Let’s get one thing out of the way right now, Paul Pozluszny is one of the best free agents the Jacksonville Jaguars have ever signed and one of the best defensive players in franchise history.
The Jaguars haven’t replaced Posluszny in the two years since his retirement. They’ve tried, but in every occasion they put someone in the middle of their defense who couldn’t do the job Posluszny did.
With all the negativity swirling around this franchise this off-season, from the trading of Calais Campbell and AJ Bouye, to the announcement that the team is playing two home games in London, to even the decision to retain both head coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell, the Jaguars franchise was looking for something positive.
Enter free agent signing Joe Schobert.
Who is Joe Schobert may not be the right question. The right question may be is Schobert the next Paul Posluszny.
Schobert is set to sign a five-year contract with the Jaguars this week. He is a tough middle linebacker who starred in the Big Ten for Wisconsin. Kind of like Posluszny starred in the Big Ten for Penn State.
Schobert was an All-American linebacker in 2015 and was the Big Ten linebacker of the year. Come to think of it, Posluszny was also an All-American linebacker during his college days in both 2005 and 2006.
Posluszny spent the first four years of his career in Buffalo where he was a tackling machine. He was credited for 398 combined tackles, three quarterback sacks, four fumble recoveries and four interceptions before signing with the jaguars prior to the 2011 season.
Schobert has spent his first four years in Cleveland where, like Posluszny, he has tackled everything that has moved. Schobert has been credited with 408 combined tackles, 8.5 quarterback sacks, seven fumble recoveries and six interceptions. All of which are better numbers than Posluszny put up in Buffalo. Schobert, like Posluszny, will sign with the jaguars as he is entering the prime of his career.
Not to mention it will probably take Jaguar fans a while to figure out how to pronounce Schobert’s name just like it did with Pozluszny.
Not many Jaguar fans know very much about Schobert. The same could have been said for Posluszny prior to 2011.
Once again, it will be hard to replace one of the greatest defensive players in Jaguar franchise history and that would be a lot of pressure to put on Schobert’s shoulders, but there is no denying the fact there are very interesting similarities between the two.
Jaguar fans needed something good to happen and if the team has found Posluszny 2.0 in Schobert that would be one heck of a good start into rebuilding this organization.
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)