Free agents lost: OT Khalif Barnes(notes), FB Anthony Controne, CB Drayton Florence(notes), CB Isaiah Gardner(notes), WR Matt Jones(notes), S Chad Nkang(notes), LB Mike Peterson(notes), WR Jerry Porter(notes), S Pierson Prioleau(notes), G Tutan Reyes(notes), OT Stefan Rodgers(notes), S Gerald Sensabaugh(notes), OT Charles Spencer(notes), DE Paul Spicer(notes), RB Fred Taylor(notes), WR D'Juan Woods(notes), TE George Wrighster(notes)
Drafted: OT Eugene Monroe(notes), OT Eben Britton(notes), DT Terrance Knighton(notes), CB Derek Cox(notes), WR Mike Thomas(notes), WR Jarett Dillard(notes), TE Zach Miller, RB Rashad Jennings(notes), WR Tiquan Underwood(notes)
It's not the biggest transaction the Jaguars have made in terms of on-field impact, but letting Fred Taylor mosey off to New England makes the Jaguars feel like a whole new team. That, plus the new uniforms, and we may have a whole new era of Jacksonville football on our hands.
I'm not so sure that the old era wasn't better.
I used to think of the Jags as one of the teams that could be counted on to have a stout defense, year in and year out, but last year, they struggled to be average. They were decent up front against the run, but opposing quarterbacks had a field day against them. The Jags allowed a combined quarterback rating of 95.4. Even Kyle Orton(notes) looked good against the guys in teal.
They haven't done a lot to improve on that side of the ball, either. They went offense with the first two picks in the draft, and the help they got in free agency comes in the form of Tyron Brackenridge and Sean Considine. I like Considine, but I don't see him making any Pro Bowls soon.
There's good news on offense, though. The Jags learned the hard way last year that offensive line depth is important, and their first two draft picks were spent on offensive linemen. They also brought in veteran Tra Thomas from Philadelphia, so depth there should no longer be an issue. That'll definitely help David Garrard(notes), as well as Maurice Christopher Jones-Drew, or, as I like to call him, MCJ.
Garrard should also finally have a receiver he can count on, too, as Torry Holt comes to town. Maybe he's lost a step from what he once was, but he can still be a factor, especially with a team that should be able to protect their quarterback now, which was not the case the last few years with the Rams. I think they'll regret giving up on Matt Jones, but who knows, maybe he was never going to succeed in Jacksonville.
Progress: Offensively, I like what they've done, and the ability to better control the football should take a little pressure off of the defense. That's about the only way the defense has improved, though, and maybe Jacksonville's turning into one of those teams that wants to win games 35-31.
Plus one game. 5-11 last year, 6-10 this year.