Jaguars Defensive Line Is An Area Of Concern
By Andrew Kates
With the amount of turnover on the defense, it will be a game of musical chairs for head coach Gus Bradley as he tries to find the right fit with the front seven. The lack of productivity from the defense has been well documented so it came as no surprise that the lion's share of the moves this offseason have involved the unit.
Getting pressure on the quarterback has been the biggest issue for the Jaguars, recording only 20 sacks last season, a league low. The pass rush isn’t the only concern the coaching staff has right now, as technique is something the defense has lacked, especially tackling in the open field and the ability to cause turnovers.
Those issues can be attributed in large part to bad coaching, but also not being able to find the right talent to fit the scheme. New general manager David Caldwell and Bradley believe they are finding that talent, as the team went out and snagged a few veterans in free agency to bulk up the defensive line. The front office added to the free agent acquisitions by making an ambitious push to solidify the secondary with the draft this past April.
With the completely revamped secondary in place, the front seven is the next area of concern. The additions of Roy Miller, D’Anthony Smith, Kyle Love and a more than a few rookies will greatly increase competition on the defensive line, and that added competition is the catalyst to greatness. Gus Bradley reinforces that mantra with every practice, workout and meeting.
The veterans left from last year’s team must be impact players for the Jags to get back to physical, attacking defense. Jeremy Mincey, Tyson Alualu, Jason Babin, and Austen Lane have shown the ability to make plays but have lacked consistency and at times have failed to stay healthy. Babin recently underwent groin surgery, but seems to be recovering nicely and Miller has been sidelined more as a precaution than anything. Both are looking to show the team their worth as the off-season continues.
It all boils down to consistency, and that is what Bradley has focused on.