It’s been another offseason filled with change for the Jacksonville Jaguars organization. There’s a new head coach in town in Gus Bradley who brings with him a defensive mentality from the Seattle Seahawks where he led the league’s fourth ranked regular season defense and top playoff unit. He also brings with him an important player from that unit in Seattle in veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant.
Even though he is getting up there in age at 32, Trufant still has plenty to contribute to a young team like the Jags. Last season may have been his first without an interception in his illustrious career, but he was instrumental in the development of two of the NFL’s top corners in Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner with Seattle. If he can impart some of that wisdom on the young secondary in Jacksonville, the Jags won’t waste any time moving up the league leaders in defense as well.
Top corner from a year ago, Derek Cox, is now a member of the San Diego Chargers and lifelong Jag Rashean Mathis was also let go this offseason. It’s a fresh start in Jacksonville at corner with Trufant listed as the starter on one side and third round pick Dwayne Gratz penciled in on the other. Chances are high that Trufant will be asked to take on a duel role as a player-coach for the Jags this coming year in helping the young Gratz to grasp the nuances of the NFL game.
Training camp will be a great place for the elder Trufant to teach Gratz as well as the other members of the Jags secondary some of the tricks of the trade to playing corner. Three of the corners on the depth chart are selections from the 2013 NFL Draft and the team also selected two safeties this past April.
Trufant to the team’s website the secret to developing a top notch secondary as he said:
“It’s all about competition. Competition is good for the team. It’s good for the players. It’s good for the morale. It makes everybody better. If you’re competing every day, all you do is get better. That should be Gus’ goal. That should be the team’s goal.”
If coach Bradley and Trufant can work some of their magic in Jacksonville like they did in molding one of the league’s top secondaries in Seattle, the Jags may not be bottom dwellers for much longer.