The Friday Tweetbag: What If the Jaguars' Defense Struggles?
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A: I'm a huge believer in regression (just ask Houston fans). The Jaguars fall into a similar class with the Texans. Both defenses were terrible in 2010, and outstanding in 2011. There's a very real chance they fall back toward the middle of the pack. After all, they do have a new head coach and a new direction as a team.
But when it comes to the Jaguars, their offense put so much pressure on the defense that a little offensive progress might be enough to mask any natural defensive regression. I suspect that Jaguars defenders will relish the chance to play without their backs against the wall all the time.
A: I've already written about the wideouts, so let's talk T.J. Yates. Frankly, I found Yates' performance to be overrated. I personally, don't care that the Texans won games while he started. Wins are a terrible way to judge quarterbacks. Yates was accurate, but struggled with taking far too many sacks. By DVOA, he was the 33rd best quarterback in the league, and was well below average.
His had a remarkable performance and provided a great story, but I saw no signs that he was a future franchise player. He played with a lot of talent around him, and the coaches did an amazing job giving him things he could handle.
History is littered with the Scott Mitchells of the world, who land big-time contracts based on a limited fill-in stint. Yates is poised and smart, and he may have a nice career, but Texans fans would do well not to overrate him just because his very talented teammates won some games he happened to start.
A: Thompson drew rave reviews in mini-camp, but that doesn't mean much. The selection of Thompson wouldn't be nearly so controversial if the Titans hadn't traded up to do it. Still, there's a long history of converted players becoming excellent tight ends. Antonio Gates and Marcus Pollard never even played college football. It's a position where you look for big, athletic guys who can run.
It may well take Thompson a year or two before he gets his feet under him, but if at any point he becomes a reliable starter, the pick will have more than paid off. Don't worry about how long the process lasts. This was a project pick, and the Titans will be patient.
A: This question is referencing my earlier article about Austin Collie. Collie's health is a question mark for sure, and some fans have wondered if the Colts might not risk sending him over the middle for fear that he'll get more concussions.
Simply put, if you have to change a player's routes because you fear he'll get a concussion, you shouldn't have him on the field at all.
Collie has been medically cleared to play, and his family has decided he should continue his career. There will be no change in his routes, nor should there be.
A: Evans bounced around the roster last year in Indianapolis, and I have to think he has some kind of shot to do so again. The Colts have two bruising backs in Delone Carter and Vick Ballard, and Evans could be an option if Donald Brown struggles or gets hurt.
Brown did struggle with injuries in his first two seasons, so it's entirely possible that he could go down again. If he did, a spot could open up for Evans or Karim. I think Karim is a camp-body, nothing more, so it would take an injury for him to make the club.
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