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Mularkey says Babin will fit

Posted Nov 28, 2012

Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey says former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jason Babin will play Sunday after being claimed off waivers

The Jaguars have made a move to address their pass rush.

And this time, they did so by signing a player who was among the NFL’s best pass rushers the last two seasons.

Jason Babin, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who finished third in the NFL last season with 18 sacks while with the Philadelphia Eagles, on Wednesday was claimed via waivers by the Jaguars.

Babin had been released by the Eagles Tuesday.

“We could use some help in that area,” Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey said. “We’re trying to get some pressure on the quarterback. He’ll fit what we’re doing.”

Mularkey said Babin can play either right or left end, and that he will play against the Buffalo Bills Sunday.

“I talked to (assistant head coach/defensive coordinator) Mel (Tucker) and said, ‘Let’s start working him into the plan,’’’ Mularkey said.

Babin, a first-round selection by the Houston Texans in the 2004 NFL Draft from Western Michigan, spent three seasons with the Texans before being traded to Seattle in 2007. He was released by Seattle in 2008, signed with Kansas City, and played a season with the Eagles before emerging as one of the NFL’s elite pass rushers in 2010.

In that season, his only season with the Tennessee Titans, he registered 12.5 sacks and was named to the Pro Bowl.

He then signed a reported five-year, $28 million deal with the Eagles the following offseason, and he followed that with a career-high 18 sacks in 2011.

Asked if Babin could be with the team long-term, Mularkey replied, “I think a lot will depend on the last five games.”

Babin registered 5.5 sacks in 11 games this season, but with the Eagles struggling to a 3-8 start, the team released him Tuesday following a loss on Monday Night Football to Carolina. Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid said Babin was released so the Eagles could play younger players.

“Maybe it was the best thing for me,” Babin told NFL Live. “I like to win, I like to compete, I like to sack the quarterback. I imagine there’s someone out there looking for that.”

The Jaguars are tied for last in the NFL with 13 sacks this season.

“We’ve got five games and we’re trying to with these games,” Mularkey said. “We’re showing our team we’re trying to win right now. This is not, ‘Play the young guys and do the evaluating.’ We’re trying to win and do whatever we can to improve our roster.”

Mularkey said the addition of Babin could help other players along the front.

“That’s why we got him,” Mularkey said.

To make room for Babin on the 53-man roster, the Jaguars on Wednesday placed defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith on injured reserve. Smith sustained a head/neck injury in practice Wednesday.

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