Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jacksonville Jaguars' Needs - Defense

As promised, today we take a look at what the Jaguars need to do on defense in 2011 to get back to a dominant, physical style of play.

Let's start this thing off by looking at the secondary. It's been well documented that this is a major area of concern for the Jaguars. Courtney Greene looks as if he may be a long term guy at SS, but it's too early to tell. He hits well, but his coverage certainly needs some work.

Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox should both be back in 2011 as strong cornerbacks. They both cover well, and they're physical. Cox's tackling improved greatly in the second half of 2011, and the two actually represent a very strong set of starting CBs.

Unfortunately, the Jaguars need to add depth at CB. David Jones has a very hard time covering receivers for any length of time, and the lack of pass rush (I'll get to that more in a minute) over-stretches his abilities as a DB. Also notable is the fact that the Jaguars have no good FS. This is a huge hole in their defense, and it needs to be filled if the Jaguars plan on playing games in January next year.

The linebacking core is more of the same for the Jaguars. Justin Durant can run and tackle, but he can't cover well. It's yet to be seen whether or not he'll be back next year. Morrison is good in run support, but again, he lacks the ability to cover receivers or tight ends. Daryl Smith is the best all around linebacker that the Jaguars have. He'll be key for that group again in 2011. To wrap it up, the Jags need to get a lot of new talent for this group going forward.

Finally, we move to the defensive line. All indications are that the Jaguars have one of the best set of young, interior linemen in the league. Alualu, Knighton, and Smith (coming off of a season ending injury) should provide them with ample man power in the middle. The concern remains at DE. Kampman will be coming off of his second major knee injury, and Jeremy Mincey may be the Jaguars' best all around DE in 2011. That's a problem because he just isn't starting material. The Jaguars should be on the lookout for new talent this offseason there.

That's it for defense. Tomorrow, I'll take a look at special teams and what the Jaguars need to do to keep that unit at the top of the league.

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