Did Marcus Stroud Take Jacksonville's Defense with Him?

James Senbeta@@BetaGetsBusyCorrespondent ISeptember 12, 2008

Once one of the anchors of the Jaguars’ defense for the last seven years, Marcus Stroud was traded to the Bills on Mar. 1, 2008, for third and fifth-round picks in the 2008 NFL Draft.

It was widely reported that Jack Del Rio told Stroud that the team was moving in a different direction, and he had permission to seek a trade.

In the Week Two matchup, Buffalo at Jacksonville, the three-time All-Pro/Pro Bowler is pumped up to face his former team after the seven tackle, two sack display in the 34-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

While the Bills' succeeded, the Tennessee Titans downed the Jaguars 17-10, providing 137 yards rushing, with Chris Johnson delivering 93 of those yards on 6.2 yards per carry, and LenDale White scored the touchdown on the ground.

Stroud gained fame early in high school, as one of the highest-rated recruits for defensive tackle, putting him on the cover of Sports Illustrated for their main story of National Signing Day in 1996.

Two years earlier, as a sophomore, Marcus won a Georgia state football title with Brooks County High School.

Though giving a verbal commitment to the University of Florida, Stroud chose to stay close to home and picked the University of Georgia the day before Signing Day. Though expecting to play his freshman season, he was redshirted. He was also accused of taking plays off, to the point coaches were beginning to urge him to play on the offensive line.

However, by his last two seasons at Georgia, Stroud had a change of work ethic on both the field and in the classroom. He had become an impact player on the Bulldogs' defense, featuring future NFL standouts Kendrell Bell, Will Witherspoon, Charles Grant, and Richard Seymour.

After receiving his degree in sports business in 2000, the All-SEC defensive tackle entered the 2001 NFL Draft.

With the 13th overall pick, Jacksonville selected Stroud in a first round that featured other elite DTs including fellow Bulldog Seymour, Kris Jenkins, and Casey Hampton. The following year, the Jaguars picked University of Tennessee’s John Henderson, creating one of the most dominating defensive tackle duos in the league.

Between 2002 and 2005, Marcus had 210 tackles, 16.5 sacks for 118 yards lost, 17 pass deflections, and six forced fumbles.

In 2006, Stroud missed five regular-season games due to a right ankle injury, requiring micro-fracture surgery at the end of the season. The next year, he missed a total of seven games, due to injury and a four-game suspension under the NFL's Drug and Substance Abuse policy.

The positive test came as a surprise to Stroud, explaining that when receiving a supplement from his doctor to helped recover from surgery, he checked to make sure none of the ingredients were on the NFL’s banned substance list.

By missing multiple games with injury the last two seasons, along with the suspension, the Jacksonville Jaguars found reason to move on without him. When arriving in Buffalo, Stroud promised to make sure his ankle was healed and to vault the Bills up 10 positions in the team defense rankings.

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