In part two of our Behind Enemy Lines covering the Jacksonville Jaguars we talk to Brad from the Jaguars Blog. Once again we ask questions to let us know who the Jaguars really are in this 2011 season. We cover Blaine Gabbert, the disappearance of Marcedes Lewis, Jeremy Mincey and the new look Jags defense.
What can you tell me about the new defensive additions to the Jags defense and how they have helped.
They've pretty much all worked out really well. Posluszny has been one of the league's best middle linebackers. Dawan Landry and Dwight Lowery have massively upgraded the safety position, as Don Carey and Courtney Greene were one of the league's worst combos last year if not THE worst. Drew Coleman has been solid as the slot corner. Defensive end John Chick has looked very good as a situational pass-rusher, though he won't be active this week due to an injury. Clint Session has been up and down, and hasn't even played 50% of the team's defensive snaps as he is the one that comes off the field in nickel packages, but overall the new additions to the Jaguars' defense couldn't have done much better to this point.
Is this Jack Del Rio's final year and if so why?
Probably. Del Rio isn't a horrible football coach, but he's not really a good HEAD coach. Little things seem to escape him....the terrible challenge on Monday night against Baltimore is a great example. Jack's teams seem to have trouble getting up for big games and have a sub par record in divisional contests. Though owner Wayne Weaver retracted his "playoffs or gone" mandate, the fact is that Del Rio is probably on borrowed time at the moment. Honestly, if not for the lockout, he would likely be gone already. That said...if the Jaguars can go on a run, start playing competent offense, and somehow win the division, I think Jack sticks around for another year.
Is Maurice Jones-Drew the Jags only form of offense?
Right now? Yes. Plain and simple. Blaine Gabbert doesn't look bad when he has time to set his feet and step into his throws, but he's been pretty bad when blitzed. He tends to throw off his back foot often, which hurts his accuracy. Added to that, the Jaguars' receivers simply aren't very good. With Marcedes Lewis playing like pre-2010 Marcedes Lewis, Jones-Drew is really the only offensive threat worth worrying about right now.
Did the Jags make a mistake by letting go of David Garrard and not give Blaine Gabbert time to learn?
No. Garrard simply isn't a very good player. Gabbert isn't a whole lot worse right now than Garrard, so it was absolutely the right move. Let the kid learn with real game experience.
Who are some not so household names on the Jags roster that Texans fans might know of.
Given all the games these two teams have played against each other over the years, Texans fans are likely already acquainted with Daryl Smith. For this one, I'll have to go with Jeremy Mincey and Dwight Lowery. Mincey has provided the pass-rush the Jaguars have been lacking for so long, and Lowery has been a solid presence at free safety, something the team has been missing since Deon Grant was allowed to leave.
What has happen to Mercedes Lewis this season after a breakout 2010 season?
Couldn't tell you. Wish I knew myself. Marcedes needs to step up if the Jaguars want any semblance of a passing game.
Are Jacksonville fans scared of the rumors the Jags might be sold and moved, even though the owner has come out and said the team is not for sell?
Not in the slightest. The team has something like 20 years left on their stadium lease, and Wayne Weaver has said that though the team will likely be sold in the next several years due to his age, he will only consider selling to someone committed to keeping the team in Jacksonville. The only people who have anything to say about those rumors are the media people who created them.
What do the Jags need to do to defeat the Texans on Sunday?
Not turn the ball over, throw for first downs, and get off the field on third down defensively. If the Jaguars' defense plays like it did against the Ravens, the Jags should be able to win. If they're forced to score more points, however, their chances definitely go down.