The Jaguars' pass rush was abhorrent last season. After spending multiple picks to acquire two pass rushers in 2008, the Jaguars found themselves floundering and in need of an upgrade after recording a league low 14 sacks. Gene Smith has obviously made this a priority and clearly has done everything he can to rebuild what the Jaguars' used to be famous for, their stout defense.
Exit Ted Monachino. Enter Joe Cullen. Cullen is the new defensive line coach, and in much the same way as Ted Monachino was given a top-ten talent, Cullen has been given a new toy as well. The Jaguars defensive line is now comprised solely of studs, and it is up to McJoe to get some production. Gene has given him all the tools to have an excellent defensive front, and I would expect to see an entirely new line under the direction of Cullen.
The Jaguars now have Aaron Kampman, Derrick Harvey, A. Ellison, Big-Hen, Pot-Roast, Reggie "Hayday", and our newest acquisition, Tyson Alualu. That is an absolutely stellar front. Period. Kampman makes his return to a 4-3 defense; he's more comfortable in that setting and has a fantastic work ethic. We have two top 10 picks in Alualu and Derrick Harvey (who Jack Del Rio said in an interview is working like his head's on fire). Terrance Knighton, arguably the best rookie DT in the NFL last season, will be lining up in teal yet again. Two old but reliable players in Hen and Hayward make up the steady and sure veterans on the line. There is no glaring weakness, and depth abounds.
Cullen should be in heaven right now, and I can't imagine that the defensive line is going to be such a sore spot again this season. Gene Smith has made fixing the defensive line the top priority this offseason. The departure of Monachino and the arrival of Joe Cullen shows that Gene is serious about fixing the issue from the top-down. Joe Cullen has all the tools... Will he succeed where Monachino failed?