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ProFootballFocus talks Jaguars Pass Protection: No. 31 — Jacksonville Jaguars If there’s one per...

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ProFootballFocus talks Jaguars Pass Protection: No. 31 — Jacksonville Jaguars If there’s one person in the NFL we feel gets a raw deal from fans and the media alike, it’s Jaguars quarterback David Garrard. He’s arguably the best running QB there is, easily a top-15 passer and for the last two years has struggled with far worse protection than he should expect. The poor performance on the part of his offensive line is exacerbated by the fact that the complementary players are some of the best available at their positions. Tight end Marcedes Lewis had an excellent year all around, including his pass blocking, where he was left in to block often (125 times) and only conceded pressure five times (not one of them a sack). When you add to this Maurice Jones-Drew challenging Clinton Portis for the title of best pass-protecting HB (logging a huge 143 snaps in pass pro and only allowing three hurries), you may wonder why Garrard ever has to move. Unfortunately, the answer is all too obvious. Starting two rookie tackles is fraught with risk and, although they did about as well as may have been expected by unbiased observers, what really didn’t help was the limited support they received from inside. Uche Nwaneri actually did a pretty good job, but Vince Manuwai and — surprisingly — Brad Meester didn’t. With the two veterans having difficulty themselves, it left a phenomenal amount of responsibility on the tackles and the results — if not the manner of the problems — were similar. For 75 percent of his games Eugene Monroe was above average, but in the remainder he was awful: very boom-or-bust with lots of sacks but a respectable number of hurries. For the most part he had his man, but when he got beat it was often clean. It’s to be hoped this suggests that he can turn things around quickly but it’s always difficult to know which way players will he’ll go from year to year. On the other hand, Eben Britton didn’t end up with a massive sack count against him (five) but was the source of a constant stream of pressure from Garrard’s front side. His 40 pressures lead the NFL in the regular season. He had a good three-game stretch (Weeks 11-13) but that aside, he really needs to step up and play better.

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