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OTA Report: D-line now a numbers game

Posted May 21, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive linemen not shocked by numbers; fifth 2013 OTA practice cut short by rain on Tuesday

JACKSONVILLE – Sen’Derrick Marks knew this was coming.

Tyson Alualu did too, and to hear the two veteran defensive linemen tell it, anyone who was listening to Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley could have expected something like this.

But seventeen linemen?

Alualu, the Jaguars’ fourth-year lineman who started three seasons mostly at tackle and is moving to more of an outside role beginning next season, said even those who believed what Bradley was saying maybe weren’t expecting that many defensive lineman.

“That’s crazy,” Alualu said during Jaguars’ 2013 organized activities, which continued Tuesday with a lightning-shortened practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields just outside EverBank Field.

“I’ve never seen anything like it, but the coaches told us when they first came in that they were going to apply pressure to bring out the best in us. You look at it as another opportunity to be grateful for and make the most of it. At the same time, we have to compete.

“With that many defensive lineman, you have put your best foot forward every day – not just in spring, or in camp, but in conditioning and in everything we do. We’re competing.”

Bradley since his hiring in January has preached competition, and said roster turnover could be high with the team bringing in players to compete for positions.

That’s been true at a lot of positions, but particularly on the defensive line, with waiver claims of tackle Kyle Love and end Brandon Deaderick last week bringing the total number of defensive linemen on the roster to 17.

“He told me when I came in on my visit, ‘We’re going to compete,’’’ said Marks, a defensive tackle who signed with the Jaguars as a free agent this offseason. “He said, ‘We’re going to find who will compete for the job. That’s what they went out and did. It doesn’t bother me.”

Including Alualu and projected starting Leo/end Jason Babin, the Jaguars have 10 ends: Alualu, Babin, six-year veteran Jeremy Mincey, Deaderick, second-year veteran Andre Branch, four-year veteran Austen Lane, first-year veteran Ryan Davis and rookies J.D. Griggs, Paul Hazel and Pannel Egboh.

Including Marks and Love, the team has seven tackles: Marks, Love, veteran free agent Roy Miller, fourth-year veteran D’Anthony Smith, second-year veteran Jeris Pendleton and rookies T.J. Barnes and Abry Jones.

 “I’ve never seen anything like it, but I can understand it,” Marks said. “It’s an entirely new staff and they’re coming in with an entirely new defensive scheme. You have to find the guys who fit your scheme.

 

CUT SHORT

The threat of lightning cut the Jaguars’ fifth OTA practice Wednesday, limiting a scheduled two-hour practice to a little less than an hour.

Under NFL rules, the Jaguars cannot reschedule the practice, so the lightning essentially cost the Jaguars a half an OTA practice.

 

VIEW FROM THE OZONE

Four months in, we know this about Bradley: the Jaguars’ new head coach is no liar. Bradley is a competition guy, and when hired in January, he made it clear that would mean a year of transition, especially in the first year. In 2009, Pete Carroll’s first year as head coach in Seattle, the Seahawks had nearly 300 transactions. That’s a ton, but as Carroll’s defensive coordinator, Bradley watched that turnover steadily produce a winner. The Jaguars aren’t close to 300, yet, but in the last week, we’re seeing Bradley in action. Tyson Alualu to the outside. Defensive end Brandon Deaderick claimed off waivers.  Defensive tackle Kyle Love claimed off waivers. As of Tuesday afternoon, the number of Jaguars defensive linemen stands at 17. Yes, *17*, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see more moves this week. Bradley this week said he likes what he’s starting to hear from players when it comes to competing, that they’re starting to talk like they get his approach. If they don’t, they will soon. If the last two weeks have shown anything, it’s that that approach isn’t something that’s coming. It’s not something YET TO BE. It’s here now, and as Bradley sees it, it’s what will eventually produce a defensive line – and a roster – true to his vision.

 

WHAT’S NEXT

The Jaguars will hold the sixth of 10 organized team activities practices at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields Thursday at 11:25 a.m. OTA practices are closed to the public.

 

AROUND THE JAGUARS

*Wide receiver Justin Blackmon (groin) was held out of practice Tuesday, as were defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee), wide receiver Ace Sanders (abdominal/groin), running back Jordan Todman (knee) and quarterback Jordan Rodgers (sports hernia).

*Kicker Josh Scobee, defensive end Jeremy Mincey and tight end Marcedes Lewis returned to practice after missing Monday for personal reasons.

*Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) did not attend practice. He is working out and rehabilitating in South Florida.

*Rookie linebacker Jeremiah Green practiced after missing the first four OTA practices while attending school. Running back De’Leon Eskridge remains out to attend school.

Photo Gallery of Day Five of OTAs

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