Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

History of Jags defense

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

John from Jacksonville:
There's a lot of talk on the message board discussing your lack of a comment on the "Jaguars This Week" radio show regarding who will be cut at wide receiver. Will you eventually provide your thoughts, at least by the start of the regular season?

Vic: I'll give you my thoughts right now. A caller asked who we thought would be the odd man out at wide receiver. It's been a hot question ever since the Jaguars drafted Matt Jones. Jeff Lageman was first to field the question and Jeff ventured that Cortez Hankton might be the odd man out. I countered with the opinion that it won't be Hankton. Why do I think it won't be Hankton? First of all, Hankton is a player I've trumpeted for two years as a "jar on the shelf" kind of guy. I would hate to see him turn into some other team's Yancey Thigpen, who was claimed off the Chargers' practice squad. Hankton is also a minimum-wage player who promises to remain very affordable for the team for at least two more seasons. I think that makes him especially attractive on a team that, when the Matt Jones deal is done, will have some serious money at the wide receiver position and could use a bargain guy within their ranks. Jeff asked me who I thought would be the odd man out and I declined to answer because I'm not comfortable with cutting guys before training camp begins.

Tommy from Jacksonville:
I was wondering if Matt Jones' agent Dave Butz is the old Redskins defensive lineman.

Vic: Matt Jones' agent is the son of Dave Butz the formers Redskins defensive lineman.

Mike from Little Rock, AR:
I'm pretty sure "Polly from Van Buren, AR" was making fun of us Arkansans that think Matt is a terrific kid and an amazing athlete, but I digress. My question is, why is Miami in the AFC East and not Indy?

Vic: The four teams in the AFC East are considered to have a "blood pact" to stay together. Their histories all go back to the AFL and they came into the NFL together following the merger as four of the five teams in the AFC East. The fifth team was the Baltimore Colts, which was one of three NFL teams that agreed to make the move into the AFC when the two leagues merged and aligned into two conferences.

Ronald from Jacksonville:
What is the history of the Jags defense? I remember a lot of blitz packages in the glory years, but how have each of the defensive coordinators changed it? Has it always been a 4-3?

Vic: The Jaguars' base defense has always been a 4-3. Dick Jauron was the team's first defensive coordinator. Jauron was a don't-give-up-the-big-play kind of coordinator. His teams weren't big on blitzing. Jauron became the head coach of the Bears in 1999 and Dom Capers became the Jaguars' defensive coordinator. Capers maintained the 4-3 base scheme but added a zone-blitz look and some 3-4 principles. Capers was, of course, the architect of "Blitzburgh" and he employed a lot of blitzing in his two years with the Jaguars. When Capers left to become the Texans' head coach, Tom Coughlin hired Gary Moeller to be the defensive coordinator. In Moeller's one year on the job, he was harshly criticized for the Jaguars' prevent-defense failures in the final minutes of games. Coughlin replaced Moeller with John Pease for Coughlin's final year as Jaguars head coach, 2002, and Pease produced a respectable product, considering the Jaguars were in the midst of a major salary cap problem that gutted the team's starting lineup. It would've been suicide for that team to play anything but a conservative scheme. Jack Del Rio's arrival in Jacksonville produced a commitment to attack defense. Under defensive coordinator Mike Smith, the Jaguars have employed a "gap scheme" up front that is intended to create penetration and disruption.

Joe from Pontypridd, Wales, UK:
Me and my pal really want to come over to see the Jags play, but flights to Jacksonville from the UK are really expensive, which means we won't be able to afford to go until next year. Would it be a bad idea to stay in Orlando and commute to Jacksonville by bus or hire a car, or should we just wait and pay up extra next year?

Vic: Joe, I can't tell you how to spend your money, but I'd be inclined to focus on that Dec. 11 game against the Colts this year and try to find a way to make it affordable. I like that game. I'm thinking that could be the game that defines the Jaguars' season.

Vincent from Tallahassee, FL:
Have ticket sales picked up since the introduction of the half-season ticket packages?

Vic: My information is that the half-pack offer has stimulated the purchase of a lot of full-season purchases this week.

Cary from Montreal, Quebec:
Why do you still post all the stupid comments and questions about the ticket situation? Does no one have anything to ask about actual football? What do you know about Cleveland? I'm seeing the Jags there on Dec. 4 and I'm wearing my Jags gear. Is it a safe place?

Vic: Thanks, Cary, I needed a laugh.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content