How bad was our 2011 special teams & who's the answer?

Let us go back to the wonderful days of 2010 Jacksonville Jaguars Special Teams. Montell Owens and Kassim Osgood have both just been invited to the Pro Bowl! Awesome! Josh Scobee is kicking game winners left and right. Our punter is getting recognition for being one of the best and even DJ Karim is breaking long kickoff returns to change games! It's crazy in Duval! So.....these units couldn't have been THAT bad in 2011, right?

2010 Jaguars Special Teams units literally won a few games for this team. Now, while it may be over the top to say that they single-handedly lost us any one specific game this year, one could definitely build an argument with facts to support that assessment.

After the jump we'll discuss just how much our special teams deteriorated this past year and brainstorm what can be done to get us back to the Pre-Podlesh days- as arawls mentions in "Please Don't Let This Happen Again."

Below is an awesome table from our friends over at Football Outsiders showing the impact of special teams on a team's season. As you can see in large bold heading, the Jaguars are currently 26th of 32 teams. This likely doesn't surprise anyone who watched any of our games last year.

"This page lists an estimate of how many points, compared to league average, each team receives from the five elements of special teams: field goals/extra points, kickoffs, kick returns, punts, punt returns. The total is then converted into a DVOA percentage so that it can be added in to offense and defense to create total team DVOA.

Field goal rating compares each field goal to the league-average percentage of field goals from that distance. Yards of field position from the other four elements of special teams are translated into points using a method that gives each yard line a point value based on the average next score an NFL offense is worth from that point on the field. Kickoffs and punts are based on net yardage. Kickoff returns and punt returns are judged on return yardage only."


TEAM S.T.
DVOA
LAST
YEAR
WEIGHTED FG/XP KICK KICK
RET
PUNT PUNT
RET
HIDDEN

DVOA RANK PTS RANK
1 CHI 7.3% 1 7.1% 2 7.8 0.8 4.4 19.7 10.5 -5.6 23
2 SF 7.0% 22 4.8% 4 6.0 7.1 4.8 13.3 10.0 -3.5 19
3 TEN 5.5% 6 9.6% 1 14.0 1.4 4.1 9.4 3.4 7.0 5
4 NYJ 5.0% 5 3.6% 6 0.2 11.6 11.4 13.2 -7.0 -9.6 28
5 NE 3.7% 8 5.3% 3 1.5 8.7 -3.7 15.2 -0.2 -1.4 17


6 MIA 2.2% 29 4.3% 5 -0.2 2.8 0.8 8.7 0.7 11.4 4


7 CIN 2.0% 28 3.5% 7 3.6 10.3 -7.5 0.7 4.8 4.2 9


8 GB 1.6% 26 3.5% 8 3.2 1.8 3.1 -2.2 3.8 -3.3 18

9 PIT 1.6% 16 2.2% 10 -7.0 8.3 -1.1 4.5 4.6 -9.5 27


10 CLE 1.4% 10 1.8% 11 5.4 -0.8 6.3 -2.3 -0.1 -0.6 15


11 ARI 1.1% 9 0.9% 14 -5.0 -0.2 -3.5 -4.5 20.0 12.7 2


12 HOU 0.9% 23 0.4% 16 -2.5 4.3 -1.9 1.0 4.6 -1.4 16


13 NO 0.6% 21 1.1% 13 -6.7 -5.7 2.6 10.2 3.0 1.1 13


14 TB 0.6% 18 -1.7% 26 7.8 1.3 0.7 4.5 -11.0 6.8 6


15 DEN 0.5% 27 -0.3% 19 -5.2 2.1 0.6 -2.6 8.2 4.0 10


16 NYG 0.3% 30 1.7% 12 -1.5 4.5 -3.4 10.9 -8.4 -4.4 21



TEAM S.T.
DVOA
LAST
YEAR
WEIGHTED FG/XP KICK KICK
RET
PUNT PUNT
RET
HIDDEN

DVOA RANK PTS RANK
17 SEA 0.2% 3 2.9% 9 3.8 -1.7 1.9 -3.0 0.3 12.5 3

18 PHI 0.1% 12 0.8% 15 4.0 7.8 -3.5 0.1 -7.9 1.1 14


19 KC -0.7% 24 -0.7% 22 -1.9 -0.8 -6.6 3.2 2.1 -15.9 32


20 OAK -0.7% 13 -0.1% 18 17.0 -13.7 4.0 -8.3 -3.1 5.7 7


21 WAS -1.0% 25 -1.1% 23 -7.2 4.3 -5.1 8.6 -6.2 1.3 12

22 ATL -1.0% 2 -1.6% 25 4.1 -7.6 -1.9 -1.4 0.9 -11.2 29


23 SD -1.2% 32 0.2% 17 0.1 -6.7 2.8 1.6 -5.0 -3.6 20

24 BUF -1.3% 17 -1.5% 24 -6.8 4.9 -0.1 -10.6 4.7 -11.9 30


25 DAL -1.6% 15 -0.5% 20 1.9 2.2 1.2 -5.0 -9.7 2.9 11


26

JAC

-1.8%

7

-0.7%

21

5.8

3.3

-5.3

-3.8

-10.5

15.0

1


27 MIN -3.3% 19 -6.2% 32 -8.8 -12.9 11.7 -6.7 -3.0 -12.2 31


28 STL -4.0% 14 -4.7% 31 -5.8 -0.1 -4.4 -14.8 1.6 -5.0 22


29 DET -4.3% 11 -4.6% 30 -2.2 -8.4 -0.6 -6.8 -7.1 -9.2 26

30 BAL -4.7% 4 -4.4% 29 -5.0 -7.4 -5.9 -7.7 -1.6 -8.7 25


31 IND -5.2% 31 -3.1% 27 0.1 -2.6 -9.1 -10.9 -8.3 -6.5 24


32 CAR -5.4% 20 -3.1% 28 -7.5 -0.2 2.2 -19.4 -6.7 4.9 8

(Source http://footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamst)

As you can see from the table above we as a team went from being the 7th ranked special teams unit in terms of DVOA in 2010 to 26th ranked in 2011. The only bright spots within our special teams is, you guessed it: Mr. Josh Scobee. Our kickoff coverage and field goal units both improved from the year before due to a wonderful 23 of 25 (92%) kicking year from Scobee Snacks while making 100% of his extra points. He also attributed to the increase in our kickoff coverage net yardage by booting over 62% of his kickoffs out of the endzone. As arawls has already stated, we MUST resign this guy.

Now I believe all Jaguars fans have noticed our extreme struggles at punting and punt return this year between Potlesh leaving, the Matt Turk rugby drama, Mike Thomas, Cecil Shorts, and Scotty McGee, and Deji Karim in returns. The statistic showing that we averaged netting over 10 yards less per punt return than the league is a pretty telling statistic. And if you think Potlesh wasn’t THAT good please notice Chicago’s punt team improvement of NINETEEN YARDS net per punt. We MUST pick up a punt returner, either via the draft (likely) or through FA.We must sign a better punter, we must keep Scobbe, and we must sign a legitimate returner if we want to give our team a chance to succeed.

We, as a team are not built with the luxury to leave 15-20 yards per possession on the field. If we can get back to our 2010 numbers or better that can be the difference between 5-11 and 8-8, maybe even 9-7. And with better WRs and improvement by Gabbert 10-6 can even be in the conversation.

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