March 22, 2018

Behind Enemy Lines: With Jaguars 101

On part one of our weekly installment of Behind Enemy Lines, we asked Brendan Sonnone from Jaguars 101 to help us get a better insight on the Jacksonville Jaguars and what to expect this upcoming Sunday at Reliant. We talk about the Jags new D, MJD, Jack Del Rio and “Pot Roast”





What can you tell me about the new defensive additions to the Jags defense and how they have helped.



The Jaguars spent a lot of money on defensive players this offseason

and it’s paid off so far. Linebacker was a huge concern for the team

and GM Gene Smith upgraded it by bringing in middle linebacker Paul

Posluszny and outside linebacker Clint Session. Originally, I though

that Session was the better addition and Posluszny would be an average

pickup, but it’s been the opposite of that. Posluszny has been a

tackling machine (59 so far) and he really has been a great fit.

Session on the other hand has battled an elbow injury for most of the

season, but even before that he wasn’t playing much because the

Jaguars were using their nickel package quite a bit. Dawan Landry,

another free agent signing, has been solid at safety. However, the

best addition to the defense in my mind has been safety Dwight Lowery.

The Jaguars traded for him right before the season started and he’s

been fantastic. He’s an instinctual cover guy who can also deliver a

big hit. His presence has made everyone else better, he’s changed the

complexion of the defense, making an above average unit very good.





Is this Jack Del Rio’s final year and if so why?



It’s looking that way. The only way he stays is if the Jaguars make

the playoffs. Their at 2-5 right now and have lost some close ones,

but the offense is so bad that I can’t see the team fighting its way

to the top of a mediocre AFC South division. Del Rio just hasn’t

established a winning mindset during his time in Jacksonville. That

lack of consistency eventually lead to his downfall.



Is Maurice Jones-Drew the Jags only form of offense?

Yes. The Jaguars’ passing attack is putrid at this point. Blaine

Gabbert is struggling with his footwork and that’s impact every throw

he makes. And when he has been on, his receivers haven’t really

stepped up. Jones-Drew has been the workhorse everyone thought he’d

have to be this season and he’s not getting any help. Teams are

stacking the box and forcing MJD to beat them. He does a nice job

pushing the pile and breaks one free every now and then, but it’s

clear that he can’t do it all by himself.


Did the Jags make a mistake by letting go of David Garrard and not give Blaine Gabbert time to learn?


It’s tough to answer that with a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I think this

team would be better with Garrard at quarterback right now, but would

they be a playoff team? Probably not. Garrard was out of shape coming

into camp and hasn’t progressed since he took over as the team’s

starter a few years back. I think it was the right move to let him

go…he was making rookie mistakes in his 30s, so the Jaguars might as

well let a rookie make the rookie mistakes and learn from it. And if

you’re a franchise, there’s nothing worse than going 8-8. You don’t

make the playoffs and don’t get a good draft pick. In the long run, I

think getting rid of Garrard was for the best. Luke McCown was

supposed to be a game manager and give Gabbert time to grow, but that

didn’t happen. That’s what really made a mess of the QB situation.




Who are some not so household names on the Jags roster that Texans fans might know of.

One guy who is starting to get a lot of recognition is DT Terrance

Knighton, aka “Pot Roast.” At 6-3, 335, he’s tough to move and demands

double teams. He’s what makes the defense click and is a Pro Bowl

caliber player right now. Along side of him his defensive end Jeremy

Mincey. He’s brought a lot of energy to the front line and while he

isn’t a sack machine (2), he’s gotten a lot of pressure, which is

something the Jaguars have struggled with in the past. I would say

defensive end John Chick is a guy to note too, but he’s not playing

this week due to an injury. One more guy to note offensively is Jason

Hill. The Jaguars picked him up mid-season last year and he’s emerged

as the team’s top receiver. That’s not say a whole lot, but Hill has

made some big plays this year for the Jags and Houston fans shouldn’t

be surprised if he makes a play or two against them.




What has happen to Marcedes Lewis this season after a breakout 2010 season?

Great question, I don’t know if anyone knows the answer to that. He

got a lot of pub for his MMA training this offseason but has looked

less athletic than he did last season when he had double-digit TD

receptions. He’s been targeted a few times this year but has had some

timely drops. This may be a case of a guy getting lackadaisical after

signing a big contract. Lewis spent a lot of time working out with

Garrard prior to the 2010 season, so that chemistry and current lack

of chemistry with Gabbert might factor into his decline as well.



Are Jacksonville fans scared of the rumors the Jags might be sold and moved, even though the owner has come out and said the team is not for sell?

At this point, there’s not much concern. Jacksonville fans have heard

this semi-annual rumor for a while not and after a while, it kind of

loses its impact.



What do the Jags need to do to defeat the Texans on Sunday?

On defense they have to eliminate big plays. The Jaguars can slow down

Houston if their corners can keep everything in front of them like the

did against Baltimore on Monday. But then Jacksonville has to score.

Gabbert needs to settle down in the pocket. If he can calm down a

little, set his feet and deliver the ball smoothly, the Jaguars’

offense can become two-dimensional, which is what they need to win. A

balanced attack (or at least an efficient passing performance) will

make life easier for Maurice Jones-Drew and if he gets going, the

Jaguars’ have a punchers chance.


Special Thanks goes out to Brendan and you can follow him on Twitter and visit his site.



Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: