<
>

Jaguars hoping Jared Odrick can boost production at end

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Red Bryant did a solid job as the big defensive end opposite the pass-rushing Leo (an end/linebacker hybrid), but the Jacksonville Jaguars are hoping newly signed Jared Odrick will be able to provide more production at the position.

Bryant, who was released Thursday morning, and backup Tyson Alualu combined for 52 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, and four tackles for loss in 2014. It's not a position that's going to generate a lot of sacks in coach Gus Bradley's defense, but the Jaguars were hoping for more big plays out of the spot even though it's primary responsibility is to set the edge in the run game.

Odrick did that during his five seasons with Miami, especially when he was playing defensive end. He played in only one game as a rookie because of a broken foot but hasn't missed a game since. From 2011-13, Odrick compiled 15.5 sacks and 99 tackles playing mainly at end. His production dipped in 2014 to one sack and 29 tackles, but he played inside more than he had previously.

It's what he did outside that intrigued Jaguars GM David Caldwell.

“If you look just at his production [from 2011-13], he averaged about five sacks per year," Caldwell said. "That’s what we kind of look at and then you throw the fact that we’re a more penetrating defense and what he could potentially be in our defense."

Odrick will line up inside in certain situations with the Jaguars, but he's mainly going to play at the big end spot. He said it doesn't really matter because he feels he can be effective anywhere and he's looking forward to getting into the defense and figuring out where he can help the most. That's all he wants to do.

"There were times in Miami where I felt like I could do some other things better, but that wasn’t my role at the time and you kind of do as best you can with what you can do on a team and what you’re given," Odrick said. "At the same time, not just accepting it. At the same time, working towards what you think you can do and contribute the most and best towards a team goal, which is usually victory."

Another key factor in the Jaguars' decision to go with Odrick over Bryant, who was due a $500,000 roster bonus on Saturday: Odrick turned 27 on New Year's Eve while Bryant turns 31 in April. Getting younger and better is always a priority.