Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Numbers at Safety; Jags Fill Half of Practice Squad, Still Considering Options

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No Numbers at Safety; Jags Fill Half of Practice Squad, Still Considering Options

Article excerpt

Byline: TANIA GANGULI

The Jaguars continued tweaking their roster Sunday after paring it down to the league-mandated 53, and they also filled half their practice squad. They still have yet to address their dearth of safeties after shipping off their two projected starters - Gerald Alexander and Reggie Nelson - on Saturday.

"Gerald Alexander and Reggie Nelson started the majority of last year and no one clearly emerged at the safety positions in the preseason," Jaguars general manager Gene Smith said of the moves. "So we decided to go a different direction in an attempt to get better results on the back end of our defense."

The position was a weakness for the Jaguars last season - something Alexander said he took personally during training camp - and will feature prominently in the early part of the Jaguars' season. Jacksonville will face three very potent passing attacks against San Diego, Philadelphia and Indianapolis in their second, third and fourth games.

Jacksonville waived Alexander on Saturday and traded Nelson, a Jaguars first-round draft pick in 2007, to the Cincinnati Bengals for cornerback David Jones and a conditional draft pick.

The trade was finalized Sunday after both players passed their physicals.

Jones, who will be a nickel back, will replace cornerback Scott Starks, who was also waived Saturday. Jones, 24, played 12 games last season with no starts.

The Jaguars still only have three pure safeties plus Tyron Brackenridge, who can play corner or safety. Anthony Smith, who is expected to start at strong safety, Sean Considine and Courtney Greene, a second-year player out of Rutgers, are the other three.

The Jaguars also were awarded defensive tackle Landon Cohen after claiming him off waivers. Cohen was cut by the Detroit Lions on Saturday.

Cohen (6-foot-3, 300 pounds) played in 24 games in the last two years with the Lions and was a seventh-round draft pick in 2008. All of his four starts came last season, when Cohen played in 14 games and had 23 tackles and one forced fumble. …

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