By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)
The Jacksonville Jaguars helped solidify their secondary Tuesday when they signed Marcus Trufant from Seattle. The connection with former Seahawks defensive coordinator and current Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley undoubtedly helped with the “sell” of the franchise to the veteran.
While the Jaguars are looking to get younger, having a solid veteran presence, no matter how much Trufant, who was a Pro Bowl player back in 2007, can play on a consistent basis. At 32 years old, Trufant is not the spry cornerback roaming the back line like he used to.
If Trufant’s signing is a “sign” that NFL “association” is still important to the growth of a franchise, then maybe the Jaguars should look toward signing other veterans with ties to other staff members. Two in particular could be effective teammates that are not only able to produce, but will help develop the younger talent around them.
Bob Babish was the defensive coordinator in Chicago before coming to Jacksonville and had a hand in the development of Lance Briggs and the play of Brian Urlacher, who is still out there on the free agent market. While Urlacher is not the player he once was, there is something to be said for a veteran with a “tear your head off mentality” that this team needs.
And then there is David Caldwell, the Jaguars general manager. Caldwell has ties to the Falcons, where he was Director of College Scouting for the Falcons from 2008–2011. He was promoted to Director of Player Personnel in 2012. In 2006, the Falcons signed John Abraham to a contract from the New York Jets, and was a Falcons star until he left via free agency this year. Caldwell knows all about Abraham and what he can do. While he is older (35), can he still give this team a spark? The Tennessee Titans are said to be interested in him, why not the Jaguars?
The reason why I bring these signings up is simple, 1996. The second year in the NFL, the Jaguars made the playoffs with a 9-7 and an improbable run to the AFC Championship game. They lost to the Patriots. If it weren’t for veteran leadership like Clyde Simmons and Don Davie and others, this team would never have been as successful as it was. The Jaguars of today need that.
The players on the roster have some talent, but maybe a splash of veteran experience is all they need to have a run similar to the one 17 years ago.
The Jaguars should take a swing at these vets and see what happens. If they miss, they miss. But if they “hit,” it could lead to a more interesting season here on the First Coast.
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