Someone to Keep Your Eye On

As you peruse what will likely be the Jaguars season finale against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, keep an eye on number 53, the Browns outside linebacker Matt Roth.

Matt Roth was added to the Browns roster late in the year when he was waived by the Miami Dolphins on November 24th. Roth had been inactive with the Dolphins for the majority of the season due to some mysterious injuries he was still recovering from in the 2008 season. So far in five starts with the Browns, Roth has notched 26 tackles and four sacks. He has been a force rushing the passer for the Browns and will hit free agency in the off-season.

The reason Jags fans should keep an eye on Matt Roth is because the team was very interested in him. The Jaguars put in a claim for Roth when he hit the waiver wire and were really hoping they would land the former Iowa Hawkeye. At 6-4, 275 lbs, Roth is big enough to play with his hand on the ground at the left defensive end position, but he is also versatile enough to play the outside linebacker position in the 3-4 look, which is what he's been playing the last few seasons with the Dolphins and this year with the Browns. With Jacksonville still trying to figure out if they want to play in the 4-3 or the 3-4, Roth is the type of player who can let you keep that versatility and play standing up or with his hand on the ground.

Matt Roth was drafted in the second Round (46th overall) by the Miami Dolphins in the 2005 NFL draft. Roth played defensive end at the University of Iowa, but was originally recruited as a middle linebacker, which is likely why the transition to outside linebacker has been rather seemless for him. He started 14 of 16 games at outside linebacker for the Dolphins in 2008 and finished the season with 53 tackles and five sacks.


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