As we've come to see in the past weeks, GM Gene is constantly trying to bring in new talent for the next week. Almost weekly, a special teamer comes and a special teamer goes. This is usually done to help out with depth, but there have been some moves made so far this week that are really sending an interesting message.
Let's take a look, shall we:So, who did we add?
S Gerald Alexander: Alexander, as we all remember from last year, was thought to be a risky option as a Safety. He suffered a major spinal injury in his rookie year with the Lions, but started 10 games for the Jags last year. He is a better athlete than most of the safeties on the roster, but often got caught looking into the backfield and making mental mistakes on the field, so he was cut after the preseason. Having Alexander on the team means Jack could get a little more speed in his secondary against the Colts pass-heavy offense if he so chooses. Overall, it signals that Gene is not trying to sit back and let opponents put deep balls over our heads for the whole season.
LB Eric Alexander: Another Alexander made it onto the 53 today. Alexander was an Undrafted special teamer for the Patriots, but more importantly than that, he is a reformed safety. He's not huge at 6-2, 240, but I get the feeling GM Gene is trying to get a little more speed at the LB position. Will he see the field? Who knows, we do have some injuries among the Linebacking corps. It's possible that he might. But again, the trend is towards adding defensive speed.
QB Keith Null: Null was added to the Practice Squad. A former 6th round pick with the Rams, Null is a low-risk, young quarterback for the Jags coaches to toy around with. Likely he wont amount to anything, but let's not forget, Tom Brady was a 6th round pick also. Adam Stites wrote a nice piece on Null Earlier.
So who did we drop?
Ernest Wilford: Boy, what a trooper. Wilford does everything "all right," but nothing really great. We brought him back after the loss of Jarrett Dillard, but the fact of the matter is, we haven't even really found room for Zach Miller in our passing game at TE. Osgood and Underwood haven't exactly overachieved, but we can feel like we at least have four wideouts who can take the field and not screw anything up. Ernest is a very likable guy, but he's really just a body.
Michael Coe: Now this is an interesting one. Coe was, at the time of his release, listed above Derek Cox on the Jaguars depth chart. So the question then is, why would he be dropped before Cox? GM Gene was apparently asked this question and said that his goal was to keep the best players. Looks like Cox is one step closer to getting back on the field. Coe has made the field for the Jags in the last few games, but he was not very effective.
QB Brett Ratliff: Well, it was fun while it lasted. Ratliff was added to the practice squad after the Jaguars decided against keeping Trevor Harris for later at the end of the pre-season. The Jags were just doing their due diligence on a young QB, but now it's Null's turn.
All in all, the guys we added to our roster could potentially be useful, and we swapped out low-risk QB's to observe on the practice squad. The guys we dropped are marginal players who could easily be reclaimed (a la Ernest Wilford), or have already proven themselves to not really be worthy of a roster spot (Coe and Ratliff) The Alexanders will bear some watching, because they might prove to be useful.