This game was all about improvement. A lot of players in this game showed me that our defense will be better this year. During the off season the team looked to improve the defense with a new linebacker core, a couple additions to the secondary, a nice new defensive lineman, and of course development of players. They did just that....improve. Here is what I saw in game 2 of the preseason.
- Kyle Bosworth showed me quite a bit in this game. I was impressed with his overall athleticism, he got to the ball pretty quickly. His coverage skills were also much better than I thought they would be. Maybe my surprise is because this is the first time that I have seen extensive action of him, but I liked what I saw. I thought he had a good first week, but I thought he had an even better game in the second week. He looks like he can be a solid backup as an outside linebacker.
- Daryl Smith had a good game. He is by far our most reliable linebacker. In my opinion he looked to be the best coverage linebacker we had in the second week of the preseason. He also seemed the most disciplined, he bit the least amount on the play action plays. Overall a solid game from Daryl Smith.
- Paul Posluszny looks to be a very nice addition. While I did like Kirk Morrison, Poz seems to be a definite upgrade to the middle linebacker position. Posluszny is going to be a tackle machine for the Jaguars this season, he is constantly around the ball. What I probably liked most about him was his patience, you can tell he is a smart player. He looks like he is identifying where the play is going as he is moving towards the ball, a great skill to have. Another thing that Poz showed me in this game is that he has active feet in coverage. They are always moving which lets him be ready to always be around the ball, which is what great linebackers do.
- Matt Roth didn't play a ton of snaps this game, but in his short time he looks to be a good football player. What I saw from Matt Roth in this game is that he plays the run quite well. He can definitely hold the point or set the edge. He appears to be pretty athletic, and I liked to see him sometimes have his hand on the ground and sometimes rush standing up. His pass rush skills are there, he isn't the quickest, but he appears to have some nice counter moves. Overall I think he was a nice addition.
- Jeremy Mincey was definitely the best defensive end in this game. He showed energy and appears like he won't quit on a play. Mincey is definitely relentless and consistently pushes the line. A nice thing is he also plays the run quite well, so he has a good mix of pass rush ability mixed with run stopping drive. Mincey did have a nice game, but I think it wasn't purely his own doing, having two dominate defensive tackles collapse the interior most certainly helps the defensive ends. One thing that I think Mincey could work on is his snap release. While his release is alright, it could be better when comparing it to say, Tyson Alualu. Overall really good game from Jeremy Mincey.
- Austen Lane looked quite a bit better in this game than the first preseason game. On a couple different plays he got pretty good pressure, though that may be because of the aforementioned stud defensive tackles. At first appearance Austen Lane looks to have a good initial burst but he lacks finishing ability, he looks like he almost lets off after his first burst. I believe that he still lacks the power to consistently get through good offensive tackles. Also while he has a nice initial burst, he does not consistently get off the snap quick enough. I saw to many times him be at least a step behind the other lineman. Overall this game was an improvement for Lane, but he still has a way to go to before I consider him a real good defensive end.
- Courtney Greene looked his usual self this game. He is a hard hitting strong safety, who plays the run quite well, and the pass alright. In this second preseason game Greene played in the box quite a bit. He definitely is the strong safety, though it is kind of hard to tell who is the true free safety.
- Dawan Landry looked to be the defensive leader on the field in this game. He looks like a great communicator, he is constantly directing the defense. While he is playing the free safety position, I believe his best position is strong safety. He certainly plays the run better than the pass. I do like how he plays very physical in pass coverage. Dawan had an alright game, though he did completely whiff a tackle early on a Douglas reception.
- Terrance Knighton got pretty good penetration early on in the game. He doesn't look like he is quite in the optimal shape, but nevertheless he still takes on double teams really well. He is very strong and therefore demands double teams. I really liked his ability to push the pile in this game. He didn't do it every play, but I think that may have something to do with the shape he is in. That is just my opinion though. Overall Terrance is playing pretty well, he had a good game, but he had the potential to have a great game. He seems like he can be as good as he wants to be. Lets just hope he can keep his weight down and keep his motivation up.
- TYSON ALUALU definitely gets his name in all caps for his play in this game. While he didn't get any sacks, the man was constantly plowing through interior lineman. This guy has a motor, and looks to be a much improved player from last year. He gets off the snap quicker than any other lineman we have and simply doesn't give up on plays. One of the things I liked most about his play in this game was his pursuit. Sometimes he looks like a linebacker out there chasing down running backs. It seemed like every time I watched the defensive line, Tyson was blowing it up. His quick step and ability to penetrate really helps the defensive ends. In the 2nd quarter with about 3:50 to go Alualu was blanketed by the left guard and somewhat the left tackle and was still able to get through and pursue the quarterback. Overall he had the best game out of all defensive players. Can't wait to see more of him in the season.
- Derek Cox appeared to play pretty well. It was hard to see his coverage on every play. But the plays you could see, he appeared to be right with his man. One thing that I really like about Derek is his ability to hit. While he isn't the hardest hitter, he definitely isn't afraid of contact.
- Drew Coleman is a very hard hitter. He is not a great coverage corner though. He got beat bad on the Douglas touchdown. I'm afraid of him going against the Texans and Colts receivers. Maybe less afraid of the Colts if Kerry Collins is starting(crossing my fingers). Coleman does play pretty good coverage on underneath routes though, and he certainly is not afraid of contact. Overall he was ok, I think he will get better and be a solid nickel corner.
- Rashean Mathis looked like a good corner. He looks like he is living up to all the hype he has been having this off season. Mathis played the run quite well this game, and wasn't afraid to hit. He tried to take down the full back with a hard hit, didn't quite succeed, but slowed him down enough. I liked seeing Mathis going for strips while the running backs were getting taken down, he looks like a smart player. I'm excited to see him the rest of the season. Going into his contract year, this could be a big one for him.
Overall this game was exciting to watch on the defensive side. There was a lot of improvement, and in my opinion this defense is going to be a top 15 defense this year. Tyson Alualu is developing very nicely and with Terrance Knighton getting back into prime playing shape, I think this defensive line is in for some great things in the next couple of years.