Jacksonville Jaguars vs Carolina Panthers: 6 reasons for optimism

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Oct 5, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny (51) sacks Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) in the second quarter of their game at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

3) Paul Posluszny, linebacker, Jacksonville Jaguars

The Carolina Panthers linebacking corps will get plenty of (deserved) attention before the Jacksonville Jaguars vs Carolina Panthers game on Sunday, but we shouldn’t overlook the return of Paul Posluszny for the Jaguars.

The captain of the defense and the heart and soul of it as well, Posluszny is a tackling machine with high football IQ. He is a player that head coach Gus Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell both identified as a key piece to keep around for the team as they rebuild.

He returns for Week 1 of the 2015 season after tearing his pectoral just seven games into 2014.

His return is invaluable to the Jags.

Sometimes, we see fans dissatisfied by Posluszny’s presence on the team because he can’t cover well and that presents a liability in today’s NFL. Even with that concern, the leadership ability he brings to the Jaguars makes him invaluable.

The Jaguars defense managed to form up behind J.T. Thomas and Telvin Smith last season in Posluszny’s absence, but only Smith is returning of those two and Posluszny’s returned presence will continue to lead the team.

This may be a far more subjective reason for optimism, but I am absolutely stoked to have Poz back to lead the defense heading into Week 1. I hope he can stay healthy at age 30 and put up another 100+ tackles.

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