Del Rio Defends His Expensive Nickel Back

Coach Jack Del Rio isn't ready to admit the Jaguars made a mistake when they signed cornerback Drayton Florence to a $36 million deal that included $13 million in guaranteed money in the offseason. Find out how Coach Del Rio is justifying his position.

The deal seemed suspect from the start because Florence lost his starting job last year in San Diego to Antonio Cromartie. The Jaguars rationalized his benching by noting that Cromartie was a 2006 first-round draft pick and they had to get him in the lineup.

As it turned out, the same thing happened to Florence in Jacksonville.

After missing the game against Pittsburgh with a groin injury, he lost his starting job when he returned. Now he's the nickel back and Brian Williams has moved back from safety to corner in the base defense.

Supposedly, Florence was going to be a cover corner in their new attack defense favored by Gregg Williams. But the Jaguars didn't have the personnel to get to the quarterback with the blitz so they're now playing more zone and Florence's strength isn't zone coverage.

So they now have a high-priced nickel back.

Still, Del Rio can't admit they wasted money on him.

"Right now he's entering the game in nickel situations. He played well yesterday and continues to play well. It's been great having him. He's a good football player. It's been great having a guy who has the ability size and speed wise to match up with the better players we face at that position. He's been a good addition to our team," he said.

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