The Jacksonville Jaguars pass rush left a lot to be desired in 2012, especially with freshly re-signed defensive end Jeremy Mincey having a dip in his sack total. Mincey finished his 2012 season with just three sacks and 22 quarterback hurries (according to Pro Football Focus), down from his career best 8 sacks and 38 hurries in 2011.
Mincey earned a four-year, $20 million contract in the 2012 offseason to come back to the Jaguars, but overall was disappointing. Mincey thinks playing too many snaps was part of that issue, as well as other things on the defense.
"When you're playing 80 snaps, no man to man [defense], can't score any points, that's what happens. I think they [new staff] went back and watched the film, and you can't blame it all on me," Mincey told the Florida Times-Union. "I did what I could. I played hard.
"We had fourth-string guys playing corner. Everybody was hurt. Our prime-time guy, Mojo (Maurice Jones-Drew) was gone. Daryl (Smith) was out. It was just too much. There was a domino effect," Mincey told the Times-Union.
While Mincey is correct in the fact that there was a domino effect of players missing in the 2012 season that impacted other's effectiveness, the pass rush was woefully ineffective, which also has a domino effect on the rest of the defense. Mincey is part of that pass rush and simply put; He wasn't good enough.
Mincey can blame playing too many snaps if he wants, as he played a total of 969 snaps (80.75 per game), but he played more snaps in his career 2011 season than he did in 2012.
"I can do a lot more this year. I've got a lot of good players around me," Mincey told the Times-Union about the outlook going forward. "I've just got to embrace my role."
The problem is, Mincey's role in the Jaguars new defensive scheme is a bit undefined. He doesn't really fit the LEO position and his not really big enough to fit in the strongside end role, playing the five-technique. The Jaguars have shown they're not afraid to eat dead money to cut veterans, but releasing Mincey would bring a hit of $6 million in dead money for the 2013 season.
It's not a guarantee Mincey makes the final roster, depending on how the rest of the defensive lineman fit and play in the new scheme, but Mincey seems to not have a defined role at this moment, so he will be an interesting case to watch going forward.