Leger Douzable is actually taking a road that's more common than most people think in the NFL. Most players who make up the meat of a roster aren't stars and sometimes bounce around team to team. This is the path of defensive lineman who recently signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Leger Douzable.
Douzable was signed by the Jaguars on August 8th after being waived by the Detroit Lions. Originally he signed as an undrafted free agent by the Minnesota Vikings in 2008, waived in final cuts and signed to the New York Giants practice squad. He was brought up to the Giants active roster, but didn't play in a single game. The following season Douzable was signed by the St. Louis Rams playing in 12 games with one start, ending the season with 16 total tackles, five tackles for a loss, and four quarterback pressures.
Leger Douzable played his college football at the University of Central Florida, where he was a two-time Academic All-Conference USA honoree. In his final season at UCF, Douzable started all 14 games ending with 7.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss.
In Douzable's first time in game action with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday night, he wound up with a sack and a forced fumble. Douzable actually had a very impressive pre-season game, and has been making waves in practice working with the first team defensive line. Even though first round pick Tyson Alualu is out with a calf injury still, it's impressive that a player who's been on the football team for less than a week has impressed the staff enough to the point that he's working as a starter.
Mark Long of the AP, who covers the Jacksonville Jaguars, took notice on Monday how impressive Douzable has been in practice on Twitter.
Newcomer Leger Douzable looks like Jaguars best d-lineman in drills tonight
Douzable is listed by the Jaguars as a defensive tackle at 6-4 284 pounds, which is a little light for a defensive tackle. Douzable however, hasn't just been playing defensive tackle. Douzable has also been working at defensive end and getting in lots of time with defensive line coach Joe Cullen. He's also been in the ear of veteran defensive end Aaron Kampman.
Douzable directed some of those questions at veteran defensive end Aaron Kampman. Friday in Philadelphia. Every time he came off the field, Douzable went straight to Kampman for a critique.
"I definitely can add to my pass-rush ability," Douzable said. "I'm going to do whatever the coaches ask me to do. I'm a guy that's going to play hard, play tough."
I think Douzable certainly has a chance to stick on the Jaguars roster, especially given the injuries to the defensive line. With Alualu likely out again on Saturday, Douzable should see plenty of playing time. The loss of third round pick D'Anthony Smithfor the season opens up a roster spot. The Jaguars now have Leger Douzable, Walter Curry, Jeremy Navarre(who's also worked some at defensive tackle), and Ko Quaye all competing for two roster spots. It's also possible Douzable could make coaches favorite but oft injured defensive lineman Jeremy Mincey expendable, as Douzable looks to be playing the same role. Both have been playing as defensive line "tweeners" and both excel at pass rushing.
Frankly, Douzable I feel has a leg up on everyone. While Mincey got a lot of playing time and looked how he usually looks, good not great, Douzable made an impact. Walter Curry was pretty invisible and undrafted rookie Ko Quaye is a player that could possibly be hidden on the practice squad.
Watch number 69 on Saturday, it's likely he'll be starting.