Jacksonville Jaguars 2012 Team Preview

June 12, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) hands off to running back Rashad Jennings (23) during minicamp at Florida Blue Health

Last year saw the end of the Jack Del Rio era in Jacksonville. The 2012 Jaguars have a new owner, a new coach, a second-year quarterback not named Cam Newton, and a few of new starters like Blackmon and Robinson. The defense is in position to take a step forward and looks fairly talented on paper. The offense is full of brand-new additions, and will most likely take a year or two to come together. It will also be interesting to note the development of WR Justin Blackmon.

2011 Record: 5-11

Key Additions: Laurent Robinson, Justin Blackmon, Lee Evans, Andre Branch

Key Losses: Deji Karim, Leger Douzable, Drew Coleman

Offense: Blaine Gabbert has yet to establish himself in the NFL. His rookie campaign was fairly disastrous, but the change at head coach could benefit him, as Gabbert will be given a fair shake in his second year. Laurent Robinson has potential, as does Blackmon, but how well all the pieces fit together remains to be seen. The MJD contract situation only makes things more difficult for this offense. Eugene Monroe also needs to establish himself as a premiere tackle this season.

Defense: The Jaguars defense has a number of potential playmakers that simply failed to bring it all together last season. If this group feels rejuvenated by the coaching change, they could make things tough for a few teams. However, this is essentially the same group as last season, and they failed to do much in 2011, so if they don’t respond as well as anticipated, the team could be in for another difficult season.

Coaching: Mike Mularkey has been in the league for some time, but his last head coaching gig came in 2005 with the Buffalo Bills, and it did not go very well. There is no doubt to his knowledge of the game, but it remains to be seen whether or not he can truly succeed at the head coach level.

Breakout Player: Jeremy Mincey. A project player that is finally starting to hit his stride. Look for him to improve upon 2011 totals of 57 tackles and 8 sacks.

2012 Prediction: 4-12. The Jaguars desperately need Blaine Gabbert to fulfill the promise he showed leading into the draft before they can become legitimate contenders in the AFC South. The defense also needs to overachieve to carry the offense should it struggle; they can’t afford to be middle of the road.

Overview: The Jaguars seem to be a team in need of direction. There are some pieces on defense, but with Gabbert not showing much last year, two unproven commodities at WR, and a potentially nasty contract dispute with MJD, 2012 should prove to be a rough year for the Jags.