Monday after morning practice, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio made mention that he had a fix for his defense, that surrendered 42 points the New England Patriots last Thursday night in their first preseason game of 2011. What was this fix?
Well, magic fairy dust of course.
Jack Del Rio said he had magic dust for the defense. The Jaguars defense was able to force three fumbles when the first team defense was on the field Thursday night, but only one was recovered. Two were caused by some of that "magic fairy dust" in new linebacker Clint Session. Some more "magic fairy dust" recovered that fumble in new safety Dawan Landry.
Ok, enough with the "magic fairy dust". You get it.
While the Jaguars defense looked beyond atrocious on Thursday night, much of the game featured players who won't be on the team, or if they are won't see much field time outside of special teams. When the "starting" unit was out on the field, the defense didn't allow much to happen aside from a blown coverage on a long pass play to Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.
The first unit on the field was also without potential Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Terrance Knight, veteran end Aaron Kampman, starting cornerback Derek Cox, and newly signed starting end Matt Roth. The team was missing four key starters, and still held their own while the "starters" were on the field.
While these four players not being on the field isn't going magically fix it when they return, it will look significantly better. Without the teams two best pass rushers in Roth and Kampman, the pass rush was essentially nonexistent. Camp sensation Austen Lane was stonewalled. Jeremy Mincey who took over for Kampman last season was stonewalled. Second year defensive ends Larry Hart and Aaron Morgan also didn't make much of an impact.
We likely won't get to see this "magic fairy dust" Jack Del Rio is alluding to until opening day on September 11th against the Tennessee Titans. I can't imagine Aaron Kampman will play much in the preseason, if at all, prior to then.
Even if the Atlanta Falcons put a beating on the Jaguars defense, don't put yourself in too much of a panic. You've got a new defensive coordinator. You've got 4-5 new starters. You've got guys adjusting to a somewhat different defensive scheme than last year.