Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Steady Marks: DT Has Played Way into New Contract

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Steady Marks: DT Has Played Way into New Contract

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette

When the process of the Jaguars' offseason makeover begins in earnest for general manager Dave Caldwell in eight days, there'll be two significant pieces on the roster with expiring contracts.

One is Maurice Jones-Drew, whose market value likely diminished after Jordan Todman's robust running performance last week against Buffalo. The other is defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks, a one-year rental that now looks like Caldwell's shrewdest free-agent acquisition from his modest 2012 shopping spree.

For the first time in his career, the 26-year-old Marks has created leverage for himself. He's become an impactful three-technique tackle on a mediocre defense, a big turnaround from the past two years when Marks felt he didn't quite fit in as the Tennessee Titans' nose guard.

One of the reasons Marks signed that one-year, $1.5 million contract with Jacksonville is he believed Gus Bradley's scheme would maximize his skills. He figured correctly.

With the Jaguars' emphasis on getting off the ball and attacking, the 305-pound Marks has been the defense's most consistent player along with linebacker Paul Posluszny.

"Not many three-technique guys can do the things [Marks] does," said Posluszny. "He's very athletic, moves really well. He has that great combination in a three-technique where he can hold up against the run and rush the passer.

"He should get what he deserves [financially]. He's playing at a very high level right now. We want him here. We want him to be a piece of our defense in the future."

Anyone who watches tape of the Jaguars, especially the last 10 games, will see that No. 99 is as disruptive as anybody. Marks' quickness and active arms (he has batted down eight passes) create problems for offensive linemen.

When you factor in turnover categories, quarterback sacks/pressures, tackles for loss and passes defended, Marks' total of 32 is second only to defensive end Jason Babin (32.5). Marks' production has kept him on the field for 814 of 977 snaps (83. …

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