Since the conclusion of the Jacksonville Jaguars disappointing 2016 season, that ended with a 3-13 record on Sunday, many players have spoken out against the coaching staff. The defensive scheme in particular has taken a lot of criticism from multiple players now that the season has concluded and the latest criticism came from defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr. who felt that he was misused in the Jaguars defensive system.
"I considered myself more of a stand up defensive end, just because of how I move and how I feel," Fowler told First Coast News in an exit interview on Monday afternoon. "I just feel more comfortable standing up honestly. I work really good working in space. I know in the NFL you really have to get up on the offensive lineman and I feel like that's good and everything in the three-point stance, but in a two-point stance with my speed and my athleticism, I have so many things I can do at one time to an offensive lineman. Hopefully, that's taken into consideration going into next year."
Fowler for the most part was ineffective in his role as a LEO pass rusher in the Jaguars scheme, which is the defensive lineman who is supposed to bring edge pressure. The few good plays Fowler did make during the 2016 season came from when he was a moving piece on the defense, on twists and stunts.
It shouldn’t be a surprise Fowler feels more comfortable standing up rushing the passer either, because that’s how he was used in college at Florida. He was a piece they moved all over and brought from different angles.
I’m not going to say the Jaguars should bring in a defensive coordinator who will build the scheme around a player like Fowler, but there should be consideration in putting players in the best spots to make them the most successful, which apparently was a common theme for the previous staff to not do.