A combine rewind on what we heard from the Jacksonville Jaguars in Indianapolis…
A hybrid defensive front will limit opponents’ run options: Coach Gus Bradley says the Jaguars defense will be unpredictable. “What we've seen in the run game, some offenses might say, 'Here's our run game attack for a 4-3 team and here's our run-game attack for a 3-4 team,'” Bradley said. “When they see us do both, the run game shrinks down a little bit and the philosophy behind it defensively is it pares it down and easier for us and the style of runs we'll see.”
The relationship between Bradley and Caldwell is already strong: Caldwell is kind of low key while Bradley is a ball of energy. It seems like a nice yin-and-yang combination. Asked about why he didn’t wait on his friend Greg Roman, the 49ers offensive coordinator, to become available, general manager David Caldwell said “Gus really knocked my doors off.” Said Bradley: “One of the most important things is to develop a relationship with the GM. We spend a lot of time watching tape together and talking through philosophy and what we're looking for in our scheme both offensive and defensively.”
Laurent Robinson has been cleared: The wide receiver who went to Jacksonville for a big free agent contract last year, then played in only seven games because of three concussions. There are no team activities for him to participate in now, but were there any he’d be good to go, Caldwell said. That’s an encouraging development. But do the Jaguars need to worry that one big shot will knock him out? With Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts and Robinson, the Jaguars have a nice three-pack of receivers. But they should be at least four deep. Exclusive rights free agent Jordan Shipley could be a key guy.
Trade bait may be the second-rounder, not the first: The Jaguars have the first pick of the second round, 33rd overall. Since there is a day between the first and second round, that pick could be very popular. A team in need of a quarterback could look to vault up to the top of the second day to ensure it gets its guy. “I think there’s going to be a lot of interest,” Caldwell said. “There will be a very good player for us to select, too. We feel very good about having that.”
Derek Cox’s injury history makes things complicated: He is a quality cover corner for the Jaguars, but he heads for free agency with a major record of getting hurt. He’s missed 17 of 48 games the last three years, and it’s hard to pay big dollars to a player who’s missed a third of the team’s games over that stretch. “The most important ability is availability,” Caldwell said. "Regardless of size, speed, athleticism, play-making ability, if they’re not available on game day, then I think it’s difficult to pay them for that.”