Jacksonville Jaguars: Jordan Miller

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars begin offseason conditioning on Wednesday. There is minimal on-field work allowed and only strength and conditioning coaches allowed on the field, so there’s not much football coaching going on.

But this is the first look at the 2014 Jaguars. They’ll look a lot different after next month’s draft, but here’s an early look at the offensive depth chart. The offensive depth chart appeared Monday:

Defensive line

Starters: LDE Red Bryant, DT Roy Miller, DT Sen'Derrick Marks, LEO Chris Clemons.

Reserves: DE Tyson Alualu, DE Ryan Davis, DT Ziggy Hood, DT Abry Jones, DT Jordan Miller, DT Drake Nevis, LEO Jason Babin, LEO Andre Branch, LEO Gerald Rivers.

The defensive line got a serious upgrade in free agency with the additions of Bryant, Clemons and Hood, who also can play end. It needed it, especially against the run (29th in the NFL last season). Bryant will be a big help there because he plays the end spot that’s main responsibility is setting the edge and stopping the run. The pass rush is better, too, though both Clemons and Babin are in their 30s and the team will likely draft a pass-rusher -- possibly Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack in the first round -- at some point in the draft. The depth at tackle needs to be addressed, too.


Starters: WLB Geno Hayes, MLB Paul Posluszny, SLB Dekoda Watson.

Reserves: OLB John Lotulelei. OLB LaRoy Reynolds, MLB Nate Stupar, OLB J.T. Thomas.

The signing of Watson didn’t get much attention outside of Jacksonville but it could turn out to be one the team’s best acquisitions of the offseason. He’s going to play strongside linebacker on first and second down and then move to leo on third down to give the Jaguars a chance to get four pass-rushers on the field at one time. Posluszny is a tackling machine and Hayes should be better in 2014 after playing through a knee injury in 2013 and undergoing offseason surgery. The backups were big special-teams contributors.


Starters: LCB Dwayne Gratz, RCB Alan Ball.

Reserves: Will Blackmon, Mike Harris, Jamell Fleming, Jeremy Harris, Demetrius McCray.

Re-signing Blackmon was a good move because he can play either spot as a fill-in starter and also play a nickelback. Plus, he and Ball -- one of the team’s top free-agent signings last year -- have become the leaders of a pretty young group of corners. With the exception of those two players, the other corners have been in the league two or fewer years. Gratz is the player they’re counting on to make a big jump in his second season. Just because the Jaguars are happy with their top four corners doesn’t mean they won’t draft one, though.


Starters: SS Johnathan Cyprien, FS Josh Evans.

Reserves: Winston Guy, Chris Prosinski, Sherrod Martin, Joe Young.

Coach Gus Bradley said after the season he was surprised at Cyprien’s cover skills and he’s expecting big things from him in his second season. Evans was thrust into a starting role before he was ready last season and really struggled. Guy came on late in the season and the competition between the two for the starting job will be an interesting one to watch.
Here is the sixth of a 10-part series breaking down the Jacksonville Jaguars' free-agency needs, position by position:

Defensive tackle

Who’s on the roster: Brandon Deaderick, Abry Jones, Kyle Love, Sen'Derrick Marks, Roy Miller, Jordan Miller and Drake Nevis.

Analysis: The Jaguars are in good shape with Miller and Marks, who signed a four-year extension in December after having the best season of his career. Miller’s play was impacted by his chronic shoulder injury but offseason surgery should fix that issue and he should be the same player he was in Tampa Bay before he signed with the Jaguars in 2013. It’s after those two that the Jaguars have problems. Jones and Miller are young and Nevis has not developed after being drafted in the third round in 2011 by Indianapolis. Love was with the team in training camp, was cut, and then brought back late in the season because of injuries.

NFL free agents of interest: Tony McDaniel, Earl Mitchell, Lamarr Houston and Arthur Jones.

Need meter: 8. Marks gives the Jaguars an athletic tackle who can also rush the passer while Miller is a prototypical run-stuffer. The Jaguars need to upgrade behind Marks and Miller and they will look for help in the draft as well. A four-man tackle rotation would help limit the amount of snaps Marks plays. He was on the field for 805 snaps in 2013, which is too many.
Each day for the next two weeks we’ll review how each position group performed in 2013, and take an early look at 2014. Today we’ll examine the defensive tackles. We covered defensive ends on Monday.

Defensive tackles

Breakdown of starts: Sen'Derrick Marks (16), Roy Miller (14), Jordan Miller (1), Brandon Deaderick (1).

Recap: Marks was clearly the Jaguars’ best defensive lineman and their second-best defensive player behind middle linebacker Paul Posluszny. He joined the Jaguars in March and set career highs in sacks (four), passes defensed (eight), forced fumbles (two) and fumble recoveries (three) in 2013. He had three sacks, eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles and no fumble recoveries in his first four seasons with Tennessee.

The Jaguars rewarded him with a four-year contract extension in December that reportedly could be worth up to $22 million, making him one of the defense’s building blocks along with cornerback Dwayne Gratz and safety Johnathan Cyprien.

Outside of Marks, though, the tackles were disappointing. Roy Miller had 24 tackles and wasn’t the run-stuffing force he was in Tampa Bay, mainly because he played with a torn labrum in his shoulder for nearly the entire season. The staff was pleased with what he was able to do but his injury limited his effectiveness at times.

The group did play better in the second half of the season. The Jaguars gave up 102 yards per game on the ground in the final eight games after giving up 162 yards per game in the first eight games. The tackles did a better job of gap discipline and occupying and then shedding blockers.

Looking ahead to 2014

Players under contract: Marks, Roy Miller, Jordan Miller, Abry Jones, Drake Nevis

The skinny: Marks is a foundation piece of the defense and the staff is hoping a healthy Roy Miller will be the same kind of player he was in Tampa Bay. Other than those two, though, the Jaguars don’t have much right now.

Jones and Jordan Miller showed some promise but both could have trouble making the roster next season if the Jaguars are able to significantly upgrade the depth behind the two starters.

The Jaguars will likely address this spot in free agency and almost certainly will draft at least one defensive tackle among their 10 picks.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A look at snaps played by Jacksonville Jaguars defenders in Sunday's 30-10 loss to Indianapolis, while analyzing what it means:

LB J.T. Thomas: 70 of 70

S Johnathan Cyprien: 70 of 70

LB Paul Posluszny: 69 of 70

CB Will Blackmon: 66 of 70

CB Alan Ball: 63 of 70

DT Sen'Derrick Marks: 53 of 70

DE Tyson Alualu: 48 of 70

DE Jason Babin: 44 of 70

S Winston Guy: 38 of 70

DT Kyle Love: 37 of 70

CB Mike Harris: 33 of 70

DE Andre Branch: 33 of 70

S Josh Evans: 32 of 70

LB LaRoy Reynolds: 25 of 70

DT Jordan Miller: 19 of 70

DT Abry Jones: 17 of 70

DE Ryan Davis: 16 of 70

DT Drake Nevis: 16 of 70

DB Demetrius McCray: 9 of 70

LB John Lotulelei: 9 of 70

S Chris Prosinski: 2 of 70

LB Nate Stupar: 1 of 70

Analysis: Thomas made the second start of his career and never left the field on defense. He has played in all but 13 snaps the last two weeks. He played just 18 of 76 snaps against Buffalo. ... Nevis and Love were acquired early last week and combined for six tackles. ... The Jaguars started the game in nickel and played it for much of the game. Harris played nearly as many snaps against the Colts as he did in the last two games combined (37). ... Reynolds made six tackles and broke up one pass in his 25 snaps. ... Babin had a sack and finished the season with the team lead (7.5). Branch was second with six.

Five things to watch: Jaguars-Colts

December, 28, 2013
Here are five things to watch in Sunday’s Jacksonville Jaguars-Indianapolis Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.:

MoJo’s finale? Could this be the final game in a Jaguars uniform for running back Maurice Jones-Drew? His contract expires next week and there’s no certainty that he’s going to re-sign with the Jaguars. He’s likely going to test the free-agency market but has said he wants to be back in Jacksonville. However, he also said he has a number in mind regarding salary and contract length, which may not be in tune with what the Jaguars are willing to offer. Jones-Drew could leave an impressive final impression, though, because he has averaged 100.9 yards per game against the Colts in his career.

And Chad Henne, too? Henne also will be an unrestricted free agent next week and he’s a player the Jaguars will likely want to re-sign. The question will be whether Henne wants to go somewhere else to compete for a starting job or whether he’d be willing to return to Jacksonville to be a mentor to whichever young quarterback the team drafts in May. Henne has played his best football over the past month, throwing eight touchdown passes in the four games, and has shown he’s capable of running the offense and not putting the team in bad situations. He’d be a valuable player to have around in 2014, especially if the young quarterback isn’t ready to start at the beginning of the season.

Stopping the run: Injuries along the defensive line have really hurt the Jaguars against the run the past two weeks. Buffalo and Tennessee rushed for 198 and 182 yards, respectively, in victories in Jacksonville. The Jaguars have had to rely on inexperienced players like Abry Jones and Jordan Miller and this week added two defensive tackles that will see time against the Colts: Kevin Love, who was with the team in training camp until the final cuts, and Drake Nevis. The Colts are averaging 110.9 yards per game rushing.

Tight end trouble: Tight ends have given the Jaguars trouble all season and Indy’s Coby Fleener caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown in the previous meeting, which the Colts won 37-3. That was rookie safety Johnathan Cyprien’s fourth game and he’s a much better player now. He has been bothered by a thigh injury and has practiced on a limited basis but is expected to play. This will be a good gauge on how much he – as well as fellow rookie safety Josh Evans and second-year safety Winston Guy – has improved.

Handling Mathis: Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis is second in the NFL with 17.5 sacks (St. Louis’ Robert Quinn has 18.0). He’s not a good matchup under normal circumstances but the Jaguars’ situation at offensive tackle is uncertain. Starting left tackle Cameron Bradfield did not practice until Friday because of a high ankle sprain and is questionable for Sunday. If he can’t go, the Jaguars will move right tackle Austin Pasztor to left tackle and start Sam Young, who has played mainly on special teams this season, at right tackle. Expect the Colts to target Young all afternoon if he’s in the game.

Defensive snaps: Extra work for Miller

December, 24, 2013
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A look at snaps played by Jacksonville Jaguars defenders in Sunday’s 20-16 loss to Tennessee, while analyzing what it means:

S Johnathan Cyprien: 73 of 73

LB Paul Posluszny: 72 of 73

CB Alan Ball: 71 of 73

DT Sen'Derrick Marks: 64 of 73

LB J.T. Thomas: 60 of 73

CB Will Blackmon: 56 of 73

DE Tyson Alualu: 53: of 73

DE Jason Babin: 49 of 73

DE Andre Branch: 42 of 73

S Josh Evans: 39 of 73

S Winston Guy: 36 of 73

DT Jordan Miller: 35 of 73

LB LaRoy Reynolds: 31 of 73

CB Mike Harris: 24 of 73

LB John Lotulelei: 23 of 73

DT Abry Jones: 23 of 73

CB Dwayne Gratz: 20 of 73

DE Ryan Davis: 16 of 73

DT Brandon Deaderick: 13 of 73

S Chris Prosinski: 2 of 73

LB Nate Stupar: 1 of 73

Analysis: Miller was playing in his first game this season and played nearly half the snaps because Deaderick dislocated his right elbow. A safe estimate on the number of snaps he would have played had Deaderick not gotten hurt: 10-15. ... Posluszny was off the field for only one play, because he was receiving stitches in his chin. ... Evans and Guy split the playing time at free safety. It’ll be an interesting battle between the two during the offseason to see who can win the starting job. ... Thomas and Lotulelei started alongside Posluszny because of injuries to Geno Hayes (knee) and Russell Allen (concussion). ... Blackmon was forced into more snaps because Gratz went out with an ankle injury. Gratz’s status for Sunday’s game at Indianapolis is uncertain.

Jags get the Love back

December, 23, 2013
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars signed a pair of defensive tackles on Monday, including a familiar face: Kyle Love.

Love was with the team from mid-May until the final cuts of training camp but re-joined the team on Monday to help shore up a position that has been hit hard by injuries.

Starter Roy Miller did not play against Tennessee on Sunday because of a shoulder injury and the team placed him on IR on Monday. His replacement, Brandon Deaderick, suffered a dislocated right elbow and was placed on IR. Sen’Derrick Marks, Abry Jones and Jordan Miller, who was active for the first time on Sunday, finished the Titans game as the only healthy defensive tackles.

The Jaguars also signed Drake Nevis, who played in 11 games for the Dallas Cowboys before being waived on Dec. 17.

Love, who was with the Kansas City Chiefs from Nov. 19 to Dec. 3, and Nevis should get significant playing time against the Colts alongside Marks, with Miller and Jones working in the rotation.

Rapid Reaction: Jacksonville Jaguars

December, 22, 2013

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A few thoughts on the Jacksonville Jaguars' 20-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans:

What it means: The Jaguars (4-11) were unable to overcome a slew of injuries and pick up their second victory at EverBank Field this season. It's just the second time in franchise history the Jaguars have won just one game at home. They went 1-7 at EverBank last season and 1-6 this season (they played a home game against San Francisco in London).

Stock watch: The Jaguars' group of no-name receivers did a solid job against the Titans. Injuries have left the Jaguars with little experience at the position. Entering the game, the team's four active receivers (Ace Sanders, Kerry Taylor, Mike Brown and Lamaar Thomas) had a combined 75 catches this season. None of them have more than a year of experience in the NFL. The group responded, especially Brown and Taylor. Brown caught five passes for 71 yards and one touchdown while Taylor had four catches for 45 yards.

Honoring Meester: The Jaguars had a quick postgame ceremony to honor center Brad Meester, who is retiring at the end of the season after 14 years with the team. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch tried to send him out in style by calling a screen pass for Meester that was designed to get him a touchdown. Meester made the catch but cut left instead of right and got tackled at the 4-yard line. Hard to criticize him for making that wrong cut, though. As former Jaguars offensive tackle Tony Boselli joked at halftime, it's not like offensive linemen regularly read blocks.

Depleted defense: The Jaguars were already without three starters (linebackers Russell Allen and Geno Hayes and defensive tackle Roy Miller) and they lost two more key players during the game: defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick (elbow) and cornerback Dwayne Gratz (ankle). That forced the Jaguars to use defensive tackle Jordan Miller, who was active for the first time this season, and start inexperienced linebackers J.T. Thomas and John Lotulelei. You could see the drop off. The Titans ran for 182 yards and had most of their success in the passing game in the middle of the field.

What's next: The Jaguars end the 2013 season at Indianapolis on Sunday.