Patriots vs. Jaguars Game Day Newsletter Sept 16 Patriots_Digital - Page 78

AP IMAGES That started in the offseason when the organization improved areas impacted by that loss and other similar losing results a season ago. and linebacker Telvin Smith. Third-year linebacker Myles Jack is now the every-down middle linebacker and calls the defense. All-Pro left guard Andrew Norwell joined the team in free agency to provide added punch in the running game. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins joined in free agency to provide a consistent middle-of-the-fi eld threat in the passing game and help in run blocking. Veteran free agents – tight end Niles Paul and safety Cody Davis – added to the special teams coverage, while the team drafted a new punter, Logan Cooke. A strong football team that fell just short a season ago just got better, and the circumstances surrounding the ending of their season drives them to not only get back to that game, but to go beyond and make sure Owner Shad Khan hoists the Lombardi Trophy. Make no mistake, if it was not the standard before, it certainly is now – especially coming minutes away from playing for it. The young receivers from a season ago are a year older and more experienced – Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, Jaydon Mickens – and they are now joined by veteran free agent addition Donte Moncrief and second-round draft pick DJ Chark Jr. The game-wrecking defense lost only a couple of key pieces and has already shown last week what they can be in 2018. They now have eight players with Pro Bowl experience – cornerback A.J. Bouye, defensive lineman Calais Campbell, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, safety Tashaun Gipson, defensive tackle Malik Jackson, defensive AP Images end Yannick Ngakoue, cornerback Jalen Ramsey Even with that goal still hanging out there for this franchise, and with all those additions and remedies to cure what ailed the team late in the season and in the postseason last year, here is all the Jaguars can do today… They can open TIAA Bank Field for the regular season. They can continue to improve on things from last week’s road win over the New York Giants. They can improve to 2-0 with a win over New England. They can solidify themselves as early-season contenders in the American Football Conference for 2018. They can knock off the GOAT head coach Bill Belichick and the GOAT quarterback Tom Brady - fi nally. AP IMAGES