In the twilight of his career, Jacksonville Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny managed to play well enough to garner recognition from Pro Football Focus.
The Jacksonville Jaguars finished 3-13 this past season, a massive disappointment given the amount of hype they built in the offseason. While the team accumulated a ton of talent, they were hamstrung and ultimately defeated by the incompetence of their own head coach.
Their failures in the win-loss column obscured the terrific individual play of a handful of guys on the roster. Telvin Smith, Jalen Ramsey, and Malik Jackson all arguably played at a Pro Bowl level on defense, while young guys like Yannick Ngakoue and Abry Jones also looked like solid long-term pieces.
One veteran player who played quite well most of the year was oft-maligned linebacker Paul Posluszny. Criticized for his limitations in coverage, Poz was a consistent run defender and didn’t appear to be a huge liability in pass defense this year. He was a steady presence on a very young defensive unit.
I’ll admit that Poz exceeded expectations in 2016, but I definitely wouldn’t say he was the best player on the field for the Jaguars.
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Pro Football Focus disagrees.
PFF had Paul Posluszny as the 87th ranked player in 2016 – the only Jaguars to make the Top 101 this year..
"87. Paul Posluszny, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars (unranked)Paul Posluszny’s career has been a strange mix of awful and excellent seasons, with nothing in between and seemingly no obvious causal link between the two. This season was maybe the best of his career, coming off four sub-par years, and saw him allow just one touchdown in coverage all year; he also recorded 57 defensive stops (seventh among all LBs). Posluszny graded positively in every facet of the game PFF measures, and he wasn’t penalized all season.Best performance: Week 9 vs. Chiefs, 92.5 gradeKey stat: Posluszny recorded 17 total QB pressures on the blitz."
I think Poz had a nice year, but by no means is he the best player on the defense let alone the entire roster. Telvin, Malik, Ramsey, and Ngakoue were all more impactful on the defensive side of the ball.
That being said, it’s nice to see Poz get some recognition in what will likely be his last season as a full-time starter. The Jaguars need to find a way to get second round pick Myles Jack on the field and the best way to do that will be getting Poz off the field.
Congrats to Poz and hopefully he continues to contribute in a diminished role in 2017.