Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bradley: We Added Good Players; Jags Coach Still Wants to See Better Ground Game, Third-Down Defense

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bradley: We Added Good Players; Jags Coach Still Wants to See Better Ground Game, Third-Down Defense

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

BOCA RATON | Mission mostly accomplished.

That was the message delivered Tuesday morning by Jaguars coach Gus Bradley after the opening phase of free agency produced seven signings.

"We talked about having some very good players and then adding more very good players to that group," Bradley said at the Boca Raton Resort, site of this week's league meeting. "And we think we did that."

During a 114-question, 60-minute session, two themes were often brought up by Bradley: The need to be better on third down defensively and the requirement to have a sustainable running game.

Four of the newbies specifically fall into those two areas: defensive tackle Malik Jackson, running back Chris Ivory, free safety Tashaun Gipson and cornerback Prince Amukamara.

- Jackson was the center-piece of the Jaguars' class, the co-top target along with defensive end Olivier Vernon, who signed with the Giants. Jackson will transition back to a 4-3 scheme, although Denver's 3-4 scheme used four down linemen on third down and Jackson lined up inside.

The ideal scenario: Sen'Derrick Marks returns to his 2013-14 form and splits base-down snaps with Jackson, an at-times wrecking ball for Denver last year.

Bradley on Jackson: "You look at his qualities and he's a very disruptive [defensive tackle], but he has position flexibility. Some of the things we can do with him is move him around and then obviously, on third down and nickel, we can get him and a guy like Sen'Derrick on the field at the same time."

- Admitting Denard Robinson isn't a No. 2 tailback, the Jaguars moved quickly to sign Ivory, whose 1,070 yards rushing were fifth-most in the NFL last year.

The ideal scenario: Ivory and T.J. Yeldon form a smash-and-dash type of combo at tailback and give the Jaguars a solid running game for the first time since Maurice Jones-Drew won the rushing title in 2011. The Jaguars also hope Yeldon will be fresher throughout the season and stay healthy.

Bradley on Ivory: "[I like] his toughness. He's a very violent, violent runner. I know when we prepared for him and played him [last year], he was a style of runner that our team needs and our team will feed off of. …

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