It’s six hours into the new league year, and already the Jaguars are making a splash. According to ESPN’s Mike DiRocco, the Jaguars are going to sign former Broncos tight end Julius Thomas to a long-term contract. If you’re a Jaguars fan, it’s time to get excited about 2015.
While each player must pass a physical before the deal is set in stone, the signing of Thomas brings the “wow” factor that the Jags were in desperate need of. If Thomas can produce similar numbers to his last two seasons in Denver, it could very well be the best free agent pickup for the Jaguars since Keenan McCardell. We all know he is a poor run blocker, but as long as he’s racking up touchdowns I don’t think we, the Jags faithful, will mind much. No matter how you look at it, Thomas is an exciting new weapon for Blake Bortles and the offense.
With the pending signings of Davon House, Dan Skuta, and Jared Odrick, the Jaguars are placing a large emphasis on solid, but unheralded free agents to bolster a much-maligned defensive unit. Out of these three, House has the best chance to make an immediate impact. House will be competing for a starting job as soon as he walks into the team facility, with his physicality being a major plus for Gus Bradley and company.
Although there likely will be even more signings within the next few days, it’s important that Jags fans temper their expectations. Even though doubling their win total from 2014 would only equal a 6-10 record, it would be a major improvement for a team that went 9-39 in the last three seasons. It all starts with shoring up a porous secondary. A good secondary will yield benefits across the entire defense. In pseudo-mathematical terms, tight coverage = more pressure = sacks and turnovers.
The truth is that while all these moves look great on paper, it needs to translate to the field. I can’t wait for the season to get started so we all can find out!
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