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2011 Team Report: Jacksonville Jaguars

Quarterbacks

Starter: David Garrard, Blaine Gabbert [R]
Backup(s): Luke McCown, Scott Riddle

Starting QB: As has been the case for most of his career, David Garrard was efficient most of the time as the Jaguars starting quarterback. Efficient is no longer cutting it though, and Jacksonville has brought in rookie Blaine Gabbert to push Garrard, if not take the job outright in camp. While Garrard's yard totals rose from 2007 onwards (until last season), his touchdowns have dropped and his interceptions crept up. It used to be that Garrard wouldn't lose his fantasy owners (or the Jags) games, but those days are gone in a haze of middling receivers and poor decisions. Garrard still functions as an ok back-up, but the Jaguars won't hesitate to yank him if the season goes badly and Gabbert is ready. As always, Garrard is an ok fantasy starter, but will not go far in getting you a championship even as a QBBC candidate. Taking Blaine Gabbert with the 10th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft is a clear sign that the team is coming to the end of it's rope with incumbent David Garrard. The former Missouri quarterback has very good mobility, a strong arm and is a solid overall quarterback. Gabbert needs to adapt to the pro style offense of the NFL, not to mention the speed of the defense, the complex formations on both sides of the ball and show more poise in the pocket. He's in a full-on training camp battle with Garrard for the starting job.

Backup QB: Luke McCown will be a safe backup to Gabbert if the team decides to cut Garrard in the event that he loses the QB batttle., but he hasn't had to carry a team for some time so it would take a huge set of dominoes to fall before he found himself in charge.

Running Backs

Starter: Maurice Jones-Drew
Backup(s): Deji Karim, DuJuan Harris, Richard Murphy, Rashad Jennings (IR)
Fullback(s): Greg Jones, Montell Owens, Brock Bolen

Starting RB: Without a doubt, Maurice Jones-Drew is the man in Jacksonville and while he missed some time due to injury in 2010, he was just as effective with the ball in his hands as he has ever been. Jones-Drew is a strong runner between the tackles who can also be dangerous in space, making defenders miss in the open field. He's also a great outlet for short passes--something that could become a greater factor if rookie Blaine Gabbert starts at any point during the season. If Jones-Drew fell short in any category last season, it was his touchdown total which fell to below double digits for the first time since 2007. While it's hard to score when your offense struggles in the red zone, Jones-Drew got more opportunities than any player on the offense save Garrard. So it's up to him to make more out of them. We expect Jones-Drew to bounce back across the board this year and be a productive starting back for your fantasy teams.

Backup RBs: Rashad Jennings was the next in line when Jones-Drew goes down and he's proven to be productive when given the ball. He shows nice burst, good vision and not a little bit of power. However, Jennings has suffered an injury and has been lost for the 2011 season. Deji Karim is a solid back and a good kick returner who could see more work and could potentially overtake Jennings as time goes on. Between the two of them, the Jaguars are more than set if Jones-Drew went down for a long time, though of course it takes both of them to replace his production. Jennings is the obvious handcuff to Jones-Drew, but Karim is worth nabbing late in your redrafts.

Fullback: Greg Jones has had a few cups of coffee as a pure running back but always ends up back at fullback. It fits the role to a 'T' though, as he is a tough, strong player who can clear the way for the ball carrier and if the wheels completely come off, Jones can fill in as a short term starter. Montell Owens is a special teamer and Brock Bolen is just a practice squad/camp guy. Neither is worth spending a pick or bench spot on.

Wide Receivers

Starters: Mike Thomas, Jason Hill
Backups: Jarett Dillard (inj), Cecil Shorts, Kassim Osgood, Tiquan Underwood, John Matthews, Nate Hughes, Armon Binns, Greg Ellingson, Jamar Newsome

Starting WRs: With the departure of Mike Sims-Walker, Mike Thomas is what passes for a number one wide receiver in Jacksonville. Unfortunately, as good a receiver as Thomas is, he fits the mold of a number two or slot receiver than a number 1. This isn't to say he won't have value but it may be hard on him to be the center of attention and while he will get plenty of targets, catching them may be tougher. Jason Hill was released from San Francisco and landed on the Jags, appearing in three games near the end of the season. Hill, far more than Thomas, fits the role of a WR1 with his speed and vertical ability. He needs to overcome some drops but he will probably emerge as a consistent weapon and could become a huge factor.

Backup WRs: The receivers behind Thomas and Hill are a murky bunch, and any one of them could emerge as a viable third option for this offense. Jarrett Dillard spent 2010 on the injured reserve after showing some skill during the previous season. Dillard has good hands and speed but needs to stay healthy. Kassim Osgood is primarily a special teams player, as is Tiquan Underwood. The Jaguars drafted Cecil Shorts, a former quarterback who converted wide receiver in 2008 and was dominant in Division III. He will have a steep learning curve but has tremendous hands and is very smart. His time will more than likely come next year, but if he can get up to speed enough, he could see more action this season.

Tight Ends

Starters: Marcedes Lewis
Backups: Zach Miller (inj), Zach Potter, Kyle Miller, Tommy Gallarda

Marcedes Lewis had his best season yet in 2010, nearly doubling his receptions and increasingly his touchdown total exponentially--going from averaging just two a year to ten total. Since he isn't planning on holding out anymore, Lewis should be a good bargain in many leagues where owners overlook his value and that value may go up even more if Gabbert is pressed into duty. Zach Miller is not as good as Lewis, but if Lewis misses time, the former Nebraska-Omaha tight end will get a full chance to show what he can do. Yet he wouldn't have much value as a fantasy tight end, and even with Lewis in the starting role, the Jags are not very helpful for anything but a tight end by committee. Lewis is the one to own.

Place Kicker

Josh Scobee, Sam Swank : With punter Adam Podlesh gone via free agency to Chicago, the team has signed two punters -- the younger Durant Brooks and the elder Matt Turk, who was with the Texans the last four years. Whoever wins the job will also serve as holder, joining long snapper Jeremy Cain and kicker Josh Scobee on placekicking plays. HC Jack Del Rio's goal for Scobee is 90% on FGs, "We're looking for him to sustain what he did in the first half, when he was [at a] Pro Bowl level, one of the dominant players at his position. We think he's a talent... I'm taking away those 59-yarders unless we have to have it to win a game." With Scobee experiencing some tightness in camp, the team signed Sam Swank. The Jaguars ranked 18th and 20th in attempted kicking points the last two years.

Kick and Punt Returners

Kick Returners: Deji Karim, Scotty McGee, Tiquan Underwood, Jamar Newsome

Punt Returners: Scotty McGee, Mike Thomas, Cecil Shorts III

Starting kickoff returner RB Deji Karim ripped off an 84 yarder in the first preseason game. The team will look for someone to relieve starting WR Mike Thomas of punt return duties this year, as head coach Jack Del Rio discussed, "I think what typically happens is once a guy establishes himself as an every-down, all-the-time player offensively, you tend to look for somebody else to fill [the return man] role. A guy like [rookie WR] Cecil Shorts will get some opportunities back there, and Deji Karim. [CB} Scotty McGee was drafted to be that guy. Can he be healthy and maybe give us a spark? Maurice [Jones-Drew], Mike [Thomas] and Rashean [Mathis], those guys are all capable of being returners. They've all done it. They'll always stay alive as possible returners. But we'd certainly like to shift the bulk of that responsibility over to a different player."

Offensive Line

Projected Starters: LT Eugene Monroe, LG Jason Spitz, C Brad Meester, RG Uche Nwaneri, RT Eben Britton
Key Backups: Will Rackley [R], Guy Whimper

Team Defense

The once rugged Jacksonville Jaguar defense dit not show up in 2010. They were 27th in the league in points allowed, 28th in yards allowed, and 22nd in rushing yards allowed. They only had 13 interceptions and were a league worst in forced fumbles with only five. They were also second worst in the league with only 26 sacks. They have a solid pair of young DTs in Terrance Knighton and Tyson Alualu, and they still have LB Darly Smith. They lost LBs Kirk Morrison and Justin Durant, but they added Clint Session and, more importantly, Paul Posluszny. They also added safety Dawan Landry. They badly need DE Aaron Kampman to recover completely from his torn ACL.

Defensive Line

Starters: DE Aaron Kampman, DE Jeremy Mincey, DT Terrance Knighton, DT Tyson Alualu
Backups: DE Austin Lane, DT D'Anthony Smith, DT Leger Douzable, DE/LB Larry Hart

Starting DL: DE Aaron Kampman is the biggest name of the group and the team hoped he would shore up any defensive end issues last year. Unfortunately, a torn ACL cut his season in half and even when he was in there, his impact was not what it was when he was in Green Bay. Kampman turns 32 towards the end of the season, and recovering from injuries gets tough on that side of 30, but Kampman should have enough in the tank to turn it around. DE Jeremy Mincey started to show some promise last year, his third in the league, with five sacks. If Kampman can recover on one side, it's possible that Mincey gets 40 or so total tackles and 7-9 sacks. DT Terrance Knighton is tough against the run and pass and should step up even more in his third year. Next to him is DT Tyson Alualu. last year's first round draft pick also excels both against the run and the pass. Look for Alualu to possibly be a big contributor in leagues that must start a DT.

Backup DL: DE Austin Lane provides depth at DE. While a decent player, the team prays that they don't need Lane to ever start. DE/LB Larry Hart is more suited at linebacker, but he could also fill in as a DE in a pinch. DT D'Anthony Smith is a second round draft pick out of Louisiana Tech. Smith has plenty of talent and with Knighton and Alualu ahead of him, he shoudl have the time needed to work his way into the defense. DT Leger Douzable might not play much, but still has a great name.

Linebackers

Starters: MLB Paul Posluszny, WLB Clint Session, SLB Daryl Smith
Backups: LB Russell Allen, LB Jacob Cutrera

Starting LBs: There's little doubt that LB Paul Posluszny was the biggest move for the Jaguars in the offseason. He's a leader and simply one of the better linebackers in the league. Last season with the Bills, Posluszny had a career-best 103-49 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Still, he's not quite an elite player on the field and he would be hard pressed to match those numbers from last year. Stick with Posluszny as an LB1, but align your expectations with reality. Clint Session comes over after four seasons with the Colts. He's arguably an upgrade over the departed Justin Durant, although they paid dearly for him. On the other side of Session is longtime Jaguar Daryl Smith. Smith, now 29 years old, is entering his eighth season with the team. He's a consistent, reliable sort, but he's never going to be an LB1 or LB2.

Backup LBs: LB Russell Allen helps make their LB unit a possible strength this year. The former undrafted free agent was a pleasant surprise for the team in 2009 and can play any linebacker slot. His role, albeit coming off the bench, is even more essential this year, as the Jaguars have little other depth at the position. Austin Hart can play here, as can Jacob Cutrera, but the team will rely on their top three and Allen.

Defensive Backs

Starters: S Dawan Landry, CB Rashean Mathis, CB Derek Cox, S Christopher Prosinski
Backups: CB Drew Coleman, CB William Middleton, S Courtney Greene, S Don Carey

Starting DBs: Safety Dawan Landry was acquired recently and brings much needed talent to a very thin position on the team. Landry spent his first five seasons with Baltimore and seemed to only get better. In 2010, he had a career-best 86-25 tackles and should have plenty of opportunities for tackles in 2011. CB Rashean Mathis is certainly an NFL veteran with eight years under his belt. He's not quite as good as he used to be, losing a bit of speed along the way, but Mathis remains a sure tackler and should make most fantasy leagues that must start CBs. CB Cerek Cox was a third round pick for the Jaguars in 2009. his play improved as 2010 went on, but he still makes too many mistakes. The other starting safety is anybody's guess at this point, but I'll go with Chris Prosinski, who is a rookie drafted in the fourth round.

Backup DBs: Battling for the other safety spot across from Landry will be Chris Prosinski, Courtney Greene and Don Carey. Greene played a bit for Jacksonville last year and had his moments, but I think the team has lost a little confidence in him. The same can be said for Carey. Carey also plays at CB, where he will look for time against others such as William Middleton and Tryon Brackenridge.

Last modified: 2011-09-04 01:34:59

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