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Old 06-14-2007, 12:44 PM   #1
Jeff Levers
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Default Jags release Darius

I am shocked by the timing of this move, not so much the decision. The Jags drafted Reggie Nelson and Josh Gattis this year, and Darius was coming off of two straight seasons that he finished on IR. It looks like a classy move by the team though, as it gives Darius time to find another team and have a chance to play.

The youth movement on the team has begun...


SHOCKER? Darius Released.
Donovin Darius (Getty Images)

By Charlie Bernstein
JagNation.com
Posted Jun 14, 2007

The Jaguars have just released 10-year veteran strong safety, Donovin Darius. Darius has been with the team since his rookie season in 1998, and was the returning captain, and most tenured member of the Jaguars defense. Darius has had his last two seasons end early due to leg injuries (torn ACL in '05, broken leg in '06).

Darius has been the spiritual leader of the Jaguars defense ever since being selected in the first round in 1998. Darius has been one of the most visible Jaguars in the community, as he hosts numerous events including a bowling tournament for one of his charities. On the field, Darius' play has regressed the last few years and it was uncertain whether or not he'd be able to hold off backup Gerald Sensabaugh for another season. Darius' release will save the Jaguars approximately $3.5 million in salary.

How does this affect the roster? Gerald Sensabaugh will likely start at the strong safety position, where he's played in all 32 games since being drafted in the fifth round in 2005. First round draft pick, Reggie Nelson will likely be the opening day starter at free safety.

What does this really mean? The Jaguars defensive youth movement is officially complete. We speculated on a move like this since the end of last season, as the injuries began to compile for Darius, and his level of play was on the decline. Darius' play on the field was no longer worth the $3.5 million salary the Jaguars were due to pay him. It is unclear whether or not Darius will find a home with another team.
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Old 06-15-2007, 12:20 PM   #2
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I would love to see the Foulcons pick him up. They need quality depth at safety, and if he is healthy he would probably be able to come in and start
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Old 06-15-2007, 12:49 PM   #3
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That is the main concern with Darius, coming off the broken ankle from last year. He says he will be healthy by training camp, and given the type of workout warrior he is I have no reason to doubt that.

I would love to see him go to the Falcons since they are in the NFC, we don't play them very often, and they are always on TV here in Jacksonville so we would till get to watch him.
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:19 AM   #4
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When I hear the name Donovin Darius, I will forever associate it with Robert Ferguson - just like when anyone brings up Kermit Washington, Rudy Tomjanovic inevitably comes to mind, or the way Juan Marichal conjures up the imagery of Johnny Roseboro.

So far as the Jaguars go, they have been one of the most up-and-down, in-and-out teams in the NFL in recent years - and since they're coming off a down year, they're probably due for an up year in 2007.
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Old 06-16-2007, 10:40 AM   #5
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Wow, if that is what comes to mind when you think of Darius, you have a very limited view of him. That is the one play he ever made that had any questionable intent or character behind it, and I still don't think he was attempting to injure Ferguson with the hit.

A guy with as much class and dignity as Darius should be remembered for a lot more than that hit. Why don't you do a search on him and look into all the good things he has done rather on and off the field than fixating on a play that took place what... 5 years ago?

As for the Jags, they still have one of the best all-time winning percentages of any team, have been to 2 AFC Championship games in their first 11 years of existence, and would have made the playoffs last year if not for 15 guys being on IR. They will be just fine this year, I will say 11-5 if they stay healthy.
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Old 06-16-2007, 10:57 AM   #6
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I don't know about the Jags this year. A lot hinges on what they do at QB. If they bring Culpepper in, as is rumored, I don't know that they go 11-5 as Culpepper seems rather useless unless he has an elite receiver to throw to. Since they are going to be relying on relatively inexperienced safeties to get the job done this year the defense could take a step back.
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Old 06-16-2007, 07:14 PM   #7
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Well, if they even bring Culpepper in it will be as a backup, his knee won't be ready anytime soon.

What their two new safeties (Nelson and Sensabaugh) lack in experience they make up for in playmaking and athletic ability. That is what this defense needs to become elite, to be able to get turnovers to end drives.

There is no reason to think the running game will take a step back after last year considering the OL got better with the addition of Pashos at tackle, so the season hinges on the ability of the passing game to be successful. Their new OC loves to use the TE, of which they have 3 good ones that all catch really well. He also loves play action, which the running game should make very effective.

No reason to think the Jags can't go 11-5 or 12-4...the main thing they need to do is play every team equally. They played up to the Cowboys, Steelers, Colts, and Giants and down to the Texans and Titans. If they can get a consistent effort every week they will be a very tough team to beat.
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Old 06-17-2007, 12:39 AM   #8
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8-8 in 2006, 12-4 in 2005, 9-7 in 2004, 5-11 in 2003 - seems as if it's been quite a while since the Jags have had two seasons alike back-to-back, no?

And it has not even been three years since the Darius-Ferguson incident: December 19, 2004; when Jacksonville won 28-25 it was Brett Favre's first-ever regular-season loss at Lambeau Field with the kickoff-time temperature below 35 degrees.
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