Jaguars Young Secondary Shows Promise
By Mike Milder
Sep 22, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate (81) is defended by Jacksonville Jaguars safety Josh Evans (26) at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
This season the Jaguars were expected to be bad. It is the first year of a total rebuild. However no one expected the Jags to be as bad as they have been the first 4 weeks of the season. During those 4 weeks it has been tough to find any positives in the way that the team has played, but one positive that the team has shown this season is in their secondary. More specifically at the Safety position.
An improved secondary was one of the expectations for this season after the team spent 5 of their 8 draft picks of defensive backs. Also Head Coach Gus Bradley made a name for himself as a successful defensive coordinator in Seattle by developing a great group of defensive backs.
Rookie 6th round pick Josh Evans made his first career start Sunday against the Colts, and was impressive. Evans had 6 tackles and a pass breakup during the game. Evans also showed a nose for the getting to the ball coming up and helping with run support, he also showed a coverage ability that at times was above average.
Partnering with Evans at the Strong Safety position is rookie Johnathan Cyprien. Cyprien came to the team as the first pick of the 2nd round in this years draft and so far all he has done is get better each week. Still Cyprien needs some work on his pass coverage but against the run he is the strong, physical safety that the Jags thought they would be getting when they drafted him this April.
Even though Evans has only started one game so far this season, it became apparent that the future of the Jags secondary and
Sep 22, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien (37) forces a fumble by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Jaguars 45-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
ultimately the defense in general will start with the two young safeties. The Jacksonville defense is ranked 11th so far this season and has definately shown more promise than the run defense at this point.
Now with the Jaguars trading away veteran players starting with the deal that is sending Left Tackle Eugene Monroe to Baltimore for multiple draft picks. It only makes sense to me that the Jags should see what they can get in return for Dwight Lowery if he can recover properly from his recent concussion. If they do this I believe that Evans and Cyprien can continue to develop on the field while the extra draft picks allow for the front office to bring in better young talent to fill the many other holes on the team.