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Defense Will Decide 2011 Fate

As the owners continue to insist that there will be NFL football in 2011, I’m forced to take their word for it and move on. I have absolutely no influence on what the NFL and NFLPA are doing. For that reason, I want to concentrate on some other topics through this “dead zone” we’ve entered. Today’s focus will be on the key to success for the Jaguars. Defense.

With Gene Smith leading the personnel department, the Jaguars have built their best offensive unit since the late 90s. The Jaguars’ special teams unit is one of the best in the league. The last piece of the puzzle is the defense. The Jaguars were unable to pull out a division clinching win in Indianapolis in 2010, but I’m optimistic that the Jaguars will begin competing on a yearly basis for the AFC South title from here on out.

The Jaguars’ weakness over the past few seasons has been their inability to put pressure on the quarterback, and more recently, to cover receivers downfield. The general consensus has been that the Jaguars’ defense has gotten old, and I won’t argue that fact. The Jaguars have a group of aging linebackers, which are the last remnants of age on the team.

The defense is currently led by young guys such as Alualu, Knighton, and Cox. These are the cornerstones of a young defense, and their play will largely determine the Jaguars’ success or lack there of in 2011. The games that the Jaguars lost, especially late in the year, were due to the defense not being able to stop teams from scoring at will. That has to change if the Jags want to be playing in January next season.

By and large, the Jaguars have a lot of young talent on their roster. Gene Smith and company need to add more talent to the defense, especially the secondary, for them to be a formidable unit. If they can add that, there’s no reason in the world that should prevent the Jaguars from overthrowing the Colts in 2011. It’s all about youth in the NFL, and that’s what the Jaguars have.

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