When Paul Posluszny signed a contract that would land him $7 million annually back in 2011, it seemed like an addition that could make this Jacksonville Jaguars defense quite formidable for years to come.
Alas, two coach firings and a quarterback fiasco have cast a cloud over this team as a whole, and the defense crumbled around him since that mega-deal. Now Posluszny must lead this Jags defense through rebuilding instead of seeking his first playoff berth as a pro.
“You kind of put your head down and go, but the boss has said that’s how it is,” Posluszny said, via the team website. “He’s going to be bringing in a lot of guys. There’s going to be a lot of competition and young guys are going to play right away. By not only him, but the General Manager (David Caldwell) saying that from the start, they weren’t joking. That’s going to be the case and that’s going to be the atmosphere we’re going to compete in.”
This Jags’ defense certainly does boast more promise then last season and perhaps that can help jump-star Posluszny’s career. Posluszny fell to 47th out of 53 qualifying inside linebackers via Pro Football Focus grades after finishing seventh in his first year with the team. Having a rangy thumper like Johnathan Cyprien behind him at safety — the team’s early-second round pick — has to make his job easier.
However, perhaps no addition this offseason will be more critical for Posluszny than the signing ofGus Bradley,who became the only defensive head-coach hiring of the 2013 offseason.
“I see flashes of it,” Bradley said about his new defense hitting stride. “It takes time and it might take time through training camp and preseason and into the season you’ll see it. I think what you’ll see is it just keeps getting better and better and we talked about slow, steady improvement and keep raising the bar every day.”