The Jacksonville Jaguars officially completed the trade with the Miami Dolphins for left tackle Branden Albert on the first day of 2017 free agency; he’s ready to lead by example.
For the last few years it has felt at times like the Jacksonville Jaguars are the blind being led by the blind. With a plethora of rookies starting and a first-time head coach and general manager, the Jags simply didn’t have the leadership needed to be competitive.
That has changed since Tom Coughlin arrived in 2017 as the executive vice president for football operations. Coughlin brings championship experience and a winning mentality from his time with the New York Giants and the Jaguars before that.
Coughlin has made a point in bringing in players who, like him, can help lead the team while expelling those who can’t. Gone are Johnathan Cyprien and Julius Thomas. Meanwhile, Paul Posluszny, the soul of the defense, is retained and a crucial move to bring in left tackle Branden Albert from the Miami Dolphins was made.
The trade for Albert, originally a swap of Thomas for Albert, became two separate trades. Thomas to the Dolphins for a seventh round pick in 2017 and Albert to the Jaguars for a 2018 seventh rounder. The trades were made official on the first day of free agency.
What is exciting about this is that Albert brings success (two-time Pro Bowl player) as well as leadership. He is considered a leader in Miami and will likely assume the same role for the Jaguars. It is also a place that Albert is excited to come to and contribute.
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“Jacksonville is a place where I can hone in and focus on football,” Albert said following the deal. That seems to be a focus for Albert who wasn’t always tasked with simply doing his job and leading by example in Miami. Per First Coast News’ Mike Kaye:
"Play left tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars. That’s all I can do. That’s my approach to every year I’ve played. I’m not a vocal leader. I lead by example. I keep quiet, shut my mouth and do my job and that’s who I am. I feel a little bit like last year I was actually more vocal, being outgoing but that’s last year. I’ve moved on. Me and myself is what got me here."
A humble leader who can show up to work and deliver is exactly what the Jags need on the offensive line. The defensive counterpoint, Posluszny, has been doing it for years and is respected for it. Now, the Jags have Albert.