The New England Patriots released two defensive tackles recently who both specialize in run defense, and both players were promptly claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars off of waivers. The first guy the Jaguars picked up was 25-year-old Alabama product Brandon Deaderick, who was a “good” cut for the Patriots given his lack of pass rushing ability. Both Tommy Kelly and Armond Armstead are better players than Deaderick, and the most important thing is that they both give the Patriots much-needed improvement in the interior pass rushing department. Deaderick is in a better position with the Jaguars, because they do have a need for a guy who can play the run in the rotation on their roster.
If you are a Jaguars fan and you like Deaderick against the run, then you should love Kyle Love‘s run defense. Although he is also a total non-factor as a pass rusher, the big DT is very good against the run and is a solid contributor at defensive tackle overall. Love’s release made the Patriots thin on the interior, and Love is confident in his ability to quickly gain weight in the fight against Type-2 diabetes. I’m not going to get into the moral issues regarding his release, and I will instead focus on what he means for the Jacksonville Jaguars going forward.
Love is just 26, and I think he’s going to start in Jacksonville. Love is clearly better than Roy Miller, and he’s a solid player overall with the ability to make an impact on run defense. The Patriots were likely wary of Love’s ability to gain enough weight to continue being an effective run defender, which is why they asked him to retire for a year. Love said “no”, and thus is confident in his ability to gain that weight. I hope he is vindicated in this confidence, because Love is a great player, person, and somebody who I truly want to see succeed as much as possible in 2013.
Jacksonville, you guys are getting a heckuva a person, a feel-good story, and a quality football player.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.