Behind Enemy Lines - Jaguars Part 2

Charlie Berstein of JagNation.com and ESPN Radio, swung by to answer questions about this week's opponent the Jacksonville Jaguars. In part 2 of this multi-part series, Bernstein gives the scoop on; Jack Del Rio's coaching status, losing Clint Ingram, a little known rookie Jacksonville got via trade and much more...

Photo: Jags DB Derek Cox (AP)

Did you miss part 1? (click here)

6) Why is Jack Del Rio taking exception to a former player's comments to the media? (Del Rio's response to Fred Taylor's comments about film watching). Doesn't Del Rio have enough to worry about rather than what a former player says in the media? Is Del Roi safe if the Jags done' make the playoffs?

Bernstein: There’s no one coach or player that I’ve ever covered that’s better at deflecting blame for anything than Jack Del Rio. Del Rio routinely fires members of his staff year after year, and he has never shied away from throwing a veteran player “under the bus”. As for Del Rio’s job security, he still has a few years left on his contract at $5 million per, and with a small market team that struggles to earn revenue, it’s more than doubtful that Wayne Weaver will pay Del Rio to stay home and another coach to coach his team. Expectations were very low this season and even if they drop the final two games, it will still be considered a success internally.

7) How big of an impact will the loss of LB Clint Ingram be for the defense? Are there any other major injury concerns on that side of the ball?

Bernstein: The loss of Clint Ingram is far from crippling, as undrafted rookie linebacker Russell Allen had been outplaying him. The Jaguars defense will not miss a beat without Ingram, and he’s likely played his last game in a Jags uniform. As for other injuries, CB Rashean Mathis is trying to recover from a groin injury, and FS Reggie Nelson has been getting treated for third-degree burns thanks to his non-coverage of Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne.

8) Prior to the 2009 Draft, a league source told PatriotsInsider.com there were a number of teams very high on William & Mary DB Derek Cox, including the Giants among others. The Jaguars traded a 2010 2nd and 2009 7th round (232nd Julian Edelman) pick to get Cox. Do you think the Jaguars got a deal there? How has he looked?

Bernstein: When the trade first happened on draft day, I was amongst many who immediately asked, “who?” It turns out that the team really did their homework on Cox and he’s been very very solid for a rookie cornerback. He has the same skill set as Rashean Mathis, and when Mathis was out for a few weeks, teams decided to go away from Cox and pick on Tyron Brackenridge. The Jaguars effectively traded a second-round pick next year for a guy who’s playing like a first-round pick, and since they drafted him in round three, they are paying a third-round salary.

9) The Jaguars almost knocked the Colts from the ranks of the unbeaten last week, but a late Peyton Manning TD drive put Indy back on top for good. Is that just Peyton being Peyton, or were there things the Jaguars could have, perhaps should have, done to salt away the win when they had the lead?

Bernstein: In that game, Reggie Nelson accounted for not one, but two Indianapolis touchdowns with his abysmal play at safety. As for salting away the game, David Garrard became completely ineffective in the final period and the Jaguars were not going to be able to use clock or even score.

10) How does this year's Jaguars team compare to last year's? Key differences better/worse...)

Bernstein: This year’s Jaguars team has better people, and are much more professional. This year’s team is considerably younger, and last season’s 5-11 record has certainly humbled them. The emergence of Mike Sims-Walker and Marcedes Lewis has made a big difference on offense, and the loss of defensive end Reggie Hayward and the further regression of Reggie Nelson has made the team worse on defense.

PREDICTION (and why)

Bernstein: It would be crazy not to pick the Patriots, although I believe that the Jaguars can keep the game close. Jacksonville has never defeated a Tom Brady team, and the 31st ranked pass defense isn’t striking too much fear into the Patriots film room, despite what Bill Belichick had to say. Jacksonville has been bad on the road, as David Garrard has thrown just one touchdown pass away from Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, and the Pats have been pretty good at home.

Do You Think the Jaguars will make the playoffs?

Bernstein: Obviously if I don’t think they win on Sunday, they will not make the playoffs. If the Jaguars did somehow sneak in, they would be the worst playoff team in many years. Jacksonville hasn’t defeated a team with a winning record all year and their 7-7 record is more of a product of an easy schedule rather than solid play.

Did you miss Part 1? (Click Here)

Charlie Bernstein is the host of CB Sports on ESPN Radio 1420 in St. Augustine, and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America.


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