With the Jacksonville Jaguars finishing out the 2012 season with a record of 2-14, it’s easy to say that nothing went right. With all of the problems the Jags experienced last season, the defensive line may have been the weakest unit. As with most of the team, the defensive line bolsters many names unknown to anyone outside of the city of Jacksonville, and it’s not going to be much different in 2013.
The Jags finished out the season with an abysmal 20 sacks that ranked 32nd in the NFL. And it was also this same defensive line that helped the Jags to the third-worst defense in yards allowed at a whopping 380.5 per game.
Close to the end of the season, the Jags looked to improve their D-line by signing former eagle Jason Babin, but due to injuries he was only able to achieve 1.5 sacks. Leading the way for the defensive unit was Tyson Alualu with 3.5 sacks, and Jeremy Mincey who had 3 of his own. Next in line, the few sacks the Jags had came from two guys who will not be returning in 2013. Both Austen Lane and Terrance Knighton each had 2 sacks but Knighton joined the Denver Broncos during the offseason and Lane was released.
The 2013 season will bring some small changes as Alualu looks to move from defensive tackle to the end position, and with an opening at DT, the Jags will rotate many young tackles. The names to look for inside will be 4th year player D’anthony Smith, and 5th year players Roy Miller and Sen’Derrick Marks. It’s unclear who will get the start at defensive tackle week 1, but I presume the tackle position will be similar the Jags offensive guard woes in 2012.
However, it is safe to say the defensive end spots, barring any injuries will be relatively average in 2013. With the return of Mincey, Alualu, and a healthy Babin, the Jags will look to greatly improve their sack numbers. The Jaguars will depend on an improved line in order to help a young secondary, and new defensive minded head coach Gus Bradley will look to do that and more. With changes in place, the Jags defense will look to greatly improve in 2013, and return to that defensive powerhouse of old.