Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

Projecting the 53; Special Teams and Final Roster

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Special teams. The unsung heroes of the football team. No one realizes just how important special teams are until something goes terribly wrong. Maybe it’s a botched snap that sails over the holder’s head. Maybe it’s a muffed punt. Maybe it’s wide right. I am a huge fan of special teams. I love the mentality of the position. It has to be the only position on the field that has no room to play with any emotion.

Kickers must be automatic robots. There’s no room to think about the missed kick. There is only the next kick. Returners must be patient as 11 members of the opposing team fly down field in an attempt to totally destroy them. Punters have to strategically place the ball while making sure it has the right hangtime. Don’t forget about the longsnapper. It’s the only position on the field that has no excuse not to be 100% perfect all the time.

2011 Kicker: Josh Scobee

2012 Kicker: Josh Scobee

Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

I was sifting through Scobee’s career numbers. They are more than impressive. The numbers don’t lie. 2011 was a good year for Scobee despite the injuries. He was 23 of 25 with a long off 55 yds. The 92.0 % is pretty stinkin’ accurate. I would say something about how great he has been on kickoffs, but I honestly don’t know what kind of effect these new rules will have on them. Well we know we will see a lot of touch backs deeming the battle of field position somewhat stale. All in the interest of player safety right, Goodell? *sigh*

Jacksonville’s kicker has been a settled position for a very long time now. A dependable kicker is key in the style of ball the Jaguars play. On several occasions the game has come down to Scobee’s leg. *See Colts @ Jaguars 2010; Ravens @ Jaguars 2011 I feel very comfortable with this position. We just need to get him a new contract. He is just as important to this team as MJD. Try to imagine the Jags without Josh Scobee.

2011 Punter: N. Harris

2012 Punter: Bryan Anger

Matt Turk is a jerk. We all remember the 22 yard punt I’m sure. Nic Collins was serviceable, but nothing to write home about. The Jaguars

Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE

punt team was terrible. No way around it. This is for you Terry O’Brien…

I’ve gotten over drafting a punter in the 3rd. I watched some of his game tape, and he is a very good punter. I still don’t agree with the pick in the 3rd, but at least we won’t have to suffer through anymore 22 yard punts. In football, much like war, land is the deciding factor. I’m tired of seeing teams start out on their 35. If they have a good return maybe they start mid field. Either way opposing offenses never had a very long way to go in 2011. In the words of Daniel Lago, “we settled the crap out of the punter position.” Was that verbatim?

2011 LS: Jeremy Cain

2012 LS: Jeremy Cain

For the most part he’s perfect. I also admire his effort to get down field after the snap and assist in coverage. That’s about it.

2011 Punt Returner: DuJuan Harris

2012 Punt Returner: Mike Thomas

As far as punt returner goes, I believe Harris was returning punts for the Jags at the end of the season. That’s what the 2011 ESPN depth chart stated anyway. Since we had such an issue with receivers last year, maybe the coaching staff wanted Thomas to be more involved with the offense. Since we acquired Justin Blackmon with the 5th overall pick and Laurent Robinson via free agency (I like typing that because it reminds me how much the team has done this offseason) I’m looking for Mike Thomas to become our primary punt returner again. He’s great at fielding punts, taking the right angles, and always moving forward instead of dancing.

2011 Kick Returner: Montell Owens

2012 Kick Returner: Jalen Parmele

As much as I love Montell Owens, I’m gonna have to go with Parmele. We didn’t sign him for nothing. There’s a lot of untapped potential in his game as far as returning kicks go and I don’t think we’re going to let it go to waste. Parmele returned kicks with the Ravens when Ladarius Webb went down in 2009. He did a very solid job.

Final Roster

Offense:

LT: Eugene Monroe LG: Will Rackley C: Brad Meester, Mike Brewster RG: Uche Nwaneri, Jason Spitz RT: Eben Britton, Cameron Bradfield

Quarterback: Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, Jordan Palmer

Running Back: Maurice Jones-Drew, Rashad Jennings, Montell Owens, Jalen Parmele

Fullback: Nahfahu Tahi, Brock Bolen

Tight Ends: Mercedes Lewis, Zach Miller, Zach Potter

Wide Receivers: Justin Blackmon, Laurent Robinson, Mike Thomas, Lee Evans, Chastin West, Cecil Shorts III

*If you notice Greg Jones is no longer on the roster. Tahi will be more effective at this point in his career and more cost effective. We keep Brock Bolen for his youth, special teams play, and depth.

Defense:

LDE: Jeremy Mincey, Austen Lane, Aaron Morgan LDT: Tyson Alualu, Jeris Pendelton RDT: Terrance Knighton, C.J. Mosley RDE: Andre Branch, John Chick

OLB: Daryl Smith, Russell Allen ILB: Paul Posluszny OLB: Clint Session, Kyle Bosworth, Brandon Marshall

LCB: Rashean Mathis, Aaron Ross, Mike Harris RCB: Derek Cox, William Middleton, Kevin Rutland

SS: Dawan Landry, Courtney Greene

FS: Dwight Lowery

*I previously had Greene not making the final roster, but changed my mind. I just don’t think Prosinski can play both safety spots like Greene can. I also believe we will continue to invest in Aaron Morgan’s development.

Special Teams:

Kicker: Josh Scobee

Punter: Bryan Anger

Longsnapper: Jeremy Cain

Punt Returner: Mike Thomas

Kick Returner: Jalen Parmele

I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts thus far on the possibilities of the 53 man roster. There’s going to be many exciting training camp battles to watch, and there’s some talent on the Jags’ roster this year that will certainly make training camp interesting. Who knows? Maybe we’ll get to see it on HBO. The depth at just about every position is up for grabs.

Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think about this final roster. Like it? Hate it? Let me know!

-David R. Johns

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tags: Aaron Ross Blaine Gabbert Bryan Anger Clint Session Daryl Smith Dawan Landry Derek Cox Eben Britton Eugene Monroe Jacksonville Jaguars Jalen Parmele Josh Scobee Justin Blackmon Laurent Robinson Maurice Jones-drew Mike Thomas Paul Posluszny Rashean Mathis Tyson Alualu Will Rackley

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