The Jacksonville Jaguars signed former Seattle defensive end Red Bryant to a four year deal today. Red Bryant continues the trend of former Seattle players making their way to Jacksonville.
Taken in the 4th round in the 2008 draft, Bryant totaled 121 tackles, 1 forced fumble and 3.5 sacks over his career with the Seahawks. This is obviously a big addition to the Jaguars defensive line. Bryant brings his massive size (6’4, 323lbs.) to a Jacksonville front four that saw themselves get gashed by the run early last season.
Bryant saw a revival of sorts during Gus Bradley’s tenure as defensive coordinator in Seattle. It was Bradley who kicked Bryant out to defensive end and developed him in the “Elephant role.”
For those of you unfamiliar with the Elephant role, it is a spot in which the responsibilities lie more within stopping the run than rushing the passer. It is more predicated on size and power than speed as is the case with the LEO spot.
Last year, Tyson Alualu was placed in the same role. Even though Bryant turns 30 next month, and really doesn’t fit the youth mold, Bryant is well-versed in Bradley’s defense from his time in Seattle. Alualu did a decent job as the Elephant, but Bryant brings an element of size and athleticism that Alualu simply does not.
Last year the secondary was an area of focus. This season I believe that we will see the front seven of the defense go under the knife as Bradley and Babich search for a solid defensive line rotation that can stop the run, push the pocket and rush the passer. Bryant will certainly have a huge part going forward.
-David R. Johns