A year ago, former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley stood at a podium and declared the team’s roster was complete. It’s a statement that haunted Bradley and his coaching staff through a 3-13 season. Everything that could go wrong on the offensive side of the ball went wrong. The defense was better, but it still needed help.
Ultimately, Bradley was relieved of his duties after 14 games in 2016.
On Thursday, Jaguars’ defensive lineman Calais Campbell declared the team had, “every piece of the puzzle.” The free agent signee from Arizona was one of the prized free agents to sign with the Jaguars, along with safety Barry Church and cornerback AJ Bouye.
“We don’t need anything else. … All we have to do is take care of the small details, and put the things in place,” he said via fansided.com.
“The front office is doing a great job making it competitive, bringing the right guys in to compete…We have big goals, lofty goals, but all of that will take care of itself. Right now, we’re going to take care of the details.”
While many of the fans here in Jacksonville may have gasped when they heard the proclamation, the confidence in Campbell’s statement is reason for optimism in 2017. It also shows the pass rusher may quickly become a leader in the locker room.
As Jason Parker points out, Campbell made have learned the first rule of overconfidence during his time at the University of Miami, but some of those Hurricanes teams could beat the product on the field for the Jaguars. the biggest point would be at quarterback, where Blake Bortles hasn’t proved yet that he can be a NFL quarterback through his first seasons in the league.
The one thing the Jacksonville Jaguars need is harmony with both sides of the ball. The defense was ahead of the process last season while the offense told control of the team in 2015. Both need to show improvements this season – as the AFC South’s three other teams made significant improvements.
This will be the 10th season in the NFL for Campbell, who will join the pass rush rotation with Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler and rookie Dawuane Smoot from Illinois. Because the secondary may be the most improved unit on the roster, there may be more opportunities to get to the quarterback this season.