Jaguars Firm Up Right Side

(Doug Benc/Getty)

The Jaguars took yet another step toward continuing the offensive success and continuity they enjoyed last year by re-signing former right tackle, current right guard Maurice Williams.

After being demoted last offseason when the Jaguars signed right tackle Tony Pashos in the opening weekend of free agency, Williams didn't once complain publicly and continued to work hard. All of Williams' hard work earned him a nice fat pay cut last summer just to stay with the team.

Williams continued to work hard and tried to stay ready if and when called upon. That day came after week 8 when starting right guard Chris Naeole went down with a torn quad muscle that ended his season, and eventually his career in Jacksonville. Williams stepped in at an unfamiliar position and played well. The Jaguars offensive machine kept rolling in the second half of the year, and throughout the final eight games of the regular season, Jacksonville was third in the NFL in scoring.

It was expected that the relationship between the Jaguars and Williams would be severed at the end of the season, being that Williams was kind enough to take the pay cut and the team would then let him pursue free agency. Williams handled everything like a true professional and took no parting shots at the organization like others have in the past when headed out of town, although it would've been easy for him to do so. Williams didn't rule out a return to Jacksonville, and when the team decided to part ways with Chris Naeole earlier this week, it seemed more and more likely that Williams was the right choice at right guard.

As of now, we're not sure of the terms of Williams contract, but we're guessing it's more than the bargain rate of $2 million that Mo took to stay a member of the team last season. The signing preserves the Jaguars depth on the offensive line, as second-year player Uche Nwaneri looked very good in his limited action, but would've been a major question mark as a full-time starter this early in his career. With the professionalism of Williams turning itself into a longer term payday, Mo has proved that going about things the right way can pay off in the end.


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.



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