With the Jacksonville Jaguars making a defensive switch heading into the 2013 NFL season under Gus Bradley, one of the more interesting positions to watch in training camp is that of the LEO defensive end. Second year defensive end Andre Branch seems tailor made for the position, so there is a good possibility he makes a big jump from his rookie season in the LEO role.
Last season, Branch looked like he was going to be an impact pass rusher right away showing well in the preseason, but when the regular season started he seemingly disappeared. Branch played a total of 421 snaps last season, 258 of which were rushing the passer according to Pro Football Focus, and netted just 11 hurries and a single sack.
It's likely going to be Jason Babin as the starting LEO to start the regular season, but like Bradley did in Seattle with Chris Clemons and rookie Bruce Irvin, there are quite a few situations that look for two LEO ends on the field at the same time, often with one standing up as a pass rushing linebacker. That would seem to fit Branch best right now as he settles into his new role, as many viewed him as a 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level.
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