Through two games, a defensive line that Jacksonville is hoping will emerge as a strength has produced zero sacks.
The Jaguars defense is one of two without a quarterback takedown, and the other, Cincinnati, plays its second preseason game tonight.
So the team’s faith in its ability to rush the passer is not wavering. And Jack Del Rio said Sunday he was not displeased with the pass pressure in the Jaguars’ Friday night win over Atlanta.
“Those guys are working hard, the whole group is working hard,” he said of the defensive linemen in a conversation with the Jacksonville press. “Joe Cullen does a good job working those guys. He works them with a lot of passion, he’s hard on them but they all know he loves them.
“We feel that the defensive line can be a real strength for us this year in terms of a wave of guys that are going to be relentless trying to stuff the run and get after the quarterback. To this point there’s not a whole lot on the stat sheet to reflect the effort and the energy that we got.
“But I think we all saw some positive signs in the last ballgame in terms of the quarterback wasn’t sitting back there looking real comfortable. I know the numbers will come over time, but I think the energy and the effort and the way they’re getting after people is the right way.”
Energy and effort are certainly necessities. But so are sacks. Jacksonville had only 14 in 2010 and 26 in 2011. Last year included four games with none and five games with one, and Jacksonville was 2-7 in those games.
The Jaguars need more, and more at big moments to get where they want to go.