Jaguars 101 released its new confidence ratings for the Jacksonville Jaguars' offense earlier today and will now take a look at the team's defense.
With so man big additions to that side of the ball via free agency, the ratings have surely gone up….right?
Pre-Free Agency Rating: 6
Highlights: "Jacksonville appears to have its defensive tackle duo of the future in Terrance Knighton and Tyson Alualu … D’Anthony Smith will add depth if healthy. At end, Aaron Kampman was a difference maker before he tore his ACL last year. Jeremy Mincey was solid in replacing him but the Jaguars need another end to step up … The tackles make you feel good but the ends totally nullify that confidence."
Updated Confidence Rating: 6
Adding Matt Roth through free agency will help out with the team's depth but the Jaguars still struggled to apply pressure on quarterbacks this preseason. Mincey has the ability to get close to double-digit sacks this year but it remains to be seen if Kampman will be healthy enough to provide that pass-rushing threat opposite of him. Austen Lane is a nice backup as well but isn't the solution for providing sacks. Inside, the Jaguars look great. Knighton continues develop into one of the top defensive tackles in the league and Alualu is a nice compliment to him. Smith is out for the season but Leger Douzable is a more than capable rotation player.
But like I said a few months ago, the work the interior linemen do is nothing if the guys on the edge can't get going. This group is better than it was when I put out the first confidence ratings but I don't know if I feel that the production will be any better with the addition of Roth.
Pre-Free Agency Rating: 5
Highlights: "Look for the Jaguars to bring in an outside linebacker with a proven track record and for the linebacker group to be much improved in 2011. Daryl Smith should be solid again in 2011…Things will be better (can’t get much worse) at linebacker but the reality is that the Jaguars are likely depending on one, if not two free agents to come in and solve their issues. So the question becomes, will the gamble pay off? Overhauling a position via free agency is always a risk that doesn't normally payoff."
Updated Confidence Rating: 6
The Jaguars definitely improved their linebackers via free agency. Jacksonville added Paul Posluszny (Buffalo) at middle linebacker and Clint Session (Indianapolis) at weakside linebacker. Session might be a steal. The guy plays with a ton of energy, packs a wallop and seems pretty instinctual. Posluszny on the other hand seems nothing but instinctual. He struggles as a sideline-to-sideline guy and didn't really ease concerns of his poor pass defense ability this preseason. Still he's pretty solid against the run. Smith will likely be he usual self and should play at a fairly high level. The backups (Kyle Bosworth and Russell Allen) are serviceable.
This group has potential to be really good. If the starters play together and can improve against the pass, it could turn into the best LB unit in the division.
Pre-Free Agency Rating: 3
Highlights: "Cornerbacks Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox were both ineffective and Cox was actually benched for a while. Mathis is over the hill and is entering the twilight of his career. Courtney Greene and Don Carey were given opportunities at safety but neither one stepped up. Green has some potential but he’s very much so a wildcard. The Jaguars drafted Chris Prosinski, an athletic free safety from Wyoming, in hopes of adding a quality starter in the secondary…I think the Jaguars will ultimately obtain Eric Weddle to solidify at least part of the secondary."
Updated Confidence Rating: 5
Weddle's asking price was too much but the Jaguars were able to upgrade the secondary by signing Dawan Landry. He doesn't have incredible range but is fast enough and is a big hitter. The Jaguars also traded for Dwight Lowery a few days ago and hope he can bring some covering ability to strong safety. Courtney Greene is the incumbent starter there for now but isn't a long term solution. Mathis and Cox looked decent this preseason, especially Mathis. If the safeties are strong above them they should be fine. The addition of Drew Coleman at nickle back will help as well.
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