With plenty of new faces slated to make an impact on the Jacksonville Jaguars defense, Tashaun Gipson might be the most important.
All of these guys are scheduled to play their first snaps with the Jacksonville Jaguars when the regular season begins in a few weeks. All of them are expected to play a big role in making this defense better.
But no one is probably going to have as big an impact as Tashaun Gipson.
Coming from the Cleveland Browns, Gipson represents the most startling upgrade at any position on the Jaguars from 2015 to 2016.
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Danny Kelly, a new writer over at the Ringer, thinks Gipson is Jacksonville’s “X-Factor”
"Jacksonville Jaguars: FS Tashaun GipsonGus Bradley needs a rangy and instinctive deep-centerfield safety to effectively run his cover-3 scheme, and Gipson showed glimpses of that ability in Cleveland — particularly in 2014 when he intercepted six passes in just 11 games. Adding talent to the pass rush and bolstering the cornerback ranks won’t help a ton unless Gipson is making quarterbacks afraid to throw the ball deep down the middle of the field."
Kelly defines “X-Factor” as “the guy who comes into the season with a wide range of possible outcomes — and whichever one he achieves will likely have an outsize impact upon his team’s fortunes.” Gipson certainly fits that designation given how much the Jaguars have struggled to find a free safety to man the spot that’s so crucial in Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme.
Gipson had an off year with the Cleveland Browns in 2015, but he was one of the best coverage safeties in the entire league in 2014. The range of possibilities is wide for Gipson this year, but he could help the Jaguars become a formidable defense if he ends up near the positive end of the spectrum.