Jason Babin must have more frequent flyer miles than any other football player in the NFL.
Stops in Houston, Seattle, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Tennessee and back to Philadelphia before making Jacksonville his most recent destination.
Nine years in the league and seven teams; not a great showing for the Western Michigan star, who has 55 sacks in his career, two Pro Bowl appearances and one selection to the All-Pro team in 2011.
But for whatever the reasons for Babin’s movement around the NFL, Jacksonville is glad to welcome the defensive end to the team for a full season after being picked up off waivers after the halfway point of last season.
Babin’s addition to the pass rush seemed to affect everyone -- in a positive way. Could 16 games in teal payoff, not only for Babin, but for the youthful and inexperienced Jaguars? That is exactly what head coach Gus Bradley is counting on.
Right now, it looks like Babin is the only defensive line player from last season guaranteed a starting role this season. Jeremy Mincey, Andre Branch, Tyson Alualu and Austen Lane; all holdovers from last year, will compete with Paul Hazel and Brandon Deaderick for the other starting slot.
With all this competition, the Jaguars have at least created depth on the line and in passing situations.
If you want to get a feel for what kind of impact Babin can have on this team, take this into consideration; the 55 sacks Babin has in his career are more than the Jaguars have had combined in the last two seasons.
On a team that will funnel plays toward the middle of the defense and the new defensive tackles and middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, Babin could help get to the outside and force the quarterback to flush the pocket or make the running back think twice about moving to the outside. This will also aid the defensive tackles who will be new this season.
Good teams have a leader who can dominate on the defensive line and change the direction and momentum of a game. Babin can do that. A tandem of Babin Mincey or Alualu could surprise opponents on their speed alone.
And in this era of speed on the outside is vital, Babin could be a key cog in an improved defense. That could lead to an improved defensive, overall and an improved record in the standings.