The Jaguars gave several veteran safeties their chance to fix the NFL's 28th-ranked pass defense. Now the young guys will get their shot.
Starting SS Anthony Smith was traded to the Packers for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2011 one day before the Jaguars' 30-3 blowout loss to the Titans. GM Gene Smith decided that he should get some value for a player who has dealt with injuries this season and was not in the team's long-term plans.
FS Gerald Alexander, who was re-signed by the Jaguars just two weeks ago and played a key role in the Week Five victory over the Bills, was released the morning after the loss to the Titans. Alexander was late getting over in coverage on a Kenny Britt TD catch in the first quarter and looked more like the guy who struggled during the preseason for the Jaguars than the one who made several big plays in Buffalo.
Week One starting FS Sean Considine is back after missing two games with a hamstring injury, although we hear his value the rest of the way will come on special teams.
Head coach Jack Del Rio announced in a press conference last week that the time had come to find out exactly what the team has in a pair of second-year guys, SS Courtney Greene and FS Don Carey: "We've elected to go with some of the younger guys that we think have the athleticism," Del Rio said.
"We feel like the mistakes that they may make will improve over time and that we'll be able to educate, teach and be more athletic and be able to make more plays in the back end."
Both Greene and Carey were waiver-wire pickups for the Jaguars in 2009. Carey was snatched away from the Browns after Cleveland waived/injured the talented defensive back.
Greene has started three games this season, recording 20 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble. We hear that the Jaguars like his toughness and hitting ability. He is a very good athlete and should continue to mature.
Carey, who started getting reps at the FS spot within the past month, has great size and athletic ability. Smith raves about Carey's football IQ and thinks he has the potential to become a playmaker in the secondary.