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McCree part of purge


Call it a mini blow-it-up.

Marlon McCree is the headliner in an eight-player remodeling of the Jaguars roster today, after just the second game of the season. McCree was released, along with rookies Malaefou MacKenzie and Matt Leonard. Kick-returner/wide receiver Jermaine Lewis was placed on injured reserve.

The Jaguars signed safeties Deke Cooper and Nick Sorensen, linebacker Shannon Taylor and kick-returner David Allen, who had been waived from the Jaguars' practice squad last week.

McCree, a seventh-round pick in 2001, intercepted six passes last season, which tied four other players for fifth place among NFL interceptors last season. But McCree lost his starting free safety job to second-round pick Rashean Mathis this summer. McCree was one of three Jaguars defensive backs in pursuit when Buffalo wide receiver Bobby Shaw scored on a 54-yard touchdown pass with 1:37 to play in the first half of Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills. That touchdown stretched the Bills' lead to 21-7 after the Jaguars had cut the Bills' lead to 14-7.

MacKenzie, a seventh-round fullback from USC, is the second member of the Jaguars' 2003 draft class to be released. Leonard is an undrafted rookie defensive tackle from Stanford. With the release of MacKenzie and Leonard, the Jaguars are left with nine rookies on their active roster; down from 13 on opening day.

Cooper and Sorensen are kick-coverage specialists. Cooper played in 10 games for the Carolina Panthers last season and led NFL Europe in interceptions in 2001 and 2002. He was named that league's defensive player of the year in '02.

Sorensen is a third-year pro who played in 23 games for the St. Louis Rams the last two seasons. He led the Rams in special teams tackles last year.

Taylor is a four-year veteran who has spent the last three seasons with the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens before being released by the Houston Texans this year. He has played in 38 games with two starts, making 22 tackles on defense and 32 tackles on special teams.

Allen starred as a kick-returner in NFL Europe this past spring. He replaces Lewis, who suffered a season-ending knee injury this past Sunday.

In a practice squad move, the Jaguars released linebacker Michael Josiah, possibly clearing the way for MacKenzie to be signed to the practice squad. MacKenzie would first have to clear waivers.

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