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Jaguars OTAs: Julian Stanford pushing for a role

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to have a reshaped defense heading into the 2013 season, not just scheme-wise but roster wise as well. The starting linebacker group isn't going to be too different than it was last season with Paul Posluszny and Russell Allen likely coming out starters, but the third linebacker appears to be a battle between free agent acquisition Geno Hayes and second-year player Julian Stanford.

The 6'1", 230-pound Stanford was signed by the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent out of Wagner last season as was viewed as a high upside option at the position who could contribute right away to special teams. Stanford stood out in OTAs and training camp last season due to his freakish athleticism and speed for his size (4.51 40-yard dash), but he tailed off a bit and played some spot duty as a rookie.

Entering his second season with the team, it appears Stanford might be settling into one of the outside linebacker positions, likely the SAM role, and is pushing Hayes for a starting role. Stanford has been turning some heads during practices, according to The Florida Times-Union, which isn't a huge surprise for a team looking to put more athletes on the field.

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