I'm a HUGE NFL fan. I have been a die hard Jaguars fan since the age of 6. I live for this team. So here is my preview for the 2010 Jags season.
Before I get into position breakdowns I want to say something. First I just want to say that this team is headed in the right direction. For years we had a horrible GM in Shack Harris. He reached for players in the draft and payed a bunch for free agents that failed (Jerry Porter, Hugh Douglas, and many more) However, after the 2008 season he was fired and we promoted Gene Smith to GM and he is a great GM. He is a strong believer in BAP (best available player) philosophy. We had one of the best, if not the best draft classes last year. This year I think we had another strong draft. People criticized us for taking Tyson Alualu and at first I was a little critical as well but after watching some highlights of this kid I have come to realize that it wasn't a bad pick at all. He is a high motor, powerful DT. Rumors so far are that he has been very impressive in camp too. The main point I'm trying to make is that with Gene Smith this team will become a ELITE team in the NFL. This teams arrow is pointing up. Trust me, this guy knows what hes doing. IN THE NEXT 3-5 YEARS THIS TEAM WILL WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP.
David Garrard has a really good arm but is has very inconsistent accuracy. One throw he will zip it in between two defenders and the next throw he will throw it 20 yards over the receivers head. His decision making is also questionable. He sometimes throws horrible interceptions that just shouldn't have been thrown. In 2007 season he had 18 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions the whole season. After that season he has a had 2 straight mediocre seasons. He needs to get back to his 2007 form. Also his play in the clutch concerns me. He had trouble getting it done when it mattered last season. I don't think Garrard is a championship QB but its okay because next years draft is supposed to be a great QB crop so I am hopeful that we will draft a QB of the future in that draft. Luke McCown is a good backup but thats all he is . . . a backup. I know he played a while with Tampa but hes just not that good. Trevor Harris will probably make the practice squad.
MJD is one of the best in the game and if you don't already know that then you don't watch enough football. This guy has 49 rushing touchdowns in just 4 years and he didn't even start the first two years. He is a great playmaker. We have a pretty good backup in Rashad Jenning who had a great touchdown run against the Chiefs last year. We also drafted runningback Deji Karim and supposedly he has been a beast in training camp. As far as fullback goes, we have one of the best in the NFL in Greg Jones. This guy is really physical blocker and can make some plays when he gets the ball in his hand. Our back up fullback in Montrell Owens who is a great special teams player.
We are not really strong at this position. Mike Sims-Walker is our number one and he proved last year that his is a valuable playmaker. The number two position (X) is open competion, although supposedly Mike Thomas has been playing great in training camp and is the lead canidate for the spot. Jarret Dillard is also expected to compete for that position but he has not been practicing because of injury. We signed Kassim Osgood but he is expected to play mostly special teams. Rumor is that he has trouble holding onto the ball all training camp. Troy Williamson is a guy we traded for a few season ago from Minnesota. He has been slowed by injuries year after year and now that hes finally healthy we expect big things from him. Other WR in the mix Tiquan Underwood, Clarence Denmark, and Derrik Townsel. Not our strongest position but not a horrible weakness.
Marcedes Lewis is my favorite player on the team and without a doubt in my mind the most underrated player on the team. Their is not a single Tight end in this league that blocks better than this guy. He destroys defensive ends. He is also a great weapon in the pass game, averaging 16.2 ypc last season, which was number one in the NFL for tight ends. We also have a really talented young kid in Zach Miller who had a huge game the last game of the season. Ernest Wilford is also a very good tight end who will catch almost anything thrown his way. This is one of our strongest positions.
This is one of our biggest concerns on the team. Veteran Brad Meester did not a good season last season. He will have to play better. There is talk that guard Uche Nwaneri can move over and play center. However, Cecil Newton is our backup center currently.
Last year David got a lot of pressure up the middle. Vince Manuwai used to be one of the best run blocking guards in the league but last year he did not play well. We brought in veteran Justin Smiley to compete for a guard position. Kynan Forney will probably take the LG position. RG will either be Vince or Uche Nwaneri. This is a big concern for this team. We need our guards to player better this year.
Thankfully, we have two young talented tackles. Last year we drafted Eugene Monroe number 8 overall and in the second round we drafter Eben Britton. Britton played great last year at RT. You could argue that he played even better than Monroe. Monroe showed inconsistancy at LT last season but still played pretty well. He came into camp 30 lbs lighter!!! I expect a big season from him. Backups are Daniel Baldridge and Kevin Haslim.
Terrence Knighton (nickname Pot Roast) had an amazing rookie season last year. He more than exceeded expectations. He will be a strong force for this team for a long time. First round pick Tyson Alualu will take the other started DT position. I think people will be surprised at how good this kid is. Unfortunately we lost 3rd round pick D'anthony Smith from an injury in training camp. Looks like he will be out for the season :(. Supposedly Kommonyan Quaye has a had a great training camp. We are pretty strong at DT.
This was our biggest concern this offseason. We were dead last in sacks last year. QB's had all day to throw against us. We signed veteran DE Aaron Kampman in free agency and we expect big things from him. Derrick Harvey has came into camp lighter and apparently faster than usual. We drafted to DE's in Larry Hart and Austen Lane. Reports are that Austen Lane has been having a phenomenal training camp. We also have a talented big kid in Julius Williams. This is still a concern for us but no doubt it will be better than last year. It would be hard to do worse.
We traded for veteran LB Kirk Morrison who will play MLB. We expect a lot from him. Daryl Smith is one of the best linebackers in the NFL. He should have made the probowl last season. Dude is a total beast. Our other staring outside linebacker is Justin Durant who is a high motor, big hit guy but sometimes is out of position. We have quality backups in Russel Allen and Freddy Keiaho. We also brought back Tony Gilbert. This is a very strong point for our team.
We have former pro bowl corner Rashean Mathis. However he did not play all that well for us last season. He did have nagging injured but hopefully he can return to his true form this season. Last year we drafted a very talented kid named Derek Cox. We was a beast last season. He was probably our best corner last year. Hes a solid tackler for a corner too. We got reliable veteran Scott Starks. Don Carey is also very talented guy. We are really strong at this position as well.
This is our biggest concern! Safety play last year was horrible. Gerald Alexander has played well enough to earn the SS position. FS is up for grabs though. Reggie Nelson is the worst tackler in the history of the game. Heres just an example.And he fails like that all the time. He isn't even that good in pass coverage. I was hoping we were going to cut him after the Indy game last season. He practically cost us the game. Hes a former first round pick and got a lot of money invested in him so they are giving him another chance. Reggie, Anthony Smith, and Sean Considine have all been rotating in for that open FS position. If I had to guess I would think Considine will win the spot. This is still a huge concern for us though.
Not much to talk about here. Kicker Josh Scobee has a great leg but is sometimes inconsistent in his accuracy. Overall hes a good kicker though. Punter Adam Podlesh is a concern. He had a horrible season. If i remember right, he was dead last is net punt average. He has to play better this year.
Safety, Defensive end, Guard and Center are the main concerns for this team. Strongest point are RB, DT, LB, and TE. Overall we are still a very young team with a pretty tough schedule this year. It also doesn't help that we are in a very tough division. (AFC south) After going 7-9 last year I expect a 9-7 or 10-6 year this season. As I said earlier though, this team is on the right track with GM Gene Smith. We WILL be become an elite team in the future. However right now we are too inexperienced and lack a great QB to become a powerhouse team but in a few years we will be an elite team, I can promise you that. Anyway, should be a really fun season. Go Jags!!!!!!