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Jaguars 101 Mid-Season Awards: Jacksonville Jaguars “Best Addition”

November 6th, 2011 at 6:04 PM
By Brendan Sonnone

It may not seem that the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) have improved much. In fact, they've regressed because of a mind-boggling bad offense. But this team has shown signs of overall growth halfway through the season, at least on defense. 

 

The team's offense is struggling mightily but the Jaguars invested in their defense this offseason and the gamble has paid off on that side of the ball. Jacksonville has one of the league's best defenses. and that's what should happen when you (general manager Gene Smith) spend more than $100 million on defensive free agents. Those additions should make this unit one a force for the next few years. 

But exactly which new player is making the biggest impact? Consider overall contribution to the team and bang for the buck when making your selection. Happy voting Jacksonville fans.

Nominees for Best Addition
 
-Paul Posluszny – He's already been nominated for the other two awards so you know his credentials. Poz has been a tackling machine for the Jaguars. He has been worth every penny after a slow start in the preseason. 
 
-Dwight Lowery – The Jaguars added the multi-purpose defensive back late in the preseason with a trade with the New York Jets, a move that Rex Ryan is probably regretting now. Lowery has simply been a play maker for the Jaguars, logging two picks and evolving into a shutdown safety. 
 
-Clint Session – Was perhaps the most hyped pickup for the Jaguars. The outside 'backer has gotten better in recent weeks but has battled injuries and has been victimized of a strong use of nickel packages. Still, he's starting to come alive and made some big plays against the Houston Texans last week. 
 
-Dawan Landry – The strong safety came into his own when he moved from free safety after Lowery was brought in. Landry is strong against the run and is really a prototypical SS. He has 53 tackles (40 solo) this season, a forced fumble and an interception. 
 
-Matt Roth – The defensive end has been stout for the Jaguars. He's been equally good against the run and the pass and represents good value given that the Jaguars only signed him to a one-year, $3 million contract. With three sacks so far this year, that's a pretty darn good bargain. 
 
- Nick Harris - He couldn't have been any worse than his predecessor, Matt Turk. Harris has been a decent punter for the Jaguars (43 yards per punt) and that's all the team can ask for after the Turk debacles this year.
 
-Drew Coleman – An underrated addition, Coleman has done a nice job as the team's nickel back. He has a high-risk, high-reward type of mentality, which works fine given the help he has around him. You need a quality nickel back in today's NFL.
 

Staff Choices (Counts as Five Votes each)

Michael Hall- This is a tough one between Lowery and Poz, but I'll take Lowery on this one. Initially, the trade to get him made me shrug, figuring that it was a decent depth move, but he has made waves in a historically poor safety position. Good coverage on TEs, an ability to make plays on the ball and make magic when the ball is in his hands, and not blowing deep coverages. I don't think there has been a FS that has ever done that in this franchise's history.

Brendan Sonnone- I have to go with Lowery too. What Lowery's presence has done cannot be measured in just stats, even though his numbers are pretty good. He makes everyone else around him better. He allowed Landry to slide to SS, his more natural position. He lets the corners play tighter because they know they have help behind them and the ends benefit from that extra coverage. Teams have to play honest now and that helps the linebackers too. I think losing him would make the biggest impact on the defense. Great pickup for the Jaguars. Give Gene Smith credit for making the move when he realized his safety position wasn't fine as is. No knock on Poz or anyone else, but their absence wouldn't be missed like Lowery's. 

Charlie Bernstein- Obviously if I'm voting Poz for team MVP, he's the best addition. Poz gets the nod because he doesn't come off the field in passing situations.  The no-necked linebacker from Penn State has played at a Pro Bowl level since moving to Jacksonville's 4-3 and should anchor this defense for the next four to five years.

 
Tags: Clint Session, Dawan Landry, Drew Coleman, Dwight Lowery, Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Matt Roth, NFL, Nick Harris, Paul Posluszny

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