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2013 Jacksonville Jaguars training camp preview: Linebackers

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars enter the 2013 season with their starting linebackers essentially the same as they were in 2012. You have Paul Posluszny as the inside linebacker, Russell Allen as the strong side linebacker, and then a jumbled group of players for the weak side linebacker position.

The only real difference is the jumbled list of players competing for the weak side starting position are different than last year, and more talented overall.

There are quite a few new faces in the linebacker group this season, including free agent signee Geno Hayes, but the biggest difference going forward is likely their role in the new defensive scheme, which is a big change from the standard Cover-2 shell the Jaguars ran the past few years.

The Players:

Paul Posluszny
Ht 6-2 Wt: 242
Age: 28 Exp: 7
Start of Camp Status: Starter, No. 1 inside linebacker

Paul Posluszny once again comes in as the leading linebacker for the Jaguars and will be a vital part of the new defensive scheme, making sure players are lined up where they need to be and flowing to the football to rack up tackles.

Camp Outlook: There's not much to really watch with Posluszny, as if he was going to be a salary casualty he'd have been released by now. He enters camp as the No. 1 linebacker and should exit camp the same way.

Russell Allen
Ht 6-3 Wt: 238
Age: 27 Exp: 5
Start of Camp Status: Starter, No. 1 strong side LB

Russell Allen stepped up for the Jaguars in 2011 moving up from fringe starter/versatile backup into a starting role full time due to injuries. He held that spot in 2012 and despite popular belief, played fairly well all things considered. Allen doesn't do anything special as a linebacker and can get exposed on occasion, but he does most everything at least adequate and should be just fine in the starting role for the Jaguars in 2013.

Camp Outlook: Allen should enter camp as the starting strong side linebacker and should leave camp the starter. I classify Allen as "upgradeable" but right now the Jaguars don't seem to have anyone better at the position. He's best used as a team's "fourth linebacker" given he can play all the positions.

Geno Hayes
Ht 6-1 Wt: 226
Age: 25 Exp: 6
Start of Camp Status: Starter, No. 1 weak side linebacker

The Jaguars signed Geno Hayes in free agency during 2013 with the expectation that he would compete for the starting weak side linebacker position. Hayes is a speedy athletic linebacker who's played under both Gus Bradley and Bob Babich, so there is a good level of familiarity with the staff and what he brings to the table.

Camp Outlook: For right now Hayes enters as the starting weak side linebacker, but that's not set in stone. Hayes will need to show he can hold down the fort in coverage for the Jaguars defense before he locks up the starting job.

Julian Stanford
Ht 6-1 Wt: 230
Age: 22 Exp: 2
Start of Camp Status: Backup, outside linebacker

Julian Stanford made the Jaguars final roster last season as an undrafted free agency on mostly his athleticism and contribution to the special teams unit. Stanford is a big athletic linebacker who might push Geno Hayes for playing time if he can settle into the defensive scheme.

Camp Outlook: Stanford enters camp as one of the primary backup outside linebackers and could push Geno Hayes for a starting role. Both are very speedy and athletic, so it may come down to who has a better grasp of the scheme and who's more consistent.

Maalik Bomar
Ht 6-0 Wt: 232
Age: 22 Exp: R
Start of Camp Status: Backup, outside linebacker

Maalik Bomar is one of the many undrafted free agents that has a shot to make the Jaguars final roster as a primary backup linebacker and a contributor on special teams.

Camp Outlook: Bomar will likely be fighting for a roster spot on the Jaguars final 53-man and will have to make his bones as a special teams contributor.

Jeremiah Green
Ht 6-1 Wt: 245
Age: 23 Exp: R
Start of Camp Status: Backup linebacker

Jeremiah Green is a versatile athletic linebacker who can play on the inside or outside, giving him a bit of an edge at making the final roster. Green ran a sub 4.5 40-yard dash at his Nevada Pro Day, which is pretty impressive at nearly 250 pounds. He seems to fit the mold of the type of linebackers Bradley had with the Seattle Seahawks.

Camp Outlook: Green likely has a head up on the rest of the rookie linebackers because of his athleticism and versatility, but like the rest he'll have to make the roster with his special teams play.

Brandon Marshall
Ht 6-1 Wt: 238
Age: 23 Exp: 2
Start of Camp Status: Backup linebacker

Brandon Marshall joined the Jaguars in 2012 as a fifth-round pick out of Nevada, but was on and off the roster a few times before ending the season on the team. He's more of a special teams player than anything else.

Camp Outlook: Marshall might have a tough time making the Jaguars final 53-man roster in 2013, as he was on and off the team in 2012.

LaRoy Reynolds
Ht 6-1 Wt: 243
Age: 22 Exp: R
Start of Camp Status: Backup linebacker

Like Jeremiah Green, LaRoy Reynolds has a good shot to make the final 53-man roster and be a contributor on special teams. Reynolds has been playing the "mike" linebacker position for the Jaguars, so he'll be competing to be Paul Posluszny's backup.

Camp Outlook: If Reynolds can show a bit as an inside linebacker and contribute on special teams, he's got a great shot to make the final roster.

Mike Zimmer
Ht 6-3 Wt: 230
Age: 22 Exp: R
Start of Camp Status: Backup linebacker

Zimmer signed with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois State and is what some have jokingly called the "Tony Khan special", being as he played at Illinois State. Zimmer is a longshot to make the roster as a back up inside linebacker.

Camp Outlook: Zimmer will have to impress on special teams and show some ability on the field as a linebacker to make the final roster, but he's also competing with a handful of other undrafted rookies for a roster spot.

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