Jack Del Rio announced today two players who will start at positions of interest, guard and safety. We knew the starting strong safety would be Anthony Smith. With the release of Gerald Alexander and the shipping of Reggie Nelson to Cincinnati, it left everyone to wonder who would be the starting free safety.
Well, it's been decided. This week's starter is veteran Sean Considine.The reason I said my initial reaction to the announcement was "Oh boy," was because Considine is more suited for the strong safety role on defense than the free. It has nothing to do with the caliber of player I think Considine is, as I think he's about equal to Anthony Smith. If you recall, after the scrimmage I noted how Considine might have catapulted himself to a starting position. I did not expect it to be the free safety spot, however.
Considine is more of a classic strong safety, as he's best at coming up and supporting the run. Considine is adequate in coverage, but it's not really his specialty. Luckily for the Jaguars, with having two safeties excellent against the run, it could force an offense to be one dimensional, which will be a great test for the revamped defensive line.
"Sean Considine will start for us at free safety. He was the most productive player at that position throughout the offseason, throughout training camp. We actually track production for each group and he was the production winner at the safety, at the DB position. He made plays throughout and in the end we feel like he gives us the best chance to win now, so we elected to move on with two other guys that were here before," Jack Del Rio said today.
It's going to be interesting to see how the position shapes up as the season progresses. I expected Tyron Brackenridge to get the start at free, as he excels in coverage, but it looks like the coaching staff is going to err on the side of experience. Considine does have something going for him none of the other safeties seem to have; he's always around plays. In the scrimmage he was around turnovers. In the Falcons game he blew up a tight end right by the goal line. Considine certainly earned the start.
I still expect the Jaguars to pick up another safety at some point in the season be it free agent or in the form of a trade, but don't be surprised if the starting safeties change on a week to week basis. It looks like it's going to be a platoon position, which is fine for now.
Even if the Jaguars do pick up another safety down the line, it's not going to be a world beater.
Long term help is not on the way.