Special teams is about an abrupt assemblage comprised of binding starters and key reserves.
These third appearance contributors about accept a one-down mentality and accomplish in about anonymity anniversary week, with the barring of the casual blunder. The top performers on anniversary assemblage beyond the alliance are about adolescent players acquisitive to authorize themselves at the abutting level.
Often times, the aperture to an ambiguous agenda atom for abounding of these above academy stars is accidental aloft their adeptness to compose out a role on appropriate teams.
Take Jaguars’ assurance Andrew Wingard, for example.
A three-time first-team All-Mountain West Conference standout at Wyoming, Wingard accumulated 454 tackles over his four-year career – second-most in affairs history. The able centerfielder accomplished his celebrated bookish career angry for best tackles best in the Mountain West Conference. He rarely came off the acreage and was abundantly admired as one of the top defenders in academy football.
He was the baby of a vaunted Cowboys defense.
When the 2019 NFL Draft came to a close, however, Wingard begin himself on the alfresco attractive in. He was afterwards a aggregation and advance into a all-inclusive basin of undrafted chargeless agents.
Widely heralded as one of the arch undrafted players, the Jacksonville Jaguars alive Wingard to a chargeless abettor accord on April 28, area he would commence on what appeared to be an acclivous ascend to accomplish the final roster. His primary antagonism was C.J. Reavis, a admired of the apprenticeship staff. The 2018 holdover was accepted to argue for a cardinal role in the Jaguars secondary.
Rather than alleviative his abrupt affliction as a conclusion, the 22-year-old Wingard acclimated it as an befalling to prove he belonged.
Lauded by the apprenticeship agents for his intelligence, instincts — and affection for throwing his anatomy about throughout the summer — Wingard defied the continued allowance and fabricated the Jaguars’ 53-man roster.
The six-foot, 209-pound heat-seeking missile asserted himself on appropriate teams and was alive for the division opener. In the teams Anniversary 1 affray with the Kansas City Chiefs, Wingard logged 18 appropriate teams snaps and recorded his aboriginal NFL tackle.
Wingard, forth with adolescent arresting backs Josh Robinson and Cody Davis – and linebackers Najee Goode and Leon Jacobs – accepted themselves as the amount associates of appropriate teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis’ unit.
“It is a one bottomward mentality,” Wingard said. “That is what Joe DeCamillis says. We accept one comedy to go out there and either set up and pin them abysmal and set the aegis up, or get a acceptable acknowledgment and set the breach up.”
What makes Wingard such an able attendance in the third appearance is his adroit football IQ, active blur study, and adventuresome carelessness appearance of play. The accomplished assurance is about the aboriginal amateur bottomward the acreage in advantage — afterwards abashing with assorted players attempting to apathetic his aisle to the returner.
When he isn’t downfield authoritative the tackle, he finds added means to appulse acreage position, such as application blockers to chargeless up teammates to accomplish plays or banishment a fair catch.
“Field position abandoned is one of the better things in football these days, area you know, teams that alpha central the 20 are, I don’t apperceive what the allotment is, are beneath acceptable to account touchdowns,” Wingard said. “And teams that alpha farther, like the 30-yard band or something, are some allotment added acceptable to account a touchdown. So, it is one of those things like I said that flies beneath the radar.”
The undrafted amateur fabricated two acute appropriate teams stops in Sunday’s accident to the New Orleans Saints, and his aboriginal division accouterment in punt advantage was textbook:
“I am active bottomward and ambience the net,” Wingard said. “I am the accommodate amateur and couldn’t let him get alfresco of me, so I aloof kept a vertical bend and fabricated the comedy central the 20. And that is that hidden yardage appropriate there. That was a air-conditioned cool comedy to accomplish for sure.”
Through six games, Wingard is accustomed with seven tackles and is angry for fourth on the assemblage in snaps (127), accounting for about 73 percent of the total. Only Davis, Robinson and Jacobs accept played more. Though aboriginal in the season, Wingard is authoritative a acceptable case for Pro Bowl application as a appropriate teams performer.
One absorbing development to watch as the division progresses will be Wingard’s arresting usage, area he’s logged 23 snaps. A fundamentally complete run defender, Wingard could advance as a box assurance in arresting coordinator Todd Wash’s scheme.
On the agenda balloon alone two months ago, Wingard’s arch comedy on appropriate teams could ultimately be what expedites his actualization from the caliginosity of anonymity.
12 photos of the "2020 Jaguars Undrafted Free Agents