In a bold but not surprising move, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio has permanently demoted middle linebacker Mike Peterson. Daryl Smith has been named the starter for the rest of the season.
I remember watching Inside Training Camp: Jaguars Summer back in 2004 and was highly impressed with Peterson. I was not overly familiar with him and I had to find out who was the guy who was flying around the field making tackles and who always seemed to be around the ball.
Now that Peterson has been benched, the Jaguars defense has essentially lost its ability to intimidate opponents. Jacksonville lost defensive tackle Marcus Stroud to free agency (Buffalo Bills) and is no longer the force it once was against the run. The Jaguars defense is currently ranked 20th in the NFL against the run.
The Jaguars have a strong secondary, but with Peterson and Stroud gone, I expect Chris Johnson and LenDale White to rebound from being shut down by the Chicago Bears defense and get the Titans running game back on track.