Now that we’ve settled on kicker Josh Scobee as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ MVP, Jaguars 101 will now turn its attention to our next superlative, which is the “Biggest Overachiever” award.
This award should go to someone who has surprised you with their play, someone who has wildly exceeded any expectations you had for them entering the contest. If could be a no-name player who’s made a name for himself, a good player who has become great or anyone else who’s played at a higher level than expected.
Note: There are a lot of defensive ends here and no offensive players. Sorry, we just couldn’t think of any offensive players that have really surpassed expectations. Heck, Maurice Jones-Drew is probably the only guy that has lived up to expectations on offense.
OK, you get it, now it’s time for the nominees.
Nominees for Biggest Overachiever
-Matt Roth – The free-agent defensive end has been solid for the Jaguars. He’s logged three sacks and has held up incredibly well against the run. As you’re going to see from our other nominees, his play at defensive end has helped end year of ineptitude at the position.
-Derek Cox – The third-year cornerback was a bit of an unknown heading into the season. He was stellar as a rookie but regresses last season. Cox has dealt with various injuries this season but he’s been close to a Pro-Bowl level when healthy. Go on, ask the Baltimore Ravens how good Cox has been.
-Jeremy Mincey – This guy’s motor never stops. He was more than serviceable as replacement end last season when the team’s ends were decimated by injuries and ineffective play from projected starters, but he’s taken his game to another level this year as a full-time starter. Mincey has 27 tackles, two sacks and has been extremely consistent for the Jaguars.
-John Chick – From CFL to stardom? Maybe not yet, but the former Canadian league star and Colts cast away has been awfully impressive for the Jaguars halfway through the season. Chick has two sacks this season and has shown potential to be the pass-rush specialist the Jaguars have coveted for some time now.
-Paul Posluszny – He’s up for another award (and will be up for more too) and deservedly so. Posluszny was expected to produce good numbers when the Jaguars signed him to be their middle linebacker this season and with 66 tackles, he’s done just that. However, Posluszny is not just a stat machine. He’s constantly swarmed to the ball this season and has done a nice job spilling runners to other players, helping everyone else’s production too. Basically, we thought he’d be good, but not this good.
Michael Hall’s Pick: John Chick is the overachiever because he has come through the hard way. He went to the WAC, played professionally in Canada, went to the Colts and was cut and now he has become the Jaguars' biggest pass rushing threat.
Brendan Sonnone’s Pick: I want to go with Chick because he has such a great story, but I have to go with Mincey on this. He defines what an overachiever is to me. He was expected to be serviceable again this season but has exceeded expectations. His accumulated a nice amount of tackles and has been great at applying pressure to quarterbacks. Maybe he’s not turning all his hurries into sacks, but he’s getting to quarterbacks routinely and making life difficult for them, which is all you can ask him to do.
Charlie Bernstein’s Pick: The biggest overachiever award has to go to Jaguars defensive end…..John Chick. Chick hasn't made the typical journey to the NFL as he began his career in Canada before receiving a shot with the Colts in training camp. Chick outplayed 2010 first-round pick Jerry Hughes, but politics won out and Chick was released. The former CFL leader in sacked spurned the Colts invitation to the practice squad to sign with Jacksonville, and shortly thereafter was activated to the 53-man roster. Chick has been able to get consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks and he has a pair of sacks without starting a single game this year. How can you not love a guy who basically said, "screw you" to the Colts to sign with the Jags?