The Jacksonville Jaguars can’t neglect their defense in 2021.
With the season officially over for the Jacksonville Jaguars, it’s time to look at positions in need of an upgrade. We all know the challenges the team dealt with on the offensive side of the ball, starting at the quarterback position. However, you could make the case their defense was a more troubling issue in 2020. For that reason, it should be given a priority in the offseason.
The Jaguars’ defense has been a liability in recent season. Particularly, they have had a hard time stopping the run and limiting big plays. They were awful in both aspects in 2020, as opposing offenses scored at will or sustained long drives, which in turn kept Jacksonville’s offense on the sidelines.
This offseason, the Jaguars need to find answers for both their run defense and pass coverage. Of course, the two dynamics will be a result of what the new defensive scheme will be. Nevertheless, they must put an emphasis on shoring these two areas up in free agency and the draft.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have to fortify the run defense.
Run defense has to occupy blockers upfront in order to allow the back seven to get to the runner. Many times last season, there were missed assignments, missed tackles, and sometimes not enough rush off the snap. Inexperience surely played a factor, as many young Jaguars saw the field often. In 2021, there must be improvements in order for the run defense to take a significant jump.
This Jacksonville team should add depth at the linebacker position with “run-stuffing” linebackers to keep Myles Jack and Joe Schobert fresh. In addition, they have to also add a true nose tackle behind Davon Hamilton and Doug Costin. The big end position was played greatly by Adam Gotsis in 2021 and the group but also welcome more talent.
The Jacksonville Jaguars must also improve against the pass.
Pass coverage was a critical issue as well. There were too many blown coverages and players out of position. Injuries depleted the secondary, limiting rookie cornerback C.J. Henderson and other core defensive backs. Hopefully, a year of experience for the rookies and other young players will go a long way in their development.
It’s going to be very interesting to see whom the ‘Jags’ will re-sign. Will they bring back cornerback Sidney Jones IV? How about Tre Herndon and D.J. Hayden? Did Chris Claybrooks show enough to compete for an outside starting position? A new defensive scheme that fits the group that we have at cornerback and safety will help tremendously.
Overall, the ‘Jags’ should be able to address these two areas significantly this offseason. With $77.61 million in cap space and a plethora of draft picks, they should have no problems fixing the defense.