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Special teams a priority for Jaguars in free agency

Being among the best teams in the NFL in special teams has been a priority under head coach Doug Marrone. It’s one of the key parts of what he wants the Jacksonville Jaguars’ identity to be: cheap nike nfl jerseys china a tough team up front that’s built around the run game, plays good defense and has consistency on special teams.

That’s why he hired Joe DeCamillis, who is one of the league’s top special-teams coordinators, and it’s why general manager Dave Caldwell has made adding players who specialize in special teams a priority during free agency the past two offseasons.

Last week the Jaguars signed or re-signed nine players in free agency and four of them were done specifically for special teams: Cody Davis, Don Carey, Niles Paul and Lerentee McCray.

“We felt like we had a good core of guys last year,” Caldwell said. “James O’Shaughnessy, Blair Brown, Donald Payne — those guys did a nice job for us but to add to those three guys and bring in a guy like Niles Paul, Cody Davis and Don Carey — and then we’ve got the draft to bring in some more in that aspect, too.

“Not only for special-teams player, but those guys could be good solid backups for us, too.”

The Jaguars successfully converted three fake punts last season. Two were on runs by Corey Grant, who also ranked fifth in the NFL among players with at least 15 kickoff returns at 24.9 yards per return. Kicker Josh Lambo, who was signed on Oct. 17 to replace Jason Myers, made 19-of-20 field-goal attempts, including a 34-yarder late in regulation and a 30-yarder in overtime to beat the Los Angeles Chargers in his third game with the team.

The Jaguars ranked 13th in kickoff coverage and 17th in punt coverage — not great,nfl nike jersey cheap  but not terrible — but also ranked 31st in net yards per punt. The Jaguars were tied for 24th in Rick Gosselin’s annual special-teams rankings, which he has compiled for the past 39 years.