Two Jaguars to watch this season, but for two different reasons

The 2012 regular season is upon us. As the Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings in the season opener, two players are on my mind – but for different reasons.

Russell Allen and Greg Jones are both pivitol to the team’s success this season. But what about the future of each player? One looks bright, but the other, not so much.

Russell Allen gets his chance

The fourth-year linebacker is finally getting his chance to shine. Allen has been a special teams ace that saw a majority of his past playing time in the preseason. But injuries to linebackers Clint Session and Daryl Smith give Allen his chance to make a name for himself.

I am anxious to see how he fills in. With Session on the physically unable to perform list until Week 6, Allen will get plenty of experience in the starting lineup; how he uses that opportunity will be determined on the field.

If Allen shows he is capable of holding on to the starting job, Session’s days could be numbered in Jacksonville – especially since he can’t seem to shake the concussion bug.

Are Greg Jones’ days numbered?

I have brought this up to multiple people and everyone calls me crazy, but I think Greg Jones could be out of Jacksonville sooner rather than later.

But it just makes sense for multiple reasons. For starters, Jones is in the last year of his contract and his cap hit is pretty high for a full back, with a salary of $3.4 million and a cap hit coming in at $4 million, including bonuses.

But money isn’t the real reason, that lies in the offensive playbook. From what I saw this preseason, the Jaguars are running more formations with multiple tight ends (which might be the most athletic position on the team) and with three or more receivers. Those formations don’t frequently call for Jones to be on the field.

Even worse for Jones, I have noticed the team frequently using two tight end sets and then motioning one of them into the backfield into the full back position, further diminishing Jones’ value to the team.

It would be correct to say that Jones is one of the best blocking full backs in the league, but given that the league is moving in the direction of airing it out, rather than ground and pound, players like Jones will soon be extinct in the NFL.

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