Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; LB Stanford Could Become Starter

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; LB Stanford Could Become Starter

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

When he survived the Jaguars' final cuts last month, rookie linebacker Julian Stanford became the first Wagner alum to make an NFL regular season roster since Rich Kotite 40 years ago.

Another breakthrough almost happened at Oakland and could at Green Bay: the first player from his school to start a regular season game.

Stanford played a season-high 30 snaps against the Raiders, getting the nod ahead of Kyle Bosworth, who started the first five games and remains a part of the rotation. Stanford made three tackles but didn't start because the Jaguars used two linebackers on the first snap.

"It was a big accomplishment," Stanford said before practice Wednesday. "I felt like I was well-prepared and ready for the situation. I think I had a solid game overall. I would say I did my job."

Stanford played 1, 1, 11, 18 and 24 snaps the first five games and it was his special teams play (tied for the team lead with eight tackles) that earned him more time on defense.

"With the play Julian had on special teams, I was going to give him a little longer look," linebackers coach Mark Duffner said. "[On special teams], you see play-making, you see him getting off blocks, making open-field tackles and hunting down the football. We want that same approach on defense."

Stanford went undrafted but was on the Jaguars' radar. Duffner worked him out before the draft in Staten Island, N.Y., and he was signed on May 4.

"First, I saw a fine person and secondly, a very athletic guy who would have a chance to come into our scheme and thrive," Duffner said.

Said head coach Mike Mularkey: "For the most part, he handled himself pretty well [against Oakland]. He wasn't out of place and you didn't see anything that was glaring. That's really been him since Day One."


Sitting out Wednesday's practice for the Jaguars were running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), cornerback Rashean Mathis (groin), running back Montell Owens (shoulder), fullback Greg Jones (hip), linebacker Daryl Smith (groin), center Brad Meester (day off) and safety Dwight Lowery (ankle). …

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