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Scouting report: Jacksonville Jaguars


Fred Taylor ran for 121 yards last Sunday against the Colts.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are 1-2 after beating the Colts last weekend on a last-minute field goal. The Jaguars finished the 2007 season at 11-5, which was good enough for second place in the AFC South and a playoff berth. They beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild-card round but lost to the eventual conference champion New England Patriots.

This season marks Jack Del Rio's sixth year as the Jaguars head coach. Through five seasons under Del Rio, the Jacksonville defense ranks fourth in yards allowed (300.1 per game) and points allowed (18.2), while the offense is sixth in rushing yards (135.2) and second in fewest turnovers (114).


Quarterback: Quarterback David Garrard enters his second season as the Jaguars starter. Last season, Garrard finished with only three interceptions in 325 attempts, giving him the second lowest interception percentage in a season for any quarterback in NFL history. Against Indianapolis, Garrard threw for 167 yards with one interception.

Running back: The Jaguars use a running back-by-committee approach, combining the talents of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. Taylor is in his 11th season with the Jaguars and has led the club in rushing in eight of the past 10 years. Last year, Taylor made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career. Jones-Drew has averaged 82.3 yards from scrimmage and 137.5 all-purpose yards per game in his first two seasons in the NFL, and his receiving ability makes him one of the league's best dual-threat running backs. Taylor and Jones-Drew both eclipsed the 100-yard mark last week against the Colts. Jones-Drew also scored a touchdown on the ground and led the Jaguars in receptions with four for 59 yards.

Wide receiver/tight end: Wide receiver Reggie Williams was drafted by the Jaguars with the ninth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. Williams is coming off the best season of his career in 2007 after setting a franchise record for receiving touchdowns with 10. Matt Jones was drafted in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft and was converted to a wide receiver after playing quarterback in college. The Jaguars signed wideout Troy Williamson during the offseason to help out the passing game. Tight end Mercedes Lewis posted career high numbers last season with 37 catches for 391 yards and two touchdowns.

Offensive line: The Jaguars offensive line has had its share of injuries so far this season with two starters forced to go on injured reserve. Left tackle Khalif Barnes has been a mainstay on the Jaguars offensive line since being drafted in 2005. Next to Barnes is rookie left guard Uche Nwaneri. At center, Princeton graduate Dennis Norman has started at least one game for the Jaguars the past three seasons. Ex-Texans Milford Brown starts at right guard for Jacksonville after making 15 starts for the St. Louis Rams in 2007. Right tackle Tony Pashos has started 38 of 53 career games.

Defensive line: The Jaguars defensive line is anchored by two-time Pro Bowl tackle John Henderson. Henderson ranks fifth in franchise history with 24 sacks. Rob Meier joins Henderson in the middle of the defense giving a veteran presence. Meier has played in 123 games for the Jaguars. Reggie Hayward is an eighth-year defensive end who has recorded 34 career sacks. Paul Spicer is one of the team captains and joins Taylor and Meier as the longest tenured Jaguars.

Linebacker: The Jaguars line backing corp. is led by middle linebacker Mike Peterson. Peterson has started 117 of 120 games in nine seasons with career totals of 1,226 tackles (704 solo), 18.5 sacks and 15 interceptions. Linebacker Justin Durant was tied for fifth on the team last season with 70 tackles in the regular season and led the team with 31 post season tackles. Daryl Smith is in his fifth season as the Jaguars starting linebacker and has started in 60 of 62 career games since being drafted in the second round of the 2004 NFL draft.

Secondary: Cornerback Rashean Mathis owns the Jaguars' team record with 21 career interceptions and has led the team in interceptions in three of the past four years. The Pro Bowler returned an interception for a touchdown last week against the Colts. Drayton Florence, who lines up opposite Mathis, spent the previous five seasons with the San Diego Chargers. Free safety Reggie Nelson made an immediate impact as a rookie last season after the Jaguars made him their first-round draft choice in 2007. Nelson set a team rookie record with five interceptions. Rounding out the secondary is strong safety Brian Williams. Williams is a seven-year veteran and set a team record in 2007 with an interception in three straight games.


Returning: Nine-year veteran wide receiver Dennis Northcutt handles punt return duties for the Jaguars. Northcutt has registered a 10.0-yard punt return average or higher in five of eight seasons. Jones-Drew gives the Jaguars a dynamic return man. He is the only player in team history to record two career kickoff returns for touchdowns and he ranks first in career kickoff return yards in team history.

Kicking: Kicker Josh Scobee has served as the team's placekicker for the last four seasons after being selected in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL draft. Scobee hit a 51-yard game-winning field goal last week against Indianapolis with 1:03 left in the game. Punter Adam Podlesh enters his second pro season.

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