Reports indicate the Jacksonville Jaguars will land coveted middle linebacker Paul Posluszny when teams can officially sign players on Friday.
It’s a huge move for the Jaguars, who entered the free-agency period desperate for linebacker and safety help. One need filled, one to go.
Posluszny, formerly of the Buffalo Bills, is an instinctual run stopper who does his best as the middle backer in a 4-3 scheme, making him a great fit for Jacksonville.
Let’s further dissect Posluszny’s strengths:
- Terrific Tackler- He consistently wraps up and levels ball carriers with big-time hits.
- High Football IQ- Coming from ‘Linebacker U’ (Penn State), Posluszny really knows how to read an offense and is always in the right place.
- Good Cover 2 Fit- He’s a quick-twitch player with good short-bursts, which means the Cover 2 zone scheme that the Jaguars run suits him.
- Productive- More than 100 tackles the past three seasons.
- Prime Time- Posluszny will turn 27 this season and is entering the prime of his career.
Posluszny does have some weaknesses too:
- Lacks Elite Athleticism- Struggles in man coverage at times and struggles when playing outside of the hashes.
- Small Injury Concerns- Nothing huge but he partially tore two knee ligaments in college and broke his arm as a rookie. Posluszny has been awfully healthy though the past two years.
- Effort Player Syndrome- Sometimes a guy that is super productive because of his energy falls off after signing a big contract. That doesn’t seem to be Posluszny’s M.O. but it’s worth mentioning.
The bottom line is that Posluszny is a stud middle linebacker who will automatically improve the entire defense because of his attitude and smarts. I thought he would be a bit outside the Jaguars’ league, but the price had to be right.
Kirk Morrison, who started inside for the Jaguars this past season, may not be re-signed now or if he does, he will have to make it as an outside linebacker.
This is likely just the first of two or three big free agent signings for the Jaguars. The team could still go after another linebacker and will assuredly target a safety. Defensive end might be an option too.
One thing is for sure though. Wayne Weaver did make good on his promise to spend money this offseason, even though he’s kind of forced to the with the new CBA, but we won’t bog down the good mood in Jacksonville with details like that right now. Big first step for this team getting back to title contention.