Paul Posluszny is lovingly referred to in Duval as “The Poz” and like the previous player on our countdown (Roy Miller), is a true leader. A relentless worker, The Poz has donned the teal and black for 5 seasons and has been one of the leading tacklers in the NFL during that time span. He is an undeniably talented run stuffer that will most likely become the Jaguars all time leading tackler at some point during the 2016 season. He currently sits at second all time and is only 66 tackles away from breaking Daryl Smith’s team record.
Posluszny is much maligned for his apparent inability to cover tight ends and slot receivers in the middle of the field, but despite the perception that he cannot cover, The Poz has actually recorded 32 passes defended and 10 interceptions during his time in Jacksonville. In 2015, despite missing two games, Posluszny racked up 133 tackles, six passes defended, three interceptions, and a sack. His tackle total was good for fifth in the NFL, while he had the third most interceptions of any linebacker. There is no question that Posluszny struggles to keep up with quicker players in space deep down the middle, but is that a task that should really be assigned to a 31-year-old, 240 pound linebacker?
Now it is 2016 and training camp is just around the corner. Posluszny will be surrounded with an almost entirely new group of defenders, one of whom is named Tashaun Gipson. How does the addition of Gipson help Posluszny? In theory, the addition of a ball hawking sideline to sideline free safety should allow Posluszny to not have to retreat in coverage nearly as far down the field, which should improve his efficiency and eliminate many of the negative plays in coverage that we have seen from him in the past. If this theory does play out and Poz is not a liability in coverage, then the Jags defense will be much better this year, especially on third down.
Bottom Line: The Poz is a star when it comes to stuffing the run and he has his moments in coverage too, but a lack of speed and quickness keeps him from being a truly dominate three down linebacker. Posluszny is a very good football player and a great leader; a guy that the Jags should keep around as long as possible.