JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — It took only practice to confirm what Jacksonville expected: Defensive end Jason Babin will help a Jaguars defense in need of a quality pass-rusher.
Babin practiced for the first time with Jacksonville Thursday afternoon, less than 48 hours after he was claimed off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles.
Defensive coordinator Joe Cullen said Babin can help "a ton" Sunday against at Buffalo.
"Third and long during the game, he will be ready," Cullen said. "There's a couple of things we looked for at that position and one is the relentless motor and the other is being able to rush the passer. He fits both of those needs."
The Eagles' decision to release the nine-year veteran was somewhat of a surprise.
He had started all 11 games with the Eagles this season and was leading the team in sacks with 5.5. Eagles coach Andy Reid has said the decision to release Babin was based on the desire to look at younger players.
Babin is considered one of the NFL's top pass rushers. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2010 and 2011 after recording 12.5 and 18 sacks respectively. He started all 32 games during that time.
The 32-year-old said he's happy to be in a situation where he can make a difference to a team.
"It hasn't been the type of year I wanted," he said. "It's been a tough year. We've had a lot of issues.
"Things are kind of stagnant (in Philadelphia). They could ultimately get worse before they get better. So being a part of something that is about to blossom, is definitely an exciting feeling."
Babin will see plenty of action against Buffalo and could be in the starting lineup. Starting left defensive end Austen Lane did not practice Thursday for a second straight day due to a foot injury.
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