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2013 Opponents Preview: Jacksonville Jaguars

Posted Jun 27, 2013

As the 2013 season approaches, ClevelandBrowns.com looks at the Browns’ regular-season opponents. Today, we highlight the Dec. 1, home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Browns vs. Jaguars -- Sunday, Dec. 1 -- 1:00 p.m. ET

Storylines:

The Cleveland Browns welcome the Jacksonville Jaguars back to FirstEnergy Stadium for a game in November or later for the fifth time since the 2001 season.

In those cold-weather games, the Browns are 2-2, having won the last two meetings, 23-17 on Jan. 3, 2010, and 20-14 on Nov. 20, 2011. Overall, the Browns have won three of their last four games against the Jaguars after losing their first six meetings and eight of the first 10 in the series dating back to 1995.

This will be the fifth season in the last six years in which the Browns and Jaguars will play against each other, and the second straight game to be played in Cleveland.

Stats:

As a team, the Jaguars allowed nearly 100 more first downs (364) than they converted (269), and were outgained by 1,300 total yards, including a nearly 1,000-yard differential in the running game last fall.

They were minus-three in the turnover ratio and played defense an average of five more minutes per game than offense in the regular season.

The Jaguars started both Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert at quarterback last fall, and Henne, a former Miami Dolphin, completed 166 of 308 attempts for 2,084 yards and 11 touchdowns against 11 interceptions. Gabbert completed 162 passes for 1,662 yards and nine touchdowns against six turnovers.

Cleveland native Cecil Shorts III proved to be Henne and Gabbert’s favorite target. Although Justin Blackmon caught more passes than Shorts III, 64 to 55, the Collinwood High School graduate gained 979 yards and scored seven touchdowns, both of which led the Jaguars. Shorts III averaged 17.8 yards per reception and had a long reception of 80 yards.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for a team-best 414 yards, but just one touchdown on 86 carries. When Jones-Drew did not carry the ball, Rashad Jennings gained 283 yards and scored a Jacksonville-best two touchdowns on 101 attempts.

Defensively, Russell Allen, Paul Posluszny and Dawan Landry each registered more than 100 tackles in 2012. Allen paced the team with 107 solo tackles, while Posluszny’s 139 total stops were tops on the Jaguars’ defense.

Tyson Alualu registered a team-best 3.5 sacks, while Jeremy Mincey collected three tackles on opposing quarterbacks.

On special teams, punter Bryan Anger averaged 47.8 yards over 91 punts. He had only five touchbacks, and 31 of his kicks landed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. Anger had just one blocked kick and a long punt of 73 yards.

Jennings and Jalen Parmele each returned 10 kickoffs and averaged more than 23 yards per return.

Transactions:

Key Additions: Re-signed center Brad Meester and wide receiver Jordan Shipley; Signed running back Justin Forsett (from Houston) and Mohamed Massaquoi (from Cleveland).

Key Losses: Wide receiver Laurent Robinson, as well as defensive backs Dawan Landry and Aaron Ross (released).

Draft: The Jaguars added five defensive and three offensive players in the 2013 NFL Draft. After selecting offensive tackle Luke Joeckel (first round) and free safety Jonathan Cyprien (second), the Jaguars drafted cornerback Dwayne Gratz (third), as well as wide receivers Ace Sanders (fourth) and Denard Robinson (fifth). In the final two rounds, Jacksonville added free safety Josh Evans (sixth), in addition to cornerbacks Jeremy Harris and Demetrius McCray (seventh).

Familiar Faces:

Browns defensive lineman Kendrick Adams was signed by the Jaguars after the 2012 NFL Draft and spent training camp with the team, while linebacker Quentin Groves was Jacksonville’s second-round pick (No. 52 overall) in 2008. He registered 37 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, one interception and 15 special-teams stops with the Jaguars.

Browns punter Spencer Lanning spent part of 2012 with the Jaguars.

Browns assistant defensive backs coach Bobby Babich is the son of Jaguars defensive coordinator Bob Babich. The elder Babich coached at Bowling Green State University in 1991.

Browns tight end Gary Barnidge (Middleburg), wide receiver Travis Benjamin (Belle Glade), linebackers D’Qwell Jackson (Largo) and Jabaal Sheard (Hollywood Hills), defensive back Kent Richardson (Tallahassee), running back Trent Richardson (Pensacola), and defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin (Pensacola) are Florida natives.

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski (University of Miami, 1994-2003), strength-and-conditioning coach Brad Roll (Miami, 1989; Miami Dolphins, 1996-2003), offensive coordinator Norv Turner (Miami Dolphins, 2002-03), and offensive line coach Mike Sullivan (Miami, 2001) all coached in Florida.

Chudzinski also played from the University of Miami from 1986-90.

Defensive line coach Joe Cullen held the same position with the Jaguars from 2010-12.

Jaguars special teams coordinator Mike Mallory is a native of Bowling Green, Ohio, and coached at Kent State University from 1988-90.

Jaguars strength and conditioning coordinator Tom Myslinski served in the same capacity for the Browns from 2007-09.

Jacksonville defensive assistant Brandon Blaney graduated from Youngstown State University, where he later served as a coach from 1995-98 and was a part of the team’s 1997 NCAA Division I-AA National Championship. He again coached under Jim Tressel at The Ohio State University in 2001.

Jaguars linebackers coach Matt Duffner was a graduate assistant coach under Woody Hayes at Ohio State from 1975-76, and later served as the defensive coordinator for the University of Cincinnati from 1977-80. He later spent six years with the Cincinnati Bengals, first as linebackers coach (1997-2000) and then, defensive coordinator (2001-02).

Jaguars tight ends/assistant special teams coach Ron Middleton played tight end for the Browns during the 1989 season -- a year in which the team went 9-6-1 and made it to the AFC Championship Game -- while running backs coach Terry Richardson signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1994.

Jacksonville wide receivers coach Mike Sullivan coached at Ohio State in 1991.

Jacksonville linebacker Maalik Bomar (Cincinnati), wide receivers Cecil Shorts III (Cleveland), Jeremy Ebert (Hilliard) and Taylor Price (Hilliard), and offensive lineman Dan Gerberry (Austintown) are Ohio natives.

Jaguars offensive lineman Mike Brewster (Ohio State) and defensive lineman J.D. Griggs (The University of Akron), Shorts III (University of Mount Union), Bomar (University of Cincinnati) and Price (Ohio University) played college football in Ohio.

Jaguars wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi was drafted by the Browns in 2009, and caught 118 passes for 1,745 yards and seven touchdowns in four years with the team. He also set the franchise rookie record by averaging 18.35 yards per reception.

Jacksonville fullback Will Ta’ufo’ou was on the Browns’ practice squad for part of the 2011 season.

History:

Overall, the Browns are 5-9-0 against the Jaguars, whom they played in the AFC Central Division in 1995, and again from 1999-2001 before the NFL realigned into a four-division, two-conference format in 2002. The Browns are 2-5-0 in home games against the Jaguars.