EUJacksonville: In our Preseason Guide, we’ll take a look at some of the various on and off the field events that occurred while you were away to get you up to speed as well as share some game day tips that will help you optimize your enjoyment of the 2013 Jaguars. Written by RICHARD DAVID SMITH III / Photos by FRAN RUCHAlSKI
The bad news: the Jaguars allowed a whopping 380.5 yards per game last season (to put that in perspective, 1st ranked Steelers allowed over 100 yards less per game at 275.8) and haven’t really added much, personnel-wise, that would indicate a rapid improvement in that area. Only an offense that plays its games in New Orleans inside of a dome and is quarterbacked by Drew Brees can hope to offset that sort of defensive ineptitude.
The good news: last year’s placeholder of a coach, Mike Mularkey (who brought his boring, early 1990s era playbook to Jacksonville last season) will not be around this year. Taking over the Jaguars this season is a young and fiery first year head coach, Gus Bradley, who had an upbeat coaching style as Defensive Coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks that led to them ranking 4th in the NFL in yards per game at 306.2 (not too shabby). In an age where fear of concussion is leading more and more to a league where physical, hard-hitting defense is becoming a penalty/lawsuit-laden afterthought, it is the defensive scheme that often becomes more important than physical play. Motivation and scheme are apparently where Bradley shines, and that is encouraging news for a defense that may have lost its confidence in recent years.