If there was poll taken across the NFL on who are the best five defenses in the league, chances are the Jaguars would likely land on that short list. Last season Jacksonville was second in the NFL in total defense and first in passing yards allowed per game.
Along with the team success came individual honors with Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey all being named All-Pro’s. Heading into the 2018 season the Jaguars feel their defense should be even better than last year.
“Every great defense has won it all,” said linebacker Telvin Smith. “That is what we want to be. A great defense is not mediocre. It is not to say you won a couple [division] championships. No, we want to say we dominated the world. That is the next step. At the same time, it is honing in on the little stuff. Calais and I were talking, a couple times last year, he said it was four times last year, in games that we could have gotten our offense the ball back or it was on the defense to stop [the opposing offense]. All four times we did not get the stop and the team ran the ball on us.”
One such occasion was the AFC title game against New England. The Jaguars held a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter but were unable to hold on for the win.
“I always study tape at the end of the year and go over everything,” said Campbell. “I kind of remembered it from just being the situation, but definitely when I study the tape and those situations I realize that as good as we are, we have so much room for growth.”
The Super Bowl is over seven months away but several Jaguars players haven’t been shy about saying that’s where they feel this team is headed.
“We have a chance to be really, really good. We know that,” said Campbell. “Everybody in the locker room knows that. I’m glad we have high confidence. At the same time, we have a lot of work to do. A team as talented as we are and as hard as we work, we should be very good. I’m pretty confident when I say we’re probably the hardest working team in the league. That’s a big statement because a lot of teams are working hard right now and doing things, but they ask a lot of us, but the guys sit there and respond. We got out there, we push ourselves and with that talent and that mentality and the work ethic, we should be pretty good.”