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Jacksonville Jaguars Roundup

Whoops. Sorry this is late, I was out running errands and thought I scheduled it last night for the a.m.

Questions with Derek Cox

Jaguars cornerback Derek Cox, entering his fourth year in the NFL, has started each of his first three NFL seasons. Last season, he emerged as one of the more improved young players in the NFL at his position, and he has become a key member of a defense that ranked No. 6 in the NFL in 2011. Cox recently sat down with senior writer John Oehser to discuss his thoughts as the 2012 season nears:

Gene Smith: Starting linebackers "one of the better units" in NFL |

When I wrote about the Jaguars position battles in Sunday's paper, one I mentioned was at linebacker. I noted that Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey was asked about position battles after minicamp ended and the first thing he said afterward was that Russell Allen had filled in nicely for Clint Session, who was dealing with a personal matter on the final two days of minicamp. Gene Smith also said Allen performed like a starter last year while filling in for Session, who finished the year on injured reserve. What I missed was this quote from Smith one week ago:

Gene Smith believes Andre Branch's finishing speed will help turn Jaguars from rushers to sackers |

Jaguars general manager Gene Smith expects the gradual improvement of his team's sack numbers to accelerate this year. One reason? Second-round pick Andre Branch. "Branch is a 4-6 [40-yard dash] guy and 260-plus pounds," Smith said. "He’s done some things out there clearly to where you can see his closing speed off the edge. That should translate to getting more sacks."