Over the weekend, I was able to sit down with my friend Charlie Bernstein of JagNation.com and we were discussing the Jaguars Mid-Season Awards. We of course both were each writing one up, so we decided to just combine them. Instead of just a "game ball" during the bye week, we decided to give out the mid-season awards.
Click the jump for who we named, and let us know in the comments who you would have named.
It's hard to believe that the NFL regular season is at its halfway point. The Jacksonville Jaguars find themselves with a 4-4 record and currently reside in last place in the AFC South. Despite their mediocre mark, there have been some outstanding performances. We're going to give out our mid-season awards.
Charlie's Offensive Player of the (Half) Year- Marcedes Lewis
The Jaguars tight end is having a career year as his seven touchdown receptions are second in the NFL amongst tight ends and fourth overall. Lewis is proving himself to be a reliable target in the passing game and is also the best blocker at his position in football.
Honorable mention: Maurice Jones-Drew
Alfie's Offensive Player of the (Half) Year - Eugene Monroe
The Jaguars offensive tackle is having a nice progression in his second season in the NFL. While he struggled early in the season, namely against the Philadelphia Eagles, he's since blanked pass rushers like Dwight Freeney and DeMarcus Ware and held his own against Tamba Hali.
Honorable mention: Marcedes Lewis
Charlie's Defensive Player of the (Half) Year- Terrance Knighton
The second-year defensive tackle has propelled himself to elite status with his play, even though it likely won't end up in a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. Knighton not only plugs up the middle for the Jags but he can also rush the passer from his defensive tackle position.
Honorable mention: Aaron Kampman
Alfie's Defensive Player of the (Half) Year- Terrance Knighton
Amidst all the hand wringing about his weight in the off-season, of which I told people not to worry, Knighton has been stellar since game three of this season. He struggled in the first two games, but has since been a monster in the middle of the defensive line. He's playing at a Pro-Bowl level.
Honorable mention: Daryl Smith
Charlie's Most Improved (Offense)- Marcedes Lewis
Marcedes' career high in touchdown receptions for a season prior to this year was two and he's nearly quadrupled that in half a season. We're not sure exactly how much better Lewis is from last season, but the offense is looking at him more and he's responded.
Honorable mention: Eugene Monroe
Alfie's Most Improved (Offense)- Mike Thomas
Thomas last season showed flashes of being an explosive slot receiver. This season however, he's molded into being a reliable target for David Garrard. Early in the season he led receivers in catches and yards with Mike Sims-Walker drawing coverage and finally scored his first touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys.
Honorable mention: Uche Nwaneri
Charlie's Most Improved (Defense)- Terrance Knighton
Knighton was solid a year ago starting as a rookie but he's taken his game to a new level in 2010. If Knighton played in a big market he'd be recognized as one of the best in the league.
Honorable mention: Courtney Greene
Alfie's Most Improved (Defense)- Courtney Greene
I noted for people to watch out for safety Courtney Greene way back in organized team activities. Greene first got a starting job against the Chargers this season and forced turnovers. His play has continued the past few games while he's been starting. He's adequate in coverage and sets a tempo in stopping the run with his thumping hits.
Honorable mention: Jeremy Mincey
Charlie and Alfie's Most Outstanding Rookie- Tyson Alualu
The Jaguars controversial first-round pick has not lit up the stat sheet, but he's played well alongside Terrance Knighton. Alualu and Knighton are already one of the best young tandem of defensive tackles in the NFL and those who have watched the Jaguars have seen that Alualu is anything but a reach.
Honorable mention: Deji Karim
Charlie's Top Assistant Coach- Dirk Koetter
The Jaguars offensive coordinator has been under fire over past years for the lack of imagination on his offense. This season Koetter has done a fantastic job with what he has to work with at the quarterback position, managing to win four games with one of the worst defenses in football and his quarterback attempting less than 23 throws.
Honorable mention: Russ Purnell
Alfie's Top Assistant Coach- Russ Purnell
For a guy who took a ton of criticism as a coach with the Indianapolis Coltsand when he first arrived in Jacksonville, Purnell has turned the Jaguars special teams into an elite unit and arguably the best in the NFL. It helps to have two of the best special teams players in the league with Kassim Osgood and Montell Owens, but he's improved a unit significantly the past few seasons that was once an issue.
Honorable mention:Todd Monken
Charlie and Alfie's Team MVP- Marcedes Lewis
The Jaguars needed a second playmaker to step up on offense as teams have keyed on running back Maurice Jones-Drew and his college teammate has done just that. Lewis has been a team leader since the first day of camp and he's done anything and everything asked of him thus far this year.
Honorable mention: Josh Scobee