We've been speculating here...and wildly I'll add..about what sort of value the JAX defense might have this year...some say top 10...others say top 15 and a few even lower....
so here's some insight published last week...enjoy
2002 STATS: 36 sacks, 14 INTs, 3 TDs
2003 MOVES: Added DE Hugh Douglas, LB Mike Peterson, KR Jermaine Lewis, FS Rashean Mathis
Can just a few players really make a special teams/defensive unit go from bottom 10 to top 10? In this case, yes. This offseason, the Jags added a young, underrated linebacker, one of the best special-teamers in the league, one of the hottest small-school safeties in the draft and the most sought-after defensive end in the free-agent market. Oh, and their new mentor (Jack Del Rio) is considered one of the brightest, most intense defensive-minded coaches in the league.
The key will be what kind of schemes the Jaguars run, and how the guys who played in Jacksonville last year adjust. Defensive tackles Marcus Stroud and John Henderson are young and well over 300 pounds each, so they should help Douglas get upfield for some sacks. The secondary isn't fantastic, but the Jaguars' defensive front seven could help out with added pressure on the opposing quarterback. If Lewis can regain the form that made him a two-time Pro Bowler, the special teams unit will be equally effective in setting up the offense to succeed. Factor in their third-place schedule, and the Jaguars' ST/D should be an appealing option in 2003.
2003 PROJECTED STATS: 42 sacks, 13 INTs, 6 defensive/special teams TDs
OTHERS AFFECTED: QB Mark Brunell (+), RB Fred Taylor (+), PK Danny Boyd (+)