Jaguars Strategy

The Jaguars are still making changes in their lineup even though they have nothing left to play for. And two of the changes are raising some eyebrows.

Dennis Northcutt is back in the starting lineup because Matt Jones is serving a drug suspension and Jerry Porter is out with a groin injury. Northcutt gave the Jags a deep passing game they haven't had all season, as he caught five passes for 127 yards Sunday.

But his showing raised questions about why coach Jack Del Rio buried him on the depth chart all year. Apparently, he was upset about Northcutt dropping a pass in the playoffs, and Del Rio is a coach who holds a grudge.

Del Rio called the passing game "inept" in Chicago, and Northcutt definitely gave it a spark against Green Bay.

Mike Peterson is back starting at middle linebacker because Daryl Smith is out with a groin injury. Peterson lost his starting job after he irritated Del Rio by explaining why he celebrated a sack while the team trailed 21-3 in Cincinnati. Peterson was tossed out of a meeting room and was inactive for the Detroit game, then turned into a special teams player and backup.

But if the idea was to motivate the team, it failed, as the Jaguars lost their next four games. And after Smith was injured, Peterson was on the field in the final quarter when the defense stopped the Packers.


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