- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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We’ve been looking at some statistical evidence that shows off team needs, and the numbers ESPN Stats and Info shared on the Jaguars are very telling.
While they have needs all over the place as they rebuild, they really need help with their pass rush and pass coverage.
On 80 percent of opponent dropbacks in 2012, the Jaguars used four or fewer pass-rushers. That was the fifth-highest in the NFL. But the Jaguars weren’t using standard pressure because it was working. They averaged a sack once every 32.9 dropbacks, worst in the NFL. The Raiders were second at 29.3.
Even as they added Jason Babin near the end of the season, they need a dynamic pass-rusher.
The reason they didn’t blitz more was because of the shaky personnel in the secondary. And since the new regime took over, they’ve parted with or declined to have back cornerbacks Derek Cox, Rashean Mathis and Aaron Ross as well as strong safety Dawan Landry.
Even with those players, Jacksonville’s defense struggled to defend passes along the sidelines. No team had fewer interceptions outside the painted field numbers than the Jaguars’ two. In the same territory, the team was tied for 30th in completion percentage (61.3), tied for 30th in total QBR allowed (82.9) and tied for 26th in yards per attempt (7.4).
So cornerback is a huge priority too.
If the Jaguars don’t find quality help in the pass rush as the coverage and improve only one area, the other may still not be strong enough even with the help at the other end.
A new scheme should help. But the opinion here is players make schemes far more than schemes make player.