JACKSONVILLE – This was about upgrading the roster.
That's what the Jaguars believe Kamalei Correa does, and Defensive Coordinator Todd Wash said that's why they traded for the veteran linebacker Wednesday.
"We wanted to continue to upgrade this roster and I think KC does that for us," Wash said Thursday as the Jaguars (1-4) prepared to the Detroit Lions (1-3) at TIAA Bank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Jaguars on Wednesday traded a sixth-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft to the Tennessee Titans for Correa and a 2021 seventh-round selection. The Jaguars on Thursday released outside linebacker/end Cassius Marsh Sr., who started at strong-side linebacker in Week 4 and played there in a Week 5 loss at Houston.
"The longer you're in the league you realize every year there's going to be a lot of transition at every level of the organization," middle linebacker Joe Schobert said. "You have to be able to get comfortable with that and when it happens not let it affect you. When you get new guys in, you just have to take them along and teach them how things are going: how the locker-room vibe is, the scheme on the field, how everybody's gelling. You have to take them under your wing and keep going.
"You can't let it affect you. Everybody who's in the building, when they're here in the building they're family, and you have to treat it like that."
Correa, who played collegiately at Boise State, entered the NFL as a second-round selection by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Ravens during 2018 Training Camp traded him to Tennessee for a sixth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.
He has 8.5 career sacks – 3.5 in 2018 and five last season – and four career passes defensed.
"He's got some rush ability, he can play on the line of scrimmage like a Sam linebacker, he's very intelligent," Wash said. "I do remember him a couple four or five years ago when he came out [of college] and we had a lot of respect for him then and we do now. So, it's going to really be nice to be able to get our hands on him and work with him and get him better in our system."
Facing Lions running back Adrian Peterson will be special for many Jaguars players Sunday, Schobert and safety Jarrod Wilson chief among them. "I have a vivid memory – when I was in fifth of sixth grade playing running back in elementary school and he was at [the University of] Oklahoma tearing it up – telling my grandmother, 'I'm going to be like Adrian Peterson one day,''' Schobert said. "It's surreal to be playing against him now. It doesn't look like he's slowed down a step, so that's longevity at the running back position that you don't see often anymore." Peterson, now in his 14th season, is fifth on the NFL's career rushing list with 14,461 yards and 112 touchdowns. He has rushed for 245 yards and a touchdown with a 4.5-yards-per-carry average this season. "I actually had a Fathead of Adrian Peterson on my wall growing up," Wilson said. "He's one of my favorite players of all-time. I've suited up against him before, so I'm not going to act like a fan when I see him. I have just a tremendous amount of respect for him." Wilson was asked if he still had the Fathead. "I don't know if I've necessarily got it; it's at my mom's house, though," he said with a laugh.
Wash said he expects cornerback Sidney Jones IV to again play extensively Sunday. Jones, who signed to the Jaguars' practice squad in early September, played outside corner against the Texans last week when the Jaguars were in their nickel packages. Originally a second-round selection by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2017 NFL Draft, Jones had an interception and four passes defensed against the Texans. "He has the ability to really transition in off coverage," Wash said. "You saw the success he had last week. A lot of that was in off coverage. I still think his strength is up in press. We're very excited how he played last week. I think he's encouraged for how he played. You'll see a lot of him obviously this week. Hopefully, he's going to have the same type of success this week. We have a good group of wideouts we have to defend."
The Jaguars got mixed injury news Thursday, with two key players – linebacker Myles Jack (ankle) and cornerback CJ Henderson (shoulder) – practicing full after missing practice Wednesday but with wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. (ankle) missing a second consecutive practice. Defensive end Josh Allen (knee) practiced limited for a second consecutive day, and tight end Tyler Eifert (neck) and linebacker Dakota Allen (foot) also missed a second consecutive practice. Defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale (ankle) worked full for a second consecutive day and center Brandon Linder returned to practice after a scheduled day off Wednesday, with two rookies – cornerback Chris Claybrooks (quadricep) and wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring) working limited after missing practice Wednesday. Defensive end Adam Gotsis and tight end James O'Shaughnessy missed practice with scheduled days off and defensive tackle Abry Jones (ankle/hamstring) missed practice after working limited Wednesday.