Posluszny an instant upgrade for porous Jaguars' defense

Posted July 27, 2011 @ 1:18 p.m.
Posted By Arthur Arkush

ILB Paul Posluszny agreed to terms on a six-year deal with the Jaguars, according to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora.

Posluszny was an unrestricted free agent. The deal won't be made official until Friday afternoon. In 14 starts last season, Posluszny recorded 151 tackles and two sacks.

The Jaguars play a 4-3 defense, while the Bills will be using some 3-4 and 4-3.

"I have so much respect for the Buffalo organization," Posluszny's agent, Mike McCartney, told the Buffalo News. "They did everything they could to keep him. ... But he felt more comfortable in a 4-3 defense. He felt he came into the league playing the 'Mike' in the 4-3. I want to emphasize how much respect I have for Jim Overdorf and the Bills. It was a tough decision."

The PFW spin

Under GM Gene Smith, the Jaguars have taken an approach to building their defense not unlike that of the old adage in baseball: building a contender starts up the middle.

The two cornerstones, DTs Tyson Alualu and Terrance Knighton, have trips to Honolulu in their futures.

Now, Jacksonville's "D" has added the "Mike" ’backer who can appropriately reap the benefits of the two massive men in the middle.

Posluszny's outstanding instincts and tackling ability make him an excellent fit in the Jaguars' "D." He is much better suited in a 4-3, where he won't get swallowed up as often and his average speed and athleticism won't be exposed.

"Poz" is a Gene Smith guy: he eats, drinks and sleeps football. And he does it going 100 miles per hour on every play. Furthermore, he is a former team captain who can be a great asset to a young team. He also won't be in the news for the wrong reasons, which is something the Jaguars value greatly. And the best part of all is that he is 26 years old and entering the prime of his career. Posluszny should be quarterbacking the Jags' "D" for many years to come.

One of the unit's biggest issues last season was tackling. Other than rock-solid SLB Daryl Smith, the linebacking corps was a big part of the problem. Free-agent Kirk Morrison, despite getting better as the season progressed, didn't live up to expectations, failing to record 100 tackles for the first time in his career. Fellow free-agent 'backer Justin Durant was even worse, as he was constantly nicked up and took poor angles to the football. Adding a tackling machine like Posluszny instantly upgrades the unit.

Although "Poz" does not add much in terms of pass rush, which is an area in which the club has been sorely lacking, he is a more dynamic player than Morrison and should continue developing other areas of his game.

With the addition of Posluszny, it is unlikely the Jaguars bring back Morrison or Durant. But they are expected to pursue at least one more 'backer — perhaps even stealing Clint Session away from their AFC South rivals — potentially turning a weakness last season into position of strength.