Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/30/12

Call three of your buddies right now and ask them what they think of the Jacksonville Jaguars this year. Go ahead, I'll wait...

So the answers they gave you, once you got past you friends' protests of "who cares?", varied from horrible to potentially not awful.

Well here are three players that will justify both sides of that argument: 

Paul Posluszny

Why we love him:

This former Penn State player was signed to a six-year, $45 million contract from the Buffalo Bills following the 2010 season.  

Poz, as he is affectionately known in the locker room, is a tackling machine and was the free agent centerpiece of Jacksonville's 2010 off season.

In 2011, Poz led the team with 119 tackles, the second-highest season total of his career. Strongly built with a great motor, Poz figures to be central to the Jaguars' defensive scheme for the foreseeable future. 

Why we hate him:

Signed to a contract that averages $7.5 million annually, Posluszny was brought in to anchor a rebuilt linebacker corps, and provide some big plays on a relatively young defense.  

The big plays were there, they were just few and far between. During his first season in Jacksonville, Poz produced a grand total of two sacks, and one forced fumble. 

He did make a pair of interceptions, but with his price tag, the expectations for Posluszny were higher. At least its only five more years of paying top dollar for a middle of the road defender.

 

Blaine Gabbert:

Why we love him:

The first-round pick from the 2011 Draft performed admirably during his first pro season. Gabbert took over a team that was in clear rebuilding mode, and guided the team to five wins, despite not having an offseason to learn the playbook and become familiar with personnel.  

Couple that with being surrounded by arguably the worst receiving corps in the NFL. Gabbert's size and raw ability make him an excellent prospect at the quarterback position, and he will only improve with time and experience.

Why we hate him:

Two words -- Tim Tebow. Were it not for Gabbert, the Jaguars could have acquired THE Florida football icon of the 21st century. Instead Jacksonville fans had to suffer through Gabbert's 40-sack, 12-touchdown ordeal.  

A year in which he barely completed 50 percent of his passes and couldn't break 2,300 yards. Tebow has his knocks, but he has started a playoff game, which is more than any quarterback on the Jaguars' roster can say at this point.  

 

Maurice Jones-Drew

Why we love him:

The 2011 NFL leading rusher is far and away the most talented player on the team, and has the body of work to show for it. Jones-Drew is the career team-leader in rushing touchdowns (one he currently shares with Fred Taylor, but will break this season), second in career rushing yards with 6,854, and second in rushing yards per game with 73.7.  

Jones-Drew is 27 and in the prime of his career. His skill set allowed him to lead the league in rushing despite the fact hat opposing defenses regularly lined up with seven and eight men in the box to stop the run. Jones-Drew is one of the few remaining "franchise backs" 

Why we hate him:

Just before the 2009 season Jones-Drew signed a four-year contract extension worth $31 million. At the time that he signed the extension Jones-Drew was working under his rookie contract, and as a second-round pick, was getting paid a pittance of what he deserved for his on-field performance.  

Now, just three years later, and with two years and over $9 million left on his extension, Jones-Drew wants a new deal. Again.  

Jacksonville's new owner, Shad Khan has made it clear that he is not willing to negotiate at this time, which led to the current holdout being staged by the running back. A season that was supposed to be one of promise is now in the balance, as the team's most talented and popular player continues to sit out.  



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