JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars’ secondary certainly will benefit from the return of cornerback Aaron Colvin.
So will the pass rush.
Colvin, who is back after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, is the Jaguars’ best and most proven blitzer among the defensive backs. That is an element the Jaguars rarely have used this season, but with Colvin back it’s another thing for which opposing offenses have to prepare.
"Last year Kiff [defensive assistant Monte Kiffin] was sitting there talking about schemes and I said if we can blitz, Colvin is a heck of a blitzer," defensive coordinator Todd Wash said. "He is a good blitzer, but you don’t want to lose his coverage skills either."
Colvin was second on the team with 4.0 sacks in 2015, the second-highest total by a defensive back in franchise history and the most in one season by a defensive back since Roman Harper had 7.5 in 2011. His biggest sack came in the Jaguars’ victory over Buffalo in London, when he forced E.J. Manuel to fumble and Chris Clemons returned it for a touchdown.
Colvin just seems to have a good feel for blitzing off the edge. It’s harder than people assume and few defensive backs are very good at it, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said.
"There are a lot of things to that," Bradley said. "It starts off with disguise. I think that is one. He does a good job with that. I think timing it up. There are some things to that that he does. It is kind of a knack to be a good blitzer.
"I think he is still developing in that area. I wouldn’t put him in the category of a great blitzer, but he does have a knack for it."
Colvin has no idea why, though.
"I don’t know if I can really answer that," he said. "When I see ball I just try to go get ball, and that’s in any situation, so when I’m tackling, blitzing … it just feels real natural to me.
"You have to be able to time it up. I think you have to be able to beat a man that’s trying to block you, but then I think you have to be able to accelerate and finish on the quarterback when the opportunity is given."
Colvin didn’t do much blitzing at Oklahoma -- he had 3.5 sacks in four years -- but said he’d like to do it even more than he has in his two-plus seasons with the Jaguars.
"I can’t really sit there and complain and be like, ‘I need to be blitzing,’ because whatever they ask me to do, I’m going to do and I’m going to go 110 percent," Colvin said. "But I do think I can change a game when I get to rush the passer."
He may not be asked to do that on Sunday when the Jaguars (1-3) play at Chicago (1-4), but that’s OK because he’s just glad to be back after serving the four-game PED suspension. He said he’s not trying to make up for missing those four games on Sunday though.
"It’s definitely excitement inside of me right now to go out there and just showcase what I’ve got and to help this defense out to be even better than what they’ve already been playing, but I’ve still got to let the game come to me," Colvin said. "I’ve still got to be patient because when you get out of whack and you start trying to do too much, that’s when bad things happen.
"I know what I’m going to do and I know what I’m going to bring to this defense. I’m going to sleep nice and well [on Saturday night] but when I wake up it’s going to be a different monster."