Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8)

I asked Davey to help me out on the Team Reviews and he graciously accepted. So here is Davey's Jacksonville Team review.

2006 season : 8-8
Head Coach : Jack Del Rio
Offensive Coordinator : Mike Tice
Defensive Coordinator : Mike Smith
Pro-Bowl : Rasheen Mathis


If you try to make any sense of the 2006 season of the Jags, you will end up bleeding from your retina and muttering jibberish. The team finished 9th in the NFL in total points scored, they got to atleast 30 points in 5 of their games, yet they lost twice against Houston while scoring 7 and 10 points respectively in those games. It was inconsistency like that that led to an 8-8 record.

The big problem on offense was at quarterback. Byron Leftwich played in only 6 games before getting hurt again which meant that backup David Garrard got a lot of playing time. Garrard appeared in 11 games, totaling 1735 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. In Leftwich's 6 starts, he put up 1157 passing yards, 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Not the type of numbers that will blow you away...

The receiving corps was also not very stellar in '06. Everyone knows that the Lions have spent various high picks on receivers during the past couple of years but Jacksonville is not far behind. The team has picked receivers in the first round in 4 out of the last 7 years. R.J. Soward in 2000, Reggie Williams in '04, Matt Jones in '05 and Marcedes Lewis in '06. Soward is arguably the biggest bust in franchise history so far.

Matt Jones lead the team last season with 643 receiving yards while Williams was the leader with 52 catches. Both guys finished with 4 touchdowns, tied for tops on the team. Again, nothing pretty with those stats.

What was pretty though was Jacksonville's running game. Maurice Jones-Drew was picked in the 2nd round of the draft and was one of the brightest rookies on offense in the league. Jones-Drew finished with 941 yards and 13 touchdowns and perfectly complementing Fred Taylor, who himself had 1146 yards and 5 touchdowns. The running game was especially electrifying in their 44-17 trashing of the Colts. Jones-Drew had 166 yards and 2 Td's, while Taylor added 131 and 1 touchdown.


Jacksonville's defense did it's best to mirror the offensive unit in terms of inconsistency. The unit had finished 4th in points allowed, had two shut-outs (Jets, Steelers), played dominating in two other games versus the Giants and Eagles, yet allowed atleast 24 points in 7 of their games.

The defense did have an excuse though, because several key players got hit with injuries and ended up missing significant time. Marcus Stroud missed 5 games, stud linebacker Mike Peterson missed 11 games and the leader in the secondary, Donovan Darius missed 6 games.

John Henderson was great again in the middle, finishing with 51 tackles and 3.5 sacks. With Stroud and Henderson, Jacksonville has arguably the best defensive tackle combo in the game. Bobby McCray also had himself a nice season, finishing with 35 tackles and 10 sacks. In the secondary, Rasheen Mathis led the way with 63 tackles and a team leading 8 interceptions on his way to a Pro-Bowl selection.

The one area where the Jags defense did not fair very well was getting pressure on the quarterback. McCray had 10 sacks and the next closest player was Henderson with his 3.5.

Special Teams

Josh Scobee had a decent year, kicking 26 out of 32 field goals with a long of 48. Scobee was 14/18 in the 40 to 49 yard range and was 0/1 in the 50+ range and I'm sure that the Jags would like to see some improvement in that.

Chris Hanson managed the punting duties and did not put up very impressive numbers. He had an average of 40.6 yards, dropped 20 inside the 20 and had a long of 58. Not surprisingly, the Jags added Tony Yelk to the roster last week, a guy who was in the Falcons camp last year.

Maurice Jones-Drew returned kick-offs and did that pretty well. Drew finished with 860 return yards, a long of 93 and 1 Td. Alvin Pearlman on the other hand didn't create as much on his punt returns. Pearlman had only 283 yards, an average of 8.8 and a long run of 29.

Draft Notes

Some people think that the Jags need to try again at landing a first round receiver that will produce but I don't agree with that. The team already brought in Dennis Northcutt and even though Northcutt won't solve the receiving problems, I would give the younger guys one more year to prove themselves instead of taking yet another receiver in the first round.

Positions that must be addressed.



With Deon Grant signing with the Seattle Seahawks, the Jags suddenly find themselves with a big hole at the safety position. Some mock drafts have Florida's Reggie Nelson dropping to them at # 17, but Carolina, also needing a safety could very well take Nelson at # 14. I think the Jags will consider Nelson if he's available at # 17.


Rasheen Mathis had a great season but he can't do it all by himself. Brian Williams starts opposite of Mathis but only had 1 interception during the season and beyond that there isn't much depth. Pitt's Darrell Revis would be a great fit for the Jags if they decide to go corner in the first.


Bobby McCray did finish with 10 sacks but other than that the Jags did not put much pressure on the quarterback. A guy like Georgia's Quentin Moses would be a nice fit in the second round, to add depth and eventually get a starting role on that line along side Henderson and Stroud.


Mike Peterson missed most of the year with injury but when he's back, he will be the guy that anchors that linebacking unit. But the Jags aren't very intimidating when it comes the outside linebackers. I'm looking at a guy like Rufus Alexander from Oklahoma that could be there when the Jags pick in the 3rd round. He would add depth and challenge for a starting spot next to Peterson.


I don't have much to say here, just that I think the team would do good to add some depth on the offensive line behind starters Maurice Williams and Khalif Barners. Maybe also a center for depth behind Meester and Norman.

During the 2006 season, there wasn't a team that was more inconsistent than the Jacksonville Jaguars. They had some very impressive victories over Dallas (24-17), Pittsburgh (9-0), the Jets (41-0), the Giants (26-7), Philly (13-6) and Indianapolis (44-17). But they also had very painful losses against Houston (twice!), Washington, Buffalo and Kansas City.

Jacksonville finished 8-8 and now the question becomes if they can play consistent every week. Byron Leftwich needs to step up and carry this team and someone of the receiving corps needs to start making some plays.

The running game should be one of the league's best and the same can be said for that nasty defense. But the Jags will not make it very far if they don't have certainty under center and wide receivers that can make plays.


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