After signing a huge contract last offseason, Tashaun Gipson needs a solid season in 2017 to avoid being an overrated free agent bust.
Heading into 2017, there was immeasurable hype around the Jacksonville Jaguars and their chances to win the AFC South. The excitement was centered around numerous acquisitions made by the team in the draft and via free agency.
One of those players was free safety Tashaun Gipson, formerly of the Cleveland Browns.
Since his hire, former head coach Gus Bradley was insistent on recreating the scheme that was so successful when he was the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks. Unfortunately, that particular scheme is heavily dependent on a super-talented and rangy free safety.
As we all know, 2016 was a disastrous season for the team as a whole and individual players alike.
With his recent struggles, Pete Prisco deemed it fit to name Gipson the most overrated player on the Jaguars.
"Overrated: S Tashaun GipsonAfter signing a big deal last season, he hardly looked to be the same player he was in Cleveland. He did say that he was never comfortable in the scheme, but that’s no excuse. He has to play better."
As Prisco notes, Gipson was not happy at the end of the 2016 with his role on Gus Bradley’s defense. He didn’t waste time airing out his feelings after the final regular season game:
"In the post-game locker room, Gipson was criticial of how he was used in the Jaguars’ scheme.“Just a frustrating year all along,” he said. “I call myself the baby-sitter. I’m blamed when I don’t catch [interceptions] but what can you do? Rush and cover go together. If you understand football, you understand the situations I’ve been in.“I’m not making an excuse. There’s plays that I left out, 100 percent. There’s only so much you can do when you’re 15 yards [downfield] 98 percent of the time. I’ve never been that type of player in my career.“This was new to me,” Gipson said of his role. “I can’t say I did my research before coming here.”"
I thought it was candid but fairly inappropriate for Gipson to complain about his role on the defense when he absolutely knew what it would be before he signed. If he didn’t actually know, then he’s at fault for not doing the research.
To his defense, Gipson did essentially only play high and was not a part of many plays. Gus Bradley’s downfall was never adapting the scheme he brought over from Seattle to fit his personnel.
Gipson probably shouldn’t have complained the way he did, but he was justified in calling out a scheme developed by an overmatched coach. He probably only has one season to try and show he’s worth the contract he signed before the Jaguars move on, so hopefully he’s a fan of what defensive coordinator Todd Wash has cooked up.