Eben Britton, the Jags right tackle, has been hurt. He’s been hurt a lot actually.
After starting his first two years at right tackle during the 2009 (15 games) and 2010 (seven games) seasons, Britton is fighting to come back from a 2011 that saw him see the field in only four games. His replacement, Guy Whimper, performed so underwhelmingly that, as a right tackle, Jaguars fans knew his name, watched his poor play influence the team each week, and openly glared at him from the stands, television, and computer as they saw missed block after missed block.
Guy Whimper was extended following the season.
With Whimper’s backup role secured, it has become even more important that Eben Britton recovers well from his injury and is able to play like he did during his rookie season in 2009.
Britton played very well as a rookie in 2009. He played mean, was able to outmuscle the opposition, and set a tough edge on the right side of the line. When Britton came back after his 2010 injury, however, it looked like he was a different player. He didn’t move as well, didn’t seem to be as ferocious as the fans had been used to, and the team suffered – even with him starting.
Some have even said that he is damaged goods and should be moved inside to guard.
But signs are pointing toward a revamped and rejuvenated Eben Britton in 2012. An Eben Britton that will once again dominate the right side of the offensive line.
Britton knows that his mentality is what will affect him most in regards to his recovery and return in 2012. He has been hoping for the best while waiting to return from injury. But now that he’s back he says it feels awesome to go out there and hit somebody.
It’s not the kind of word somebody uses when they are hesitant about how they feel. Britton doesn’t think it feels “ok” to hit somebody. He doesn’t think it feels “pretty good” to be back on the field. He thinks it feels “awesome.”
And for a team that is heavily reliant upon his strong return in 2012, it is awesome to hear that.
– Luke N. Sims