Black & Teal Awards ‘10
By Zoltan Paksa
- Comeback player of the team: Vince Manuwai
Before the final roster was announced, many speculated that Vinnie would be cut by GM Gene Smith. Well, I think everyone couldn’t be happier he stayed on the roster. Manuwai looked like the dominant LG we all saw in 2007, paving eight-lane superhighways for MJD to cruise through. It seems his injury is finally behind him and he is still at the age where offensive linemen can be successful. If he can continue to play at the level he demonstrated in 2010 (and with a healthy Maurice Jones-Drew in the mix) the Jaguars’ running game should remain one of the league’s best.
Runner-up: Jeremy Mincey
The man finally stayed healthy (except that broken arm, which didn’t even seem to slow him down) and got his big chance. When Kampman went down, Mincey stepped up in big way. He recorded four sacks after Week 8 and we finally saw the potential that Jeff Lageman has praised Jeremy for get put to use on the field and in a big way.
- Most Improved Player: Mike Thomas
He set a new rookie franchise-best last season with 46 receptions and in 2010 he had team-high 66 receptions. He had 453 received yards and 1 touchdown in ’09 and had 820 yards and 4 touchdowns (plus one punt return TD) in ’10. And the scary thing is I think he can do even better than that. Mike is yet another building block we can count on for the long run.
Runner- up: Adam Podlesh
I must admit – before the last season started I thought Adam was a complete bust. Not anymore – I think he played even better than Josh Scobee and the statistics prove it. He had the single-season highest net punting average (39.2) for the Jaguars. His precision and technique allowed the coverage teams to do exactly what they’re designed to do and that’s why you never saw big returns against the Jags. Podlesh is very high on the list of players I would extend in the off-season.
- Positive Surprise of the Year: Jeremy Mincey
I praised Jeremy a couple of times so far, so I’ll just raise one question here – before the season started, how many of you thought Mincey would become the sack leader on this team, with Kampman, Knighton, Harvey, Lane, and Hart running against him?
Runner-up: Jason Hill
The Jaguars got an early Christmas present from Mike Singletary. I mean why in the world did he cut Jason? After joining the Jaguars for the last six games of the season, Hill had 11 catches for 248 yards (fifth most on the team behind Thomas, Lewis, Sims-Walker, and Jones-Drew) for an astounding 22.5 yards/catch and caught a beautiful 48 yard bomb against Oakland. He also had an amazing one-handed catch which would have been a TD, but was unable to get his second foot down. He has a ton of talent and is a must to re-sign in the off-season.
Even more awards after the jump…