Jags Need a Safety Valve
Erasing the Eraser (Getty Images)
Erasing the Eraser (Getty Images)
Contributor
Posted Dec 23, 2009
Alfie Crow


In Thursday night's 35-31 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Jaguars safety Reggie Nelson was painfully responsible for not one, but two long and costly touchdowns.

Those two big plays he allowed could potentially be the last he'll allow as a starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars for a good while, potentially forever.

In the post game press conference, Jack Del Rio was rather forthcoming with what seems to be happening concerning the future of Reggie Nelson and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"On the long play at the end he's got to be over the top of that and he's got to tackle that guy. Other than that, there's not much I can say until I watch the tape." After Del Rio watched the tape, it was even more damning for the third year safety; "Can't stay in the lineup playing like that."

It seems by all accounts that Reggie Nelson won't be starting the final two games as the Jaguars travel to play the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns, and quite frankly it's long over due. Nelson has been blowing assignments and missing tackles all season long. Not only has he been giving up big plays, but Nelson hasn't forced a turnover since December 14th, 2008. In Nelson's first season as a Jaguar, he looked like he would be that playmaking center fielder that he was at the University of Florida that earned him a first-round selection. His rookie year he made play after play and finished the season with five interceptions. Since then, it's been nothing short of a train wreck.

In the off-season the Jaguars traded with the Detroit Lions for safety Gerald Alexander, who can play both safety positions. Alexander currently has been playing the strong safety position, but in the final two games of the season it's likely that he will slide over to free safety and veteran safety Sean Considine will get the nod at the strong safety position. One could even make a case for free agent Anthony Smith, who was picked up off the scrap heap mid-season, to start at the free safety spot. In his limited time in Jacksonville, he's already been involved in more turnovers and positive plays than Reggie Nelson has in the last 2 seasons.

If I were the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and I'm sure a lot of you are thankful I'm not, I'd send the ultimate message to Reggie Nelson; I'd make him inactive against New England. I wouldn't even let him see the football field, and then I'd give him one last chance against the Cleveland Browns.

Unfortunately for Reggie Nelson, he's nose-dived into the "bust" label, as he was a first round pick in 2007. What is also unfortunate, at least for Nelson, is that he will be looking for work for the 2010 season.



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