- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 11, 2014

Redskins practice squad member Jackson Jeffcoat is the most recent example.

Cut by the Seattle Seahawks, the next NFL place he landed was in Jacksonville for a tryout with the Jaguars. Since Gus Bradley left his spot as defensive coordinator of the Seahawks and became Jacksonville’s coach following the 2012 season, the Jaguars have been regarded as Seahawks lite.

They run much of the same defensive scheme Bradley had honed with coach Pete Carroll in Seattle. They signed two Seahawks veterans, Red Bryant and Chris Clemons, in the offseason. Former Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond went to Jacksonville for a free agent workout following last season.

Last season, the Jaguars claimed linebacker John Lotulelei, safety Ray Polk and wide receiver Stephen Williams off waivers from the Seahawks. None remain with the team, but the trend of Jacksonville acquiring Seattle players was set.

“I think that could be a perception of it and I want to be careful of that,” Bradley told reporters in the offseason. “But if they’re good players … if there’s an opportunity for someone that if I have coached, or been a part of coaching, and they’ve given so much to me and helped our staff as a coaching staff, that in turn if I can have the opportunity to help them, I’m going to look into it. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, that’s just how I am.”

The arrival of Bryant and Clemons has more impact. The Jaguars signed each in the offseason after the Seahawks cut the defensive line pair for salary cap reasons. Each received a four-year deal from the Jaguars. Bryant’s job is to stand up the end of the line against the rush. Clemons is a pass-rusher.

Clemons, 32, and Bryant, 30, are needed veteran voices on the AFC’s youngest team. The Jaguars’ average age is 25.34. That’s second in the league only to St. Louis’ 25.15.

Bryant was a defensive team captain for the Super Bowl champions. His move to the youthful — and struggling — Jaguars has shifted his leadership focus. The Jaguars, 4-12 last season and 0-1 now, are trying to become a winning team. The Seahawks were pushing toward the top of the league before getting there.

“In Seattle, I was a young player, trying to figure it out,” Bryant said. “Coach Carroll came my third year and that was my first year as a starter. I finally broke through. Just knowing as a young player [to] becoming a veteran player how important it is to be prepared for your opportunity, so when you get it, it does not embarrass you.

“On the back end now, being in my seventh year, coming to a new team that has a lot of talent but a lot of young players as well, if I can help speed up the process of how important it is to be meticulous in what you do — whether it be your study, watching film, knowing your opponent, knowing their tendencies and things of that nature — all those are a natural progression if you are fortunate enough to have longevity in this sport.”

Those ideals were also hallmarks in Seattle. Bradley is trying to bring their impact and benefit to the Jaguars, both in philosophy and person.

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