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Jaguars.com LIVE: Babich excited about additions

Posted Jun 11, 2014

Jaguars defensive coordinator Bob Babich on 2014 free agent linemen: “We’re excited about them. We think those guys are definitely going to help us out.”


JACKSONVILLE – Bob Babich said there certainly is a limit to what can be done this time of year.

But while the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator said the pad-less, contact-less nature of organized team activities prevents coaches from judging some areas – and perhaps from making real, deep-level evaluations – there is plenty to be gleaned.

One thing he has gleaned?

That the defensive linemen added in free agency – ends Red Bryant and Chris Clemons and tackle Ziggy Hood – have a very real chance to help the defense on a very real level.

“Obviously, they’re good players,” Babich said Wednesday on Jaguars.com LIVE, which streams live on jaguars.com Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m.

“We’re excited about them. We can see these guys are going to allow us to be stout on the line of scrimmage. We think those guys are definitely going to help us out.”

Babich also discussed the progress of safety Johnathan Cyprien, a second-year veteran who improved dramatically in the second half of last season.

“His progress he made from the first half of the season to the second half of the season, then from the second half of the season to now – to OTAs and spring practices – has been phenomenal,” Babich said. “He’s a very talented athlete and we expect big things from him this year.”

Babich also discussed the so-called “Otto” position, which he described as an outside linebacker who also can play on the line of scrimmage.

Dekoda Watson, who signed as an unrestricted free agent from Tampa Bay, is expected to start at the spot, and second-year veteran LaRoy Reynolds has worked the position in OTAs with Watson out with a groin injury. Babich said the Otto will drop into the flats in coverage and blitz at times.

“It’s not a five-two defense,” Babich said. “It’s still based out of the four-three, but at times we can get into a five-man front with it.”

And Babich said despite the limits of OTAs, by the end of OTAs and minicamps next week he does expect the Jaguars will have a clearer idea of the shape of the defense this season.

“You can see scheme-wise if they’re doing things the right way,” he said. “Schematically, we feel like we can find out if our guys understand what we’re doing. We can find out a little about what kind of team we’re going to be, what defenses we like and narrow those things down as we go into the fall.”

Also on Jaguars.com LIVE Wednesday:

*Jaguars senior vice president of fan experience Hussain Naqi discussed the ongoing in-stadium improvements, which include state-of-the-art video boards at both ends of EverBank Field, as well as viewing decks at the end of each stadium that include cabanas and two in-ground swimming pools. “It’s a bit of a misnomer that this is a completely exclusive area,” Naqi said. “There are products for groups, and products for individual tickets. We’ve actually sold out of our bar-rail seating and we’re starting a waiting list on that, but in the non-group area and non-bar-rail seats area, it’s open to the public. If you have a ticket to the game, you can come up here. It will be a full-on party atmosphere. It will be rocking and rolling up here.” …

*Naqi also said there will be lifeguards and security at each pool, which will be three-and-a-half-feet deep. “People don’t need to be worried about it from a security perspective,” he said. “We have it under control.”…

*Naqi said the video boards, which will be the world’s largest, will have the capacity to feature different elements at once or to show one image on the entire screen. “It’s going to be spectacular,” Naqi said. “(Owner) Shad (Khan) gave us the charge that whatever we do with the boards is absolutely cutting edge. We’ve taken the view that we should take a cinematic approach to this. We’re trying to add some dimensions to it. You’ll have the ‘Wow’ factor, but the meat and potatoes of what you need to know about the football game and the out-of-town games at the same time.” …

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