Just about every move they have made since top executive Tom Coughlin's return last year has been to bolster the defense and running game. Those old-school ideals are so much a part of Jacksonville's identity that Coughlin even helped fashion new uniforms to match the team's on-field style.
The NFL draft probably will adhere to the franchise's throwback philosophy.
Take a quarterback in the first round? Highly unlikely. Select a receiver? Probably not.
Look for Coughlin and the Jaguars to continue building a smash-mouth team early in the draft Tony Gonzalez Jersey , beginning with the 29th overall pick Thursday night. Offensive line, tight end or maybe another defender would be the safest bets.
"Inevitably people fall. Who's it going to be? Who knows?" Coughlin said. "But according to the work that we've done, we feel that we will get a good football player at that spot."
Here's the best way to look at Jacksonville's upcoming draft: The Jaguars led New England 20-17 with a little more than five minutes to play in the AFC championship game and failed to close it out. So what can they do to avoid that happening again?
Being able to run the ball better with Leonard Fournette would be a good start. That's why Jacksonville acquired the most coveted offensive lineman in free agency last month. Former Carolina All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell signed a five-year, $66.5 million deal that included $30 million guaranteed.
Norwell will play between blossoming left tackle Cam Robinson, a second-round draft pick in 2017, and solid center Brandon Linder.
The right side of Jacksonville's line could use a makeover.
Guard A.J. Cann, a third-round pick in 2015, is entering the final year of his contract, and 31-year-old right tackle Jermey Parnell has two years remaining on his deal after playing most of last season with a knee injury.
Jacksonville likely won't be in position to take Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, widely considered the most polished offensive lineman in the draft, but could land Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, UCLA's Kolton Miller or Georgia's Isaiah Wynn.
No one would be surprised to see the Jaguars choose a tight end with their first pick, either.
Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell cut veteran Marcedes Lewis last month, and although they signed Austin Seferian-Jenkins in free agency Cameron Erving Jersey , they're still looking for someone who can be as productive blocking as catching passes. Those guys are rare these days, with South Carolina's Hayden Hurst and South Dakota State's Dallas Goedert seemingly the best available.
"You see so many people today spread them out and go to the smaller guy," Coughlin said. "We want to run the ball. So to run the ball, we need a little bit more power in the back pocket to come off the ball, do all the combination work. ... Not easy to find, but they're out there."
Some other things to know about Jacksonville, which is positioned to pick outside the top 10 for the first time since 2007.
Veteran linebacker Paul Posluszny retired, and nickel cornerback Aaron Colvin signed with Houston. But the Jaguars drafted linebacker Blair Brown in the fifth round last year and signed free agent D.J. Hayden to replace Colvin.
"We have needs, don't get me wrong, but there's not a glaring need for this upcoming season for us," Caldwell said.
The Jaguars let Chad Henne walk, leaving them without a backup quarterback until trading for Cleveland's Cody Kessler late last month. Kessler's arrival did little to alter Jacksonville's desire for a developmental backup. But how high will the Jags take one?
HITS, MISSES AND BARGAINS
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey (first round, 2016) and running back Leonard Fournette (first round Calvin Munson Jersey , 2017) are two big hits for a team with a history of draft woes. No one from Jacksonville's 2013 draft class remains on the roster. Linebacker Telvin Smith (fifth round, 2014) and defensive Yannick Ngakoue (third round, 2016) are two of the biggest draft bargains the Jags have found in recent years.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The way first-year coach Steve Wilks sees it, that deluge of turnovers by Arizona opponents — 16 in three games — this preseason is no happenstance.
It’s the result, he said, of heavy emphasis in practice.
“I think it’s really the standard that we’ve set,” Wilks said Monday. “It’s what we emphasize and what we teach and what we preach as coaches, taking the ball away.”
The Cardinals benefited from four turnovers apiece by the Los Angeles Chargers and New Orleans Saints and a whopping eight by the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. The Cardinals have one turnover — a pick thrown by Mike Glennon — so are plus-15 in takeaways.
All of which means nothing in preseason as far as wins and losses (Arizona is 3-0 but picked by many to finish at the bottom of the NFC West) but it is an eye-popping number. It’s hard to lose when the opponent forks over the ball eight times.
“We create drills for that,” Wilks said. “Coach Holcomb (defensive coordinator Al Holcomb) and the staff work on that daily. The things we do in practice, picking up loose balls. When we do get interceptions, it’s the mindset of scoring, so you see guys run all the way to the end zone.”
As an example, Wilks used Patrick Peterson’s interception and return 30 yards untouched for a touchdown against the Cowboys.
“I just finished showing the team the interception that Patrick had and I backed it with the interception that he had in practice on the exact same sideline Chris Ivory Jersey ,” Wilks said. “So I always say in order to do something in the game you have to first do it in practice.”
By breakdown, Arizona has six interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries.
“I mean, turnovers, it might look exciting out there,” said linebacker Gerald Hodges, who had a forced fumble against Dallas. “But for us, it is normal because that is what we are preaching all throughout camp, all throughout practice — turnovers, turnovers. Run to the ball, get to the ball. When you run to the ball, when you get to the ball, you are going to create turnovers.”
Peterson had a big day, returning that interception for a score, high-stepping the last few yards with the ball palmed in one hand. He also forced a fumble Ramon Humber Jersey , stripping the ball away with a tackle.
“This is what I envisioned,” Peterson said. “What I have been talking about the whole spring, up until this point. This defense is really opportunistic. It is really set up to make plays at any position. From the linebacker position, from the front four, to the back seven. We are out and we are flying around. We are playing fast football. We are playing together. Communicating. It is fun to see us flying around, playing the type of football that we are capable of playing.”
Of course, the Cardinals have yet to see a legitimate starting NFL quarterback. Philip Rivers, Drew Brees and Dak Prescott sat out those games. The starter won’t be playing for Denver in the preseason finale Thursday night, either.
But make no mistake, forcing turnovers is designed to be a big part of the Cardinals game plan this season.Authentic Womens Michael Gallup Jersey
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