Thursday, May 16, 2013
Tyson Alualu now an end for the Jaguars
By Paul Kuharsky
At his best, defensive tackle Tyson Alualu has been a solid player.
The Jacksonville Jaguars haven't seen his best often enough, partly because he has dealt with a bad knee for much of his time since they drafted him out of Cal 10th overall in 2010.
Gus Bradley and the new defensive staff are making a big change with Alualu for his fourth season. Per John Oehser, Alualu is moving to end.
Alualu said he mostly will either play on the tight end side of the defense, or the back side of the defense head up over the offensive tackle on that side. He said believes playing outside works more to his strengths -- taking on double teams with the tight end and stopping the run -- than playing inside.
That leaves the Jaguars with newcomers Roy Miller and Sen'Derrick Marks as the top tackles, and injury-prone D'Anthony Smith and second-year man Jeris Pendleton as the top candidates for depth.
If the new Jaguars coaches think Alualu can be more effective outside, then it's a good move. But it reflects poorly on the pick by former GM Gene Smith back in 2010. A stout, penetrating defensive tackle can be worth the 10th pick in the draft. A run-stopping end? Not so much.
Alualu told Oehser playing end should also mean less wear and tear on his knee, so that could be a factor in the move as well.
The move also expands the question about Jeremy Mincey. Jason Babin is expected to be the Leo, rush end and Andre Branch should wind up working there, too. Mincey could wind up playing behind Alualu, at best.