- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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The rap on Paul Posluszny is that he’s not very good in pass coverage.
In the Jaguars’ most recent preseason game he got beat by Buffalo running back Fred Jackson for a 30-yard catch, which brought the criticism back to the forefront.
He talked about it with Tania Ganguli, defending his coverage skills, talking about small sample size and pointing out where he believes the perception comes from. He has room to improve, he said, but the reputation came out of one bad season in difficult circumstances.
"To me how all that started was last year in Buffalo, when we changed coaches and changed schemes, I was not comfortable with what we were doing from a schematic standpoint and I was asked to do different things that I had never done before. I didn't play nearly as well as I was capable of. My first three years I was very comfortable with what we were doing and I had success in the passing game.
"Last year, yeah, I struggled with a new scheme, new coaches and it showed at times. The Buffalo media took off with that. Especially, we were horrible, we were a bad team, we're losing, playing bad on defense and then it's, ‘He can't tackle, Paul can't cover,’ you know what I mean? Which I understand is part of the deal. New system, new environment and I am much more comfortable with what we're doing here compared to what I had to do last year."
He’s right in that linebackers are going to lose in coverage and he’s hardly the lone guy that will get beat by Fred Jackson.
I’m a fan of Posluszny's willingness to engage in the conversation and talk about some struggles in his past. He helps himself by saying the criticism is part of the deal rather than bemoaning something as overblown or taken out of context.
I love the Jaguars' starting linebackers. I want to see the starting three healthy, with the full stable of defensive linemen working in front of them.
On opening day the Titans may try to get a back one-on-one with Posluszny. If it’s Javon Ringer or Jamie Harper, I’ll be eager to see how he does. If it’s going to be Chris Johnson, no matter how much the Jaguars and Posluszny believe in his coverage ability, they’d be wise to burn a timeout and adjust their personnel and/or alignment.