Position Changes for Jaguars

The Jaguars have moved numerous players around this year trying to find the right combinations on offense and defense to make up for injuries and be successful. Find out what lineup we may expect for Sunday afternoon's tilt against the undefeated Titans.

One of the biggest issues of last week for the Jaguars was the spat between middle linebacker and defensive captain Mike Peterson and Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio. Peterson challenged Jack's authority and the result was him being sent home for a little in-season vacation and being declared inactive last Sunday.

To fill in for Peterson, the Jaguars moved outside linebacker Daryl Smith to the inside and he played fantastic football.

"I think being in the middle lends itself to more opportunities," Del Rio explained. "It's really hard to run away from a middle linebacker. If you're an outside linebacker, they can go opposite you and more difficult to tally a bunch of production. But he is a natural middle linebacker. He played middle linebacker in college. He's very natural in there and did a great job for us."

Smith recorded seven tackles, 1.5 sacks, and one pass defensed in the Jaguars 38-14 victory over Detroit Sunday. With Smith playing that well at middle linebacker, and Peterson having his worst season as a pro, there are many that believe the stop at middle linebacker will be a permanent move for Smith.

"There is some consideration for that if we feel like he's strong there and we're strong there," Del Rio said. We'll give that consideration."

It appears that the move to bring Brian Williams back from strong safety to corner will be a permanent one. With Drayton Florence's struggles early in the season, the Jaguars were forced to move Williams back to the position he played for the last four years. Florence will now be the nickel corner.

"Right now he's entering the game with the sub-defense playing the right corner for us, depending on where Rashean (Mathis) ends up lining up. He's entering the game right now in nickel situations, but he played well yesterday and continues to play well and we'll keep putting together the best combinations back there to give us a chance."

Although the Jaguars paid Florence starter money and he's now on the bench to begin games, Jack Del Rio has defended the signing—

"It's been great having him. He's a good football player and it's great having a player that has the ability, size, and speed-wise to match up with the better players that we face at the position. He's been a good addition to the team."

With Florence being moved to nickel, and Williams being moved back to corner, Gerald Sensabaugh has stepped into the starting lineup at safety. Sensabaugh struggled earlier in the year as he bit on play-action and missed several tackles, but he put together his best game of the season Sunday and won a special teams game ball.

"I think he's doing a nice job," Del Rio said of Sensabaugh. "He's settled in enough to play well yesterday. How that ends up working out over time, we'll see but he played well yesterday, played well on special teams and on defense. It's good for our football team to have guys settle into roles and play well within those roles."

Speaking of special teams, the Jaguars opening day kickoff and punt return man Brian Witherspoon was declared inactive last Sunday. After an electric start to his career, Witherspoon has seemingly fallen out of favor with the head coach following a late fumble against Cleveland which aided a Browns victory. Maurice Jones-Drew has been handling the kickoff and punt duties, with some help from Troy Williamson and Dennis Northcutt. Del Rio spoke about Witherspoon's absence last week—

"Just a healthy scratch. You've got to put the best combination that we can for each ballgame. We'd like to get him back up hopefully this week. Nothing that he did at all. He's a good young man, working hard. He was available; It was just a healthy scratch."

The Jaguars hope their flip-flopping of players at the different positions will lead to a victory this Sunday over the undefeated Tennessee Titans.


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