AFC West: DEN | KAN | OAK | SDG
NFC South: ATL | CAR | NOL | TBA
NFC West: ARI | STL | SFO | SEA
The Jaguars underwent a bit of a house cleaning after last years' disappointing 5-11 campaign.
Gone are receivers Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, and Jerry Porter. In are Torry Holt and several rookies.
Also out are Paul Spicer, Mike Peterson, Gerald Sensabaugh, Khalif Barnes, and Cleo Lemon. Jacksonville did bring in some veteran talent, like offensive tackle Tra Thomas and quarterback Todd Bauman, but most of the new talent was brought in on draft day.
There, the Jags started by finding a couple of future bookends for the offensive line in Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton. They also drafted help for John Henderson in Terrence Knighton, and help for Rashean Mathis in Derek Cox.
Then Jacksonville finally went after receiving help, finding a couple of good ones in Mike Thomas and Jarrett Dillard.
Three Burning Questions:
Can David Garrard improve on a sub-par 2008?
Garrard struggled last year, but I think most of that can be contributed to the lack of help at receiver and a thin, depleted offensive line.
That line has most certainly been re-inflated. Tra Thomas could likely keep Monroe out of the starting lineup for a while, or he could be moved to play guard. Britton is likely to take the right side away from Tony Pashos, and Brad Meester is healthy again.
With the improvement on the line, expect Maurice Jones-Drew to have a great year, which will in turn make Garrard's play a lot better.
I'm sure he will use a lot of Holt early, while working up chemistry with the younger guys. Garrard should have a nice rebound in 2009.
Will the interior of the Jags defense play better?
John Henderson has the talent to be one of the best defensive tackles in the league, but his play seems to have regressed a bit recently. Mike Peterson is gone to Atlanta, and in his place is Daryl Smith, or perhaps Brian Iwuh.
The Jags used to have a feared defense, but last year they certainly did not resemble one, and this year it is still a work in progress. Derek Cox has been impressive enough, and could move Brian Williams to the nickel spot.
At this point Quentin Groves and Reggie Hayward don't really scare anybody at end, but Groves is a good talent who can emerge if his running mates aren't up to par.
It could be a fairly long year for the defense overall.
Is Troy Williamson merely a training camp sensation, or is he ready to be a first round receiver?
Williamson was finally tossed from the Vikings in 2007, but did not find life much easier in Jacksonville last year.
Then came 2009 training camp, and rumors of his emergence were quickly shrugged off. Then he had a nice four receptions for 74 yards against the Dolphins, and people started to pay a little bit of attention.
He matched that 74 yards on one play against the Bucs, and totaled 147 yards on three catches in that game.
All of a sudden, Williamson is becoming the talk of Jacksonville and the league. Is all of this merely one of those nice summer stories, or will he finally take that speed and talent and translate it to the regular season?
With Torry Holt on the other side, it's probably the best chance Williamson ever had.
Top players: That probably shouldn't be a plural, the Jags only have one top player right now, and that is Jones-Drew. He should be picked anywhere in the top-five.
Avoid: Avoid Garrard unless he is your third QB, and don't pay too big a price for Holt either. The Jags defense is not to be touched.
Sleeper: In three seasons, Tight End Marcedes Lewis has steadily improved his numbers, and he could be ready for a 60 reception, 650 yard, five TD type of season, certainly good for a non top-tier Tight End.
For the prognosis and final record, read the originally posted article here.
This is an original article by Pigskin Heaven Staffer, Sascha Bartels. You can read it, more of Sascha's articles, and more from the Pigskin Heaven staff here.
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