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Former foes expect Red Bryant, Chris Clemons to make difference for Jags

Posted: March 26, 2014 - 9:24pm  |  Updated: March 26, 2014 - 9:38pm

ORLANDO | They meant it in the best way possible when asked about Seattle cutting ties with defensive end/run stopper Red Bryant and defensive end/pass rusher Chris Clemons, both of whom signed with the Jaguars: Good riddance.

“Thank God,” Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said with a laugh.

Said St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher: “In the division, you’re always happy to see one of your opponents lose good players.”

And from outside the NFC West …

“The names along their front last year were like a blur because they did such a good job playing with a rotation and keeping guys fresh,” New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said.

The Seahawks went a combined 5-1 last year against Arizona, St. Louis and New Orleans so that trio of coaches is familiar with how effective Bryant and Clemons can be for a defense.

The Jaguars are trying to emulate Seattle coach Pete Carroll’s modus operandi of stockpiling defensive linemen in general and defensive ends in particular.

“You can never have enough [pass] rushers, and we’ll continue with that approach,” coach Gus Bradley said. “You have to build up the defensive line with that mind-set.”

Last year, the Seahawks had a group of Bryant, Clemons, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril.

The Jaguars, whose 30 sacks last year were tied for fewest in the NFL, scooped up Bryant and Clemons and signed them to four-year deals when Seattle cut them to create a combined $13 million in salary-cap space. They hope they can team with Jason Babin, Andre Branch and others to be determined to spark the defense.

“They’ll be dynamic right away,” Arians said of Bryant/Clemons.

Off the field, the Jaguars expect Bryant and Clemons to set a standard because of their experience helping build Seattle from 7-9 in 2010-11 to 13-3 and Super Bowl champions last year.

“Going from winning a Super Bowl to a new city and team, there’s a certain confidence you take with you because of what you’ve accomplished,” Payton said.

Said Arians: “There’s no doubt [they’ll help] because when winners come in, guys gravitate toward them and want to hear, ‘How did you get it done? How are you going to help us?’ It’s easier to do that when you hold that ring up and you get that respect.”

Bryant was the first Jaguars addition this offseason. Released by Seattle Feb. 28, Bryant visited Jacksonville March 7 and signed one day later to replace Tyson Alualu as the starting “big” defensive end opposite the Leo.

At 326 pounds, Bryant would play early downs for Seattle and helped anchor a run defense that finished seventh and 10th the last two years.

Like with the Seahawks, Bryant will line up for the Jaguars over the offensive tackle and also have to go against tight ends in a double-team situation.

Bryant has only 3.5 sacks in 64 career games but has 124 tackles and makes life easier for linebackers. He comes to the Jaguars universally respected for his on-field play and off-field leadership.

Arians: “Nobody is happier than our tight ends that Red is gone from Seattle. He is a handful for just about anybody to block. He’s a special player. I have a ton of respect for him.”

Fisher: “A very explosive, smart player on the edge. He can collapse the pocket and is an outstanding run defender.”

Payton: “[The Jaguars] are getting a physical player who plays with good get-off [at the snap].”

Carroll: “Red is a terrific football player. He has a great role for [the Jaguars] and will be a terrific role player for them. He had fine seasons for us and is a good leader and a great guy. Gus knows what he’s getting.”

The coaches expect Clemons to return to the form he showed from 2010-12 when he had seasons of 11, 11 and 11.5 sacks for Seattle.

Clemons tore an anterior cruciate ligament in Seattle’s playoff win over Washington in January 2013 but managed to play 17 regular season/postseason games (14 starts) and had 3.5 sacks.

“Chris should be at his best,” Carroll said. “He came off the ACL and recovered and still had a good, productive year, but he’ll be better this year. He’s a good pickup.”

Said Arians: “He can still get to the quarterbackand his familiarity with Gus, he’ll be plugged in as a starter for them right away.”

Ryan O’Halloran: (904) 359-4401

Comments (13)

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Bottomline 03/27/14 - 09:16 pm
Last year at this time I was

Last year at this time I was very pessimistic about the 2013 NFL season. This year I am optimistic. I see us winning 6 games and building both an offensive and defensive line. I hope that Henne can stay healthy so that we are not forced to play our rookie qb before the offensive line gels. The wide receiver position causes me great concern but hopefully that will be addressed in the draft. I don't think we can plan on Blackmon staying out of trouble and being reinstated. After this year I see us playing .500 football the next year and contending for the playoffs the following year. I look forward to watching the team mature and becoming a contender in a few years. I want to see the stadium rocking like it did in the days of Brunell, Smith, and Taylor.

Jag Cynic DeVille
Jag Cynic DeVille 03/27/14 - 12:48 pm
Until Henne sits our offense

Until Henne sits our offense will sputter. He isn't accurate past 20 yards and his timing is too off. He looks at the target too early and will still have more oicks than TD's. The rude awakening will be the lethargic running game, good for 3 yards per carry, not often used on 2nd or 3rd dowm. IF we win, 3/4ths of the time will be because of the defense and them getting us a TD, FG or in the red zone by way of a turnover.

The Patient
The Patient 03/27/14 - 12:48 pm
@Emma3 - we can only hope.

@Emma3 - we can only hope.

emma3 03/27/14 - 11:01 am
@forty-six and two- Great

@forty-six and two- Great takes on the defense, and Please, please if I never see another one yard pass to the sideline, not going past the line of scrimmage, I will be a happy person!!!! You are so right! Plus I won't miss Mojo losing a yard on first down..We'll see, I'm not making predictions.....just looking forward!

ALeo 03/27/14 - 10:23 am
Premium Member
Good discussion. I agree with

Good discussion. I agree with everyone that we had a great Free Agency.
I do though think that it is a little premature to be able to say how the Offense will do until after the draft. We have a boatload of picks and if we draft down could have even more. For example what if we drafted Sammy Watkins as a WR and Derek Carr or AJ McCarron as QB ?? Even though they are rookies they would still be a vast improvement over last year.
Overall I am excited and can't wait until the Draft.

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