Harvey invisible at Jags camp
Posted Aug. 11 at 08:54 PM
A week ago we talked about middle linebacker battles. There are also several key ones brewing at defensive end, where a starting job could be the difference between a guy finishing with 7-8 sacks or being totally worthless in IDP formats. How these turn out will have an effect on some highly regarded team defenses, as well.
Jacksonville: The Jaguars traded up to take Derrick Harvey, considered the best pass-rusher in the draft. The idea behind drafting Harvey and second-rounder Quentin Groves was to dramatically upgrade a defense that was only average in getting after the quarterback last year, and couldn’t do much against the elite quarterbacks standing between them and the Super Bowl (Peyton Manning and Tom Brady). Harvey, however, remains unsigned, so maybe Groves will end up leaping ahead of him. The coaching staff has been impressed with Groves thus far. Either way, Jacksonville needs to get Harvey on the field for their defensive line overhaul to have its full effect.
Tampa Bay: Greg White and Kevin Carter are vying for the spot opposite Gaines Adams, with Marques Douglas another possibility. Since White led the team with 8 sacks a year ago, it’s a little surprising. Carter turns 35 next month, so we’re not banking on him either being a full-time player or keeping that starting spot. It’s possible the Bucs will use some kind of committee there, making Adams the only viable IDP option on the line.
Philadelphia: The Eagles like to rotate their defensive linemen, which makes projecting their players tricky. Trent Cole, certainly, figures to lead this team in sacks. After him, Juqua Parker, Victor Abiamiri, and Chris Clemons are the intriguing candidates, with Parker of particular interest following Abiamiri’s wrist injury (he’s out indefinitely). If Parker has a strong preseason, he could take the lion’s share of those sack opportunities.
Other news and notes:
- Projected wins, and a good offense, generally help defenses in our rankings. Teams that win more games and build more leads are more likely to rack up sacks and turnovers over the course of a season. For that reason, in light of their acquisition of Brett Favre, the Jets climb in our rankings this week.
- Another mover this week is the Oakland Raiders. They have loads of talent on the defensive side of the ball, and their offense looks like it will be every bit as run-oriented as it was a year ago – Darren McFadden has looked good, while Javon Walker reportedly had to be talked out of retirement. Expect a lot of low-scoring, defensive struggles out of the Raiders this year.
- If Pacman Jones is out to change his life by going back to using his given name, who are we to argue? The very definition of the risk-reward player – it’s not even a given his suspension will be lifted for the upcoming season – he appears in our rankings from this point forward as Adam Jones.
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