Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAGUARS NOTEBOOK; Cousin's Value Is in the Nickel

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAGUARS NOTEBOOK; Cousin's Value Is in the Nickel

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL C. WRIGHT

Go ahead, count starters Rashean Mathis and Brian Williams, too. Their experience, combined with the rest of the cornerbacks on the Jaguars' roster, still doesn't amount to the body of work put together by Terry Cousin.

Cousin has played in more NFL games (130) than all eight of the players at his position combined (119), with almost as many starts (62; the other eight corners have a combined 80).

Acquired from the New York Giants in 2004, Cousin won the Jaguars' nickel corner job in 2005 and finished with 57 tackles and four interceptions. Entering his 10th NFL season, Cousin, who plays primarily on passing downs, embraces his role.

"You can't be selfish in this game," Cousin said. "The game has turned into specializing plays. If I could specialize at this position and dominate, then that's what I want to do."

STINGY DEFENSE

The Jaguars' defense gave up 241 points last season, tied for third in the NFL, and allowed just four rushing touchdowns, which was No.1 in the league.

Can the Jaguars be as good in 2006?

"As a whole, we are better," linebacker Mike Peterson said. "Last year, we were good against the run, but this year, if we give up 2 yards on a run, we complain about it.

"We have two good cover corners to take care of deep passes. Our blitz packages are much more precise than they were last year. This year, guys know where to be on defense [and] know what's expected of them."

The offseason acquisition of cornerback Brian Williams also gives Peterson reason to think that this year's defense could be one of the franchise's best.

"I call him X-man," Peterson said of Williams. "He's the X-factor. He's the missing piece that we've been looking for. We've been good, but now it's time to take the next step and be great."

Signed for six years and $32 million, Williams said there isn't any added pressure accompanying the high-dollar contract and expectations from teammates.

"I'm going to make plays; it's what I do," Williams said. …

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