Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Priority one: Jacksonville Jaguars
By Paul Kuharsky
Today we look at the biggest issues facing each team in the AFC South and give you an opportunity to assess priority one:
Pending free agents of note: Linebacker Daryl Smith, cornerback Derek Cox, fullback Greg Jones, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, cornerback Rashean Mathis, center Brad Meester.
Weaknesses: It’s a big list considering the Jaguars were as bad as any team in the league with their 2-14 season. They have no clear answer at quarterback, where Blaine Gabbert will be coming off a couple injuries and Chad Henne didn’t show he’s better. The pass rush generated fewer sacks than Houston’s J.J. Watt had by himself.
Unsettled starting jobs: We’ll turn this category inside-out for Jacksonville and consider guys under contract who should be locked in -- left tackle Eugene Monroe, receivers Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon, running back Maurice Jones-Drew if he’s back, defensive end Jason Babin, middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, strong safety Dawan Landry, free safety Dwight Lowery.
Depth issues: They could be OK at receiver and safety, though I’d like to see an upgrade on Chris Prosinski as the third guy. There are front-line issues everywhere else, so depth is a luxury conversation at this time.
Health concerns: Jones-Drew missed all but six games and had foot surgery after the season, and his recovery will be a big issue. He’s got one year left on his deal a year after holding out for a new deal. Gabbert had left shoulder surgery. Receiver Laurent Robinson had major concussion issues. Defensive end Andre Branch didn’t finish the season and had surgery, believed to be connected to a groin issue. Lowery is recovering from a foot injury.
Unseen issue: Gus Bradley and his staff will try to start off with schemes tailored to what they have, but they’ve not yet been able to dig in and evaluate the roster. Their assessment of the roster is obviously a crucial part of how things pan out going forward.