them better in the off season. One off season incident that Coach Bradley could have done without was Justin Blackmon’s suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Well, let’s see if we can find something positive to talk about. The Jaguars did draft OT Luke Joeckel with their first pick in the draft. The 6-6 306 pound OT will anchor the offensive line and try to protect QB Blaine Gabbert. If Joeckel and the offensive line can do its job, it will give Gabbert more time to develop as a QB. If not, veteran Chad Henne will be waiting in the wings.
RB Maurice Jones-Drew was on the sidelines for a portion of the season with a foot injury and that truly hurt the Jaguars offense. If Jones-Drew can come back healthy, then the running game will help Gabbert and Joeckel tremendously. With Blackmon serving a four game suspension, the Jaguars drafted Ace Sanders in the fourth round and Denard Robinson out of Michigan. Robinson is a converted QB who will try to hook on a WR. Both will have to step in until Blackmon returns. Veteran Mohamed Massquoi will help the rookies in camp. Still, there are many questions about this offense coming into training camp.
For Coach Bradley to turn this train around, he must find an aggressive defense like he ran in Seattle. The Seahawks became one of the most feared defenses in the NFL in 2012 because of Bradley’s style. He does have some tools to work with in Jacksonville starting with DB Johnathan Cyprien, a second round pick out of Florida International. Cyprien is the kind of player Bradley likes and will need more of. The Jaguars will need a more productive pass rush in 2013. Last season, Jacksonville had only 20 sacks and it doesn’t appear they did enough in the off-season to improve on those numbers. They did add Jason Babin late in the season but after that, who will provide the pressure?
OLB Geno Hayes was added from Chicago in free agency and CB Alan Ball was signed as a free agent from Houston but those two won’t be enough to call the defense an “upgrade”.
This will be a difficult rebuilding process in Jacksonville but it appears Coach Bradley will be up for the challenge. We will see how he feels November 3rd when Jacksonville gets their bye week.
2012 IN REVIEW:
TOTAL OFFENSE: 299.2 (29TH)
RUN OFFENSE: 85.6 (30TH)
PASS OFFENSE: 213.7 (21ST)
TOTAL DEFENSE: 380.5 (30TH)
RUN DEFENSE: 141.0 (30TH)
PASS DEFENSE: 239.5 (22ND)
2013 JACKSONVILLE DRAFT
1 -- Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M; 2 (33) - Johnathan Cyprien, S, Florida International; 3 (64) - Dwayne Gratz, CB, UConn; 4 (101) - Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina; 5 (135) - Denard Robinson, WR, Michigan; 6 (169) - Josh Evans, FS, Florida; 7 (208) - Jeremy Harris, CB, New Mexico State; 7 (210) - Demetrius McCray, CB, Appalachian State
Top Picks Analysis: New general manger David Caldwell made the prudent decision to take the sure thing early in Joeckel. Even though Gus Bradley is a a defensive-minded coach, Joeckel was too good to pass up at No. 2 overall because the Jags went into the process with just one proven tackle on their roster in Eugene Monroe. Joeckel will step in on Day 1 as the right tackle and sure things up so Jacksonville can concentrate on other areas. In the second round Bradley was given a big piece for the back end in the heavy-hitting Cyprien, while Gratz fills an immediate need at corner and could push for a starting job.
Best Value Pick: Sanders is only 5-foot-7 but he could turn into am impact slot receiver and return guy. It remains to be seen if he can hold up for 16 games, though.
Questionable Calls: Robinson, a quarterback for most of his time at Michigan, seems like a redundant pick. Obviously, he is terribly athletic but at the best case scenario at the NFL level projects him as a guy who will give you what Sanders was drafted for.
Summary: Joeckel, Cyprien and Gratz will all be penciled in as starters while Sanders should add some juice to the return game and provide the slot threat to complement Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon. It's all about the quarterback in Jacksonville, though, and the only competition Caldwell brought in for embattled incumbents Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne was undrafted read-option threat Matt Scott of Arizona and Aaron Rodgers' far less talented brother, Jordan Rodgers of Vandy.
FINAL GRADE: B
Undrafted rookie free agent signings: Georgia Tech DT T.J. Barnes; Cincinnati LB Maalik Bomar; Delaware CB Marcus Burley; Rutgers OT R.J. Dill; Ole Miss DT Uriah Grant; Nevada LB Jeremiah Green; Western Michigan DE Paul Hazel; Georgia DT Abry Jones; Southern Oregon WR Cole McKenzie; Arizona State WR Jamal Miles; Massachusetts G Stephane Milhim; San Jose State TE Ryan Otten; N.C. State WR Tobias Palmer; Florida State FB Lonnie Pryor; Nebraska TE Kyler Reed; Virginia OLB LaRoy Reynolds; Vanderbilt QB Jordan Rodgers; Arizona QB Matt Scott; Texas A&M Steven Terrell; Alabama LS Carson Tinker; Murray State OT Roderick Tomlin; Vanderbilt CB Trey Wilson; Illinois State LB Mike Zimmer
2013 JACKSONVILLE SCHEDULE
Sept. 8: vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m.
Sept. 15: at Oakland Raiders, 4:25 p.m.
Sept. 22: at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m.
Sept. 29: vs. Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m.
Oct. 6: at St. Louis Rams, 1 p.m.
Oct. 13: at Denver Broncos, 4:05 p.m.
Oct. 20: vs. San Diego Chargers, 1 p.m.
Oct. 27: vs. San Francisco 49ers, 1 p.m.
Nov. 3: Bye
Nov. 10: at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m.
Nov. 17: vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1 p.m.
Nov. 24: at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Dec. 1: at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m.
Dec. 5: vs. Houston Texans, 8:25 p.m.
Dec. 15: vs. Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.
Dec. 22: vs. Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m.
Dec. 29: at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m.
2013 JACKSONVILLE ROSTER