The Jacksonville Jaguars have played 2 preseason games so far & have tried many tactics to improve their pass rush. They have used a heavy rotation at the DE position, which has resulted in more pressure on QBs. They have also gotten a huge push up front by DT Tyson Alualu, who's power & speed has caused increased chaos in the backfield. Running backs have been stuffed at or behind the line of scrimmage. OBs have be flushed from the pocket or had passed knocked down at the line. The added pressure up front has also resulted in more passes being hurried & off target, thus helping the secondary in pass coverage. Linebackers are laying the wood on receivers as well. Turnover opportunities are up as well. So with all this added pressure, why have the Jaguars registered zero sacks?
The Jags have been getting more pressure without the help of veterans Kampman & Knighton, which is a good thing, but they still haven't put any OB on his back. "The QB must go down & he must go down hard" was a favorite phrase of former Jaguars editor Vic Ketchman. That saying is more important now than ever before. They simply have to find a way to get to the QB. They have gotten close a few times, but always just after they ball has been released. Alualu, Mincey & Roth Collins are doing their part, but players like Lane, Morgan, Douzable & Hart need to step up. Lane was thought to be a lock at DE based on his dominance during training camp, but he has been a complete non-factor in preseason so far. Morgan has shown flashes, but needs to become more consistent. Douzable has been solid, but nothing makes you go "WOW'' about him yet. Hart has been the least impressive so far this preseason. He has no chance of making the team at this point.
I'm not saying that the Jaguars aren't going to get alot of sacks this year, I believe that they will. The continued efforts of Alualu alone should account for almost 10 sacks, he's a beast. Matt Roth will be relentless, adding even more sacks during the season. Mincey & Collins are improving daily & I'd be shocked if they didn't pile up the sacks as well. Add in Kampman & Knighton when they get healthy & you've got a hell of a rotation along the front four. Lane, Morgan & Douzable will get better too. So the sacks will come, just wait and see. To think that this team won't be able to increase it's sack total from last year is just plain ludicrous. And don't forget about the linebackers & corners who can blitz too. The Jaguars defense will be vastly improved this season in my opinion.
Plus, Del Rio won't be calling the plays anymore on defense. Mel Tucker & Joe Cullen will have this team ready. The sacks & turnovers are coming, don't worry about that. Remember, the Jags played against 2 of the best teams in the NFL in the Patriots & Falcons. The first team defense looked solid in both those games. Let's see what happens against teams like the Bills & the Rams before we give up on getting more sacks than last year. They may not have a top 10 defense this year, but they definitely won't be ranked 28th either. The pieces have been put into place, the players are there & the window of opportunity for this team is again about to open, only this time it will stay open much longer. I want this team to reach the same level as the Packers, Steelers & the Ravens. I long for the day that I can say my favorite team has a dominate defense that will play with a smash-mouth, hard-hitting & championship-winning attitude. I know you do too. That type of defense will fill Everbank stadium & end the blackouts. The sacks are coming.