5 Jacksonville Jaguars Who Need To Step Their Game Up
5 Jaguars Who Need To Step Up Game
The Jacksonville Jaguars have struggled mightily so far in the 2012 season.
The offense has struggled to move the ball consistently and the defense has failed to stop opposing offenses.
In short, not much has gone right so far for the Jaguars this season.
Locally, expectations for this team were for them to better this season than they were last season but that does not appear to be the case.
Some of the players that the Jaguars coaching staff were counting on to make a positive impact this season have been disappointing and a major reason why the team has struggled to be competitive.
This list is not going to include rookies like wide receiver Justin Blackmon or defensive end Andre Branch, because rookies, especially at those two positions, cannot be counted on to make a significant impact in their first season.
This list is also not going to include linebacker Daryl Smith, because missing the first four games of the season due to injury does not count as somebody who needs to step their game up. Also, the Jaguars know exactly what they are going to get from Smith when he returns from his groin injury.
This list does, however, include players who have been on the field and have not yet lived up to the lofty expectations that their contract or use of a high draft pick on have placed on them.
If the Jaguars are going to turn around this season, these five players are going to need to step their games up.
Between injury and poor play, Eben Britton has never really lived up to the second round draft pick the Jaguars used on him in 2009.
After losing his job at right tackle, the position the Jaguars drafted him to play, he has struggled this season at left guard. His position has arguably been the weakest link along the Jaguars offensive line this season that has struggled to keep quarterback Blaine Gabbert upright.
If Britton plays better, the Jaguars offensive line should play better.
Jeremy Mincey signed a big free agent contract this offseason following an eight sack season in 2011. So far in 2012, Mincey has yet to record a sack.
The entire Jaguars defensive line has struggled so far this season and they were counting on Mincey to be the guy who would take down the quarterback.
If Mincey starts racking up sacks, the Jaguars defense will have more success.
The more Tyson Alualu plays, the more he is starting to look like a first-round bust.
Alualu was supposed to be a pass rushing defensive tackle when he came out of college, but he is not getting any pressure on the quarterback. He is also not helping when it comes to stopping the run either.
It is hard to justify giving Alualu significant playing time if he is not doing his job against the pass or the run.
Laurent Robinson was given a big free agent contract after having the best season of his career last year with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Jaguars signed Robinson to be a field stretcher that could take the top off of opposing defenses. So far, Robinson has yet to make an impact and the Jaguars passing offense continues to struggle.
The Jaguars are counting on Rashean Mathis to return to his 2011 pre-knee injury form.
Now that Derek Cox has returned from injury and assumed his role as the Jaguars top cornerback, Mathis needs to step up his game on the other side to give the Jags a chance to slow down opposing offenses.