Jaguars' pass rush gets nice boost
Advertiser News Services
The Jacksonville Jaguars used veterans, rookies, former first-round draft picks and a few undrafted guys in hopes of generating a consistent pass rush last season. Even with different schemes, various blitzes and some new faces, nothing really worked.
The Jaguars finished with a franchise-low 14 sacks in 2009, the fifth-lowest total in NFL history.
Owner Wayne Weaver, general manager Gene Smith and coach Jack Del Rio all vowed to revamp the defensive line, knowing the team stood little chance of making the playoffs without more quarterback pressure.
They may have found a solution with two-time Pro Bowler Aaron Kampman, who played his first eight seasons with Green Bay. The 30-year-old defensive end signed with the Jaguars yesterday, giving the small-market franchise a big-time boost to its pass-rush woes.
Jacksonville, which also elevated its special teams with the signing of Kassim Osgood this weekend, targeted Kampman before free agency began Friday.
Kampman, who has 54 sacks with the Packers, emerged as one of the NFL's elite pass rushers in recent years, recording a total of 37 sacks from 2006-08, but struggled in 2009. He recorded only 3.5 sacks before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Kampman had surgery Dec. 4, and said in January he was "very encouraged" by his progress in rehabilitation and expects to be ready to hit the field in training camp.
QB CARR WILL SIGN ON
Quarterback David Carr and San Francisco agreed to terms on a two-year deal, and that's just fine with linebacker Patrick Willis.
Willis, who had criticized the 49ers' interest in the veteran quarterback, extended an olive branch after hearing the news.
"I heard that Carr signed. He is my teammate now. Which means I'm all in for the guy," Willis wrote on his Twitter account. "It's all about the team. Congrats and welcome aboard."
Carr, 30, spent last season as Eli Manning's backup with the New York Giants. He joins the 49ers as a No. 2 quarterback capable of pushing starter Alex Smith during training camp.
Last week, Willis was less than enthusiastic about the 49ers' interest in Carr. The linebacker wrote: "I'm saying if we going to go get another qb spend money on a difference maker. Like (Michael Vick). My opinion." He also wrote: "We have 3 qb's that are better then him. That's a waste of his time."
Browns: Cleveland signed linebacker Scott Fujita and offensive lineman Tony Pashos to multiyear contracts.
Fujita is an eight-year veteran who helped lead New Orleans to a Super Bowl victory over Indianapolis last month.
Pashos has played seven NFL seasons, including last year with San Francisco.
Suspension: Free agent Jason Ferguson, a veteran nose tackle most recently with Miami, has been suspended for the first eight games of next season for violating NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Ferguson was also suspended for violating NFL drug policy in 1999, sitting out four games after an anabolic steroid showed up during a urine test.