Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Three and Out: Jaguars
By Paul Kuharsky
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Three quick hits on the Jacksonville Jaguars:
1. The team has tried to put David Garrard in the best situation possible. That meant rebuilding the offensive line even as two guys returned from injuries (Vince Manuwai and Maurice Williams), adding free-agent left tackle Tra Thomas and tackles with the first two picks in the draft (Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton). The Jaguars also revamped the receiving corps, bringing in Torry Holt and three draft picks. Still, so far in preseason work, the offensive line has allowed far too many hits on Garrard.
2. The Jaguars traded a 2010 second-round pick in order to draft Derek Cox in the third round. He's been banged up and has not played in a preseason game yet, but he was impressive early. Brian Williams has not had a great preseason as the second corner, so once Cox is ready he could overtake Williams and bump him to the nickel job. Will Cox, who will play Thursday against Washington, and new strong safety Sean Considine be enough to make a big difference in the secondary? Can free safety Reggie Nelson rebound from a bad second year and become the guy the team envisioned when it drafted him in the first round?
3. With an emphasis on character, new general manager Gene Smith has revamped the roster. Thirty-six players currently with the team weren't part of things last year, and guys they felt like didn't help chemistry are gone. This group is expected to be better in terms of sticking together, being accountable and staying on message no matter how things are going. Jack Del Rio won't have a chance to ease his team into things. In the first month of action the Jaguars face all three of their AFC rivals, and Tennessee, Indianapolis and Houston are all rated as playoff-caliber teams.