Joe Cullen praises Shaq Quarterman following LB Joe Schobert trade

It sounds like the Jags’ staff like what they’ve seen out of Jacksonville native, Shaq Quarterman, in training camp. He may even be a name to watch for a starting role.

Jacksonville made a potentially risky decision during the preseason when it traded projected starting middle linebacker Joe Schobert to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a sixth-round pick. The return for a starting-caliber player wasn’t great, but it allowed the Jaguars to ditch a pricey deal on a player that the coaching staff didn’t think was a great fit in the defensive scheme.

Without him, Jacksonville will largely turn to Damien Wilson, a free-agent acquisition who started for Kansas City last season, and Shaq Quarterman, a second-year player who appeared in 12 games last season but had a limited impact, totaling only six tackles.

Defensive coordinator Joe Cullen had positive things to say about the play of both in the preseason opener against Cleveland.

“Well, we have got Damien [Wilson] who’s been a two-year starter with Kansas City at MIKE linebacker,” Cullen said. “And then we drafted Shaq [Shaquille Quarterman] a year ago and there wasn’t much tape to evaluate him other than college, he didn’t play much. But the thing that we saw from him and the thing that we some from those young linebackers is speed, downhill thump in terms of knocking the run out. Damien, that’s his strength. And you know, obviously, it was a decision, we moved forward and [we wish] the best for both the organization and Joe, he’s going to Pittsburgh. So, I think when you saw 50 the other night, [Shaquille Quarterman], he was flying around hitting people.”

Quarterman’s impact was indeed noticeable against the Browns, as he finished tied for second on the team in tackles with four. It has been expected that Damien Wilson, who is considered a better fit than Schobert in Cullen’s defense given his run-stopping ability, would win the starting job, but Quarterman may not go away quietly.

Cullen even said his previous team, Baltimore, considered selecting him in the 2020 class.

“Well, we looked at [Quarterman] when we were in Baltimore and we liked him in Baltimore and [we] just like his plus-two mentality, his physicality, and he’s got one speed and that’s a plus-two, 100 miles an hour,” Cullen said.

The battle for the starting inside linebacker job next to Myles Jack will likely continue on throughout the preseason and possibly into the regular season, but it seems the Jacksonville staff is pleased with the talent at the position even after trading away a projected starter.

Jags Week 12 injury report: CB Sidney Jones, WR D.J. Chark amongst notables ruled out vs. Browns

The Jacksonville Jaguars ruled four players out for Week 12’s game against the Cleveland Browns, many of which were starters. On offense the starting players ruled out were receiver D.J. Chark (ribs) and guard Andrew Norwell (forearm). Receiver …

The Jacksonville Jaguars ruled four players out for Week 12’s game against the Cleveland Browns, many of which were starters. On offense the starting players ruled out were receiver D.J. Chark (ribs) and guard Andrew Norwell (forearm). Receiver Chris Conley (hip) will also be joining them after not practicing Friday.

On defense, starting cornerback Sidney Jones IV (Achilles) was the lone player ruled out, leaving Tre Herndon as the Jags’ lone starter at the position.

Chark, Norwell, and Conley surfaced on the injury report after last Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Norwell was expected to miss Week 12’s game as Doug Marrone informed the media that the veteran’s injury would take some time to recover from earlier in the week. Tyler Shatley or rookie Ben Bartch will replace him in the lineup after both registering starts already this season.

Jones’ injury leaves the Jags in a tough predicament because they just placed cornerbacks C.J. Henderson, D.J. Hayden, and Chris Claybrooks on injured reserve. As a result, they are in a situation where they may have to start rookies Luq Barcoo and Josiah Scott Sunday against the Browns. It would mark the first starts for both players, unless the Jags go with veteran Greg Mabin, who was picked up off waivers this week.

The Jags also had two players surface as questionable on the final injury report in running back Dare Ogunbowale (hand) and quarterback Gardner Minshew II (thumb). Minshew will likely be inactive Sunday as he continues to recover from his injury.

As for the other changes on the injury report, receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring) and safety Jarrod Wilson (shoulder) were upgraded to full participation while Aaron Lynch (shoulder) was limited as a late addition.

Shenault’s status in particular is huge news as he’s missed the Jags’ last two games. With Conley and Chark out, he will see ample opportunities on the perimeter and has a chance to turn in a strong game when considering the status of Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (calf strain), who was ruled out this week.

Jags final injury report: Gardner Minshew officially ruled out vs. Texans with 2 others

The Jags will be relatively healthy coming off their bye aside from not having their QB1 in Gardner Minshew II.

The Jacksonville Jaguars had three starting offensive linemen on their injury report Thursday, but none of them surfaced on the final injury report for Week 9’s game against the Houston Texans. In fact, there were only four players on it, and as expected, one of them was Gardner Minshew II, who was ruled OUT with a significant thumb injury.

Linebacker Dakota Allen (ankle) and running back Devine Ozigbo (hamstring) were ruled OUT alongside him while rookie linebacker Shaq Quarterman (knee) was ruled questionable.

Minshew was pretty much doubtful to play Week 9 against the Texans since his injury was revealed last week. Knowing his situation, the Jags had Jake Luton take the bulk of the starting reps in practice this week, which points to him starting Sunday.

As for Quarterman, he was a new addition to the injury report Friday and his injury made him a non-participant. That said, his injury may have been one sustained in practice Friday.

Another new addition to the injury report was receiver Keelan Cole (back), who was listed as limited. He wasn’t listed in the status column though, and that’s a good thing because he leads the Jags in receiving with 28 catches for 374 receiving yards, and three touchdowns.

As for Allen and Ozigbo, they are somewhat in the same boat. Both sustained (or re-aggravated) their injuries Week 7 against the Los Angeles Chargers and exited the game early as a result. Coming into that game Allen was listed with a foot injury on the injury report while Ozigbo was returning from injured reserve after missing all of the Jags’ 2020 games with his hamstring injury.

As for the notable changes made to the injury report, offensive tackle Cam Robinson (knee) was upgraded to limited on the offensive side. On defense, safety Brandon Watson was upgraded from limited to full.

Joe Schobert says Jaguars’ young LBs are coming along better than expected

Joe Schobert, a leader of the Jags’ locker room, talked about being impressed with the Jags’ young linebacking core early in camp.

When looking at the Jacksonville Jaguars’ roster, most would agree that linebacker is a strength of the team. After a 2019 season where the group exited as a weakness of the roster, the Jags front office came into the offseason looking to strengthen the unit, and in the early stages of camp, it appears they may have succeeded.

They started off things by adding veteran Joe Schobert to man the MIKE linebacker position and move Myles Jack where he’s more comfortable: on the weak-side. That killed two birds with one stone, giving the Jags one of the league’s better linebacker duos on paper.

Afterward, they spent a first-round pick on K’Lavon Chaisson in the draft, who will be a part-time linebacker and will battle to start on the strong-side. They also drafted Jacksonville native, Shaq Quarterman, in the fourth-round and added a leader from Central Florida’s defense, Nate Evans, in undrafted free-agency.

When combining those moves with what they already had, the Jags seemingly compiled a young deep group that can spearhead the team into new heights. This was something the group’s leader, Schobert, spoke on in Tuesday’s meeting with the media, stating that he’s been impressed with how quickly the players behind him are picking up things.

That certainly should be music to the ears of fans as the Jags will have to start 2020 off strong. The front half of the schedule is going to be the weakest, and if the Jags don’t take advantage of it, their season will pretty much be a wrap.

Fans will get to see what Schobert and company are made of right out of the gate with the Indianapolis Colts coming into town Week 1. The group should expect a big-time challenge from Philip Rivers through the air and tailbacks Marlon Mack and Johnathan Taylor on the ground. However, if the Jags win, the linebackers will play a significant role in a victory, which would be huge for the team’s momentum out of the gate.

Listen to the latest from Jags Wire’s own James Johnson and Phil Smith on their podcast “Bleav in the Jags.” Subscribe via Apple Podcasts and check out our archived episodes via Bleav Podcasts.

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Jags come to terms with fourth-round selection Shaquille Quarterman

The Jags have locked up their first pick from the 2020 NFL Draft in LB Shaq Quarterman, who is a native of Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected 12 rookies in the 2020 NFL Draft and have now inked their first member from the group. Per sports agent Drew Rosenhaus, the Jags came to terms with fourth-round linebacker and Jacksonville native, Shaquille Quarterman.

The Jags selected Quarterman out of Miami with the No. 140 overall selection and he was one of three fourth-round picks they made alongside St. John offensive lineman Ben Bartch and Michigan State cornerback Josiah Scott, both of whom were taken before Quarterman.

Quarterman is coming off a 2019 season in which he garnered first-team All-ACC honors as a senior after racking up 107 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, five pass breakups, and one sack. He proved to be an ironman, starting in all 52 games he was there, which was a school record for consecutive starts.

He’ll now join a linebacker group that’s spearheaded by Myles Jack, Joe Schobert, both of whom will be great examples for him to learn from. He also should see a lot of time on the field for special teams where his hard-hitting ability could maybe cause some turnovers.

Per Over the Cap, Quarterman’s projected salary for 2020 will be around $610K and the total value of the contract is estimated to be over $3.7 million. His signing bonus will total out to be $494K which will be distributed evenly over four years.

Meet Shaquille Quarterman, Miami’s hard-hitting LB prospect

Check out Draft Wire’s exclusive interview with Miami linebacker prospect Shaquille Quarterman

Durability, production, and a motor that never stops. Three things that every NFL team wants in a linebacker prospect, and three things that Miami’s Shaquille Quarterman brings to the table.

One of the most experienced and productive linebackers in the 2020 NFL draft class, Quarterman recently spoke exclusively with Draft Wire about his experience at the NFL Scouting Combine, why it was important for him to finish what he started at Miami, and what kind of player he’ll be at the next level.

JM: You had a great senior season. You posted 107 total tackles, 15.5 of which went for a loss. What is it about your game that lead to that sort of production?

SQ: I just think that my mentality was at such a high level this year. My coaches put me in such a great position to succeed. They’ve always put me in a position to be a successful linebacker. All I had to do was go out there and do it. I really have to give all praise to our coaching staff. They helped me prepare for this season.

JM: You made 52 starts without missing a single game. It’s amazing how durable you’ve been.

SQ: I honestly just listen to my mentors: Jon Beason, Jon Vilma and D.J. Williams. All three of them played the linebacker position at such a high level, and they’ve given me such great advice. They taught me the importance of taking care of your body. They showed me that longevity and being available is the key to success. I took their advice and I just ran with it.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

JM: What was your experience like at the NFL Scouting Combine?

SQ: It was definitely interesting, to say the least. I really enjoyed it. It was a process, and there are parts of the process that were grueling, such as waiting around for hours at the hospital for the medical checks. I really enjoyed it, though. When it finally came time to compete, it felt a little like the recruitment process in high school. You’re just going out there alongside your peers and performing in front of all 32 teams. It gave me a chance to show that I belong.

JM: What do you think is the overall impression that you left out there?

SQ: I felt like I was well-received out there. There were a lot of people that weren’t giving me that much attention prior to the combine. We didn’t have a very good season, and that can sometimes lead to a guy getting overlooked. I feel like I showed up to every event and performed at a high level. I turned a lot of heads in the bench press.

I worked my hardest all the way until the end. I think my energy remained at a high level throughout the on-field drills, as well. I had a great time getting to know a lot of the coaches. There were so many great people there.

JM: Did you have a lot of formal interviews out there?

SQ: I had a couple of informals. I enjoyed them. I also met formally with the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants.

JM: That’s great. Do you have any private visits coming up?

SQ: I’m actually meeting with the Bills tomorrow (March 10th), and the Giants in early April. I’m taking a visit to Houston to meet with the Texans, as well. Those are the three that we currently have scheduled.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

JM: What’s your favorite part about playing the linebacker position?

SQ: My favorite part about playing linebacker is definitely quieting the crowd down. You can do a lot of damage as a linebacker. Making a big play on defense really quiets the home crowd. I love that. If you’re playing on the road and force a turnover, that’s such a great feeling. The entire stadium minus our fans just stop making noise. They go dead silent. You can hear a pin drop. That’s such an amazing feeling. I just love making that impact on the game.

JM: What was the strangest question you were asked at the combine?

SQ: Truthfully, I didn’t really get any strange questions. Everything was straight forward. We just talked about our defense and football in general. I had talked to a bunch of my ex-teammates who have gone through the process and they told me about all the strange questions that they were asked. I didn’t get any though. I guess I’ve been well behaved (laughs).

JM: Who are some of the best players you’ve played against throughout your time at Miami?

SQ: Dalvin Cook definitely comes to mind. I really enjoyed playing against him. He’s such a great player. Jonathan Taylor was another one. Those two guys were a lot of fun to play against.

JM: You’ve had so many great teammates throughout your time at Miami, but if you were going into battle tomorrow and could only bring one with you, who would you bring and why?

SQ: Michael Pinckney. We’ve been together for four years straight. He means a lot to me. We came in at the same time. We’re actually from the same city. We got to finish what we started. It means that much more to us. I remember when I first got to Miami as a freshman, I was talking to an older player that told me you don’t always get to finish with who you started with. I started to realize over time that that was the honest truth.

Michael and I got to start and finish together. Michael and I stayed together through it all. We played side by side. We sat next to each other in the meeting room. We never switched it up. He’s definitely a special guy.

JM: When a team uses one of their draft picks on Shaquille Quarterman, what kind of guy are they getting?

SQ: They’re getting a guy that’s all about the team. I’m gonna follow the standard that’s set by the organization and represent them with a smile on my face. That’s what I did in high school, that’s what I’ve done at Miami and it’s what I’m gonna do at the next level as well. I’m dependable and accountable. I’m also a great football player at the end of the day. I’m all about the team. You can’t go wrong with drafting a guy like that.

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Report: LB Shaq Quarterman to have pre-draft visit with Bills

Miami LB Shaq Quarterman to have pre-draft visit with Buffalo Bills.

The Bills will have a pre-draft visit with linebacker Shaq Quarterman, The Draft Wire reports. Quarterman also met with the Bills at the combine, furthering their interest in him:

Quarterman could be a mid-round pick at the upcoming draft and the Bills take their meetings very serious. In terms of their pre-draft visit last year, Buffalo met with Ed Oliver, Dawson Knox and Vosean Joseph, three of their picks.

The Bills do have a hole in their linebacker positions via Lorenzo Alexander’s retirement, but Quarterman was a mike linebacker in college, and in terms of the Bills, Buffalo has Tremaine Edmunds there in a starting position with Julian Stanford behind him, who also led the Bills in special teams snaps last season. The Bills could be looking to upgrade their special teams units with mid-to-late round picks at the upcoming draft as well. Quarterman was a four-year starter and a team leader for Miami, both things that will also be appealing to the Bills as well.

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Who and what to watch at the 2020 NFL Combine: Linebackers

The Lions Wire staff has identified which linebackers Detroit Lions fans should be watching at the 2020 NFL Combine.

The 2020 NFL Combine on-field workouts begin Thursday, February 27th in Indianapolis but the linebackers won’t take the field until Saturday, February 29th. One interesting note about some of the players in this group is that while they will work out with the linebackers, they may play another role in the Lions scheme.

This is the latest in a series of articles leading up to this year’s NFL Combine, where the Lions Wire team has identified players they will be tracking in order to determine potential fits within the organization.

If you missed the previous articles in this series, be sure to check out our quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive linemen, interior defensive linemen, and EDGE rushers previews.

Off-the-ball linebacker traits to evaluate

There are several on-field drills that emphasize a player’s abilities and the main areas Lions’ scouts will likely be focusing for the linebackers are:

  • Lateral movement should be smooth and quick.
  • Reaction to instructions, too many times prospects guess the command and make mistakes.
  • Can they turn and unlock their hips when dropping into coverage?
  • Head up and eyes on the ball.
  • Which linebackers take place in EDGE rushing drills? How do they perform under those expectations?

Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

Suggested by: Bryce Rossler

Simmons was a chess piece at Clemson, seeing snaps at free safety, strong safety, over the slot, outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and outside corner. And at the college level, he played all of them at a high level.

In the NFL, he likely won’t have that positional range, and depending on the scheme, he may be labeled either a linebacker or a safety. At the Combine, he will work out with the linebackers, but with the Lions, he would likely find the most success at the safety level, in Tavon Wilson’s role.

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Blessed with both speed and quickness, Simmons uses his rare athleticism to win in coverage, stop the run, and get home on disguised blitzes.

The Lions deploy three-safety sets roughly 50-percent of defensive snaps, and pairing him with Tracy Walker — along with last years third-rounder Will Harris in the third safety role — would give the Lions an instant upgrade in the secondary.

Zach Baun, Wisconsin

Suggested by: Jeff Risdon

Baun played outside linebacker in Wisconsin 34 scheme, alternating between rushing the passer and dropping into coverage. Due to his build (6-2.5, 240, with 31.13″ arms) and skill set, he is better suited for an off-the-ball role, and with the Lions, he is a natural fit for the Christian Jones role.

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Comfortable operating in space, Baun is a plus athlete who uses his intelligence, instincts, lateral quickness, and internal drive to flow to the ball all over the field.

Josh Uche, Michigan

Suggested by: Scott Warheit

Uche spent his first few years at Michigan adding weight and learning techniques as a situational stand-up pass rusher before finally earning a starting role in 2019. Like Baun, Uche is comfortable bending the edge and dropping into space, but Uche’s arm length (33.25″) and athleticism, makes him a player who will spend more time rushing the passer.

At 241-pounds, Uche is a bit undersized to be an every-down JACK linebacker in the Lions scheme, but his ability to drop into coverage and insane speed/bend off the edge makes him a unique prospect that is the perfect fit at SAM and WILL linebacker spots in a multiple scheme.

Malik Harrison, Ohio State

Suggested by: Scott Bischoff and Ty Finch

After examining three hybrid defenders in Simmons, Baun, and Uche, Harrison represents the first true off-the-ball linebacker on this list. Harrison has the size (6-2.5, 246 at Senior Bowl), speed, range, and power the Lions look for at their MIKE and WILL positions. He is gap sound, a complete run defender, and has shown some cover skills, which would make him an instant competitor in most schemes.

Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech

Suggested by: Matt Urben

With speed, athleticism, and plus instincts, Brooks (est. 6-0, 241) is not talked about enough in the Lions community. He is a downhill, productive, run-stuffing inside linebacker, who fits the mold of a Lions linebacker, including struggling to cover tight ends and running backs. If the Lions plan on moving on from Jarrad Davis when his contract expires after this season, Brooks could be a target to develop and mix into a starter rotation in 2021.

Akeem Davis-Gaither, Appalachian State

Suggested by: Sonja Greenfield and Derek Okrie

Like Simmons, Davis-Gaither (6-1.5, 219 at Senior Bowl) would be a hang defender in the Lions scheme, but without the range to play deep safety. Davis-Gaither can rush the passer, cover the slot, and will be one of the quickest athletes on the field at any given time. If you like Miles Killebrew, then you’ll love Davis-Gaither, as he can do a lot of the same things Killebrew can, but with less power and more speed.

Troy Dye, Oregon

Suggested by: Max Gerber

Like Davis-Gaither, Dye (est. 6-3, 218) is another hang defender with speed to burn and strong tackling skills. In Detroit, he would play in the Killebrew role as a potential four-down defender, who would backup at WILL linebacker, see coverage work in obvious passing situations, with his skills truly shining on special teams.

Evan Weaver, California

Suggested by: Erik Schlitt

When watching Senior Bowl practices, Weaver stood out for being gap sound, recognizing the play early, and beating the offensive player to the correct hole. He has terrific football instincts and his anticipation shows up rep after rep. He attacks downhill with tenacity but won’t win any athleticism competitions, and at 6-2, 239 pounds, fits the profile of a Lions linebacker.

Shaq Quarterman, Miami

Suggested by: Zack Moran

Loaded with experience at the MIKE, Quarterman jumped onto the big stage as a true freshman. Quarterman is a two-down defender who attacks with power but lacks the range and athleticism to stay on the field in traditional third-down situations. He has a long history of production and rarely misses opportunities to make tackles, which will help him be an instant impact starter on special teams and reserve interior linebacker.

East-West Shrine Game 2020: 7 players for the Eagles to watch

Former Ohio State receiver Binjimen Victor among the players to watch in East-West Shrine Game

The NFL season is down to the final four teams, but for the other 28 franchises, the process of draft preparation has begun and that means scouting the collegiate all-star games.

The 2020 East-West Shrine Game is here and although it’s not the Reese Senior Bowl, a ton of mid-round and late-round prospects have taken advantage of the opportunity to put in work in front of the NFL scouts, coaches and executives.

Notable names to achieve greatness after the East-West Shrine Game include Jimmy Garoppolo, who has the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.

Eagles stars Brandon Brooks and Avonte Maddox are also East-West Shrine alums, so the Birds have experience in plucking talent from this game.

Former Purdue signal-caller David Blough turned a 10-of-15, 149 yards and two touchdowns performance in last year’s game into five appearances for the Detroit Lions this season.

With Philadelphia currently having 10 draft picks and several in the later rounds, here are 7 players the Eagles and fans should keep an eye on.

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1. Binjimen Victor, WR, Ohio State

Victor is an intriguing prospect and his Buckeye DNA gives him the benefit of the doubt when breaking down his tape and abilities on the outside.

Although not a star at Ohio State, Victor is a crisp route runner who is fluid coming out of the break with very sure hands. As a Senior for the Big 10 Champions, Victor had 35 catches for 573 yards and six touchdowns.