Jaguars bolster D-line with Clemons, Hood, Babin

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 13, 2014 at 2:47 pm •  Published: March 13, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars continued revamping their defensive line Thursday by signing two free agents and bringing back their best pass rusher from last season.

The Jaguars signed former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons, former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Ziggy Hood and re-signed veteran Jason Babin, who led the team with 7½ sacks in 2013.

Those moves came five days after Jacksonville signed former Seattle defensive end Red Bryant.

Together, they could drastically improve a defense that tied for last in the league with 31 sacks last season.

"Hopefully get with these guys and take this thing to a whole new level," Hood said.

Clemons is the gem of the group. Seattle released him in a cost-cutting move Wednesday; he was scheduled to make $7.5 million in 2014. His cross-country trek to Jacksonville reunites him with former Seahawks defensive coordinator and current Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley.

"I think we could build something special here," said Clemons, who signed a four-year deal reportedly worth $18 million.

After failing to find success in Oakland and Philadelphia, Clemons thrived in Seattle under Bradley. He was the team's top pass rusher from 2010 to 2012, recording 33½ sacks and getting at least 11 each year.

Last season, Clemons had only 4½ sacks as a deeper line rotation took away some of his opportunities. Clemons also was coming off a torn knee ligament sustained in the 2012 playoffs. He had 3½ sacks his first five games of 2013, but had just one sack the final nine games of the regular season.

He was, however, at his best in the Super Bowl, finishing with three tackles, two forced fumbles, a sack and a pass defended.

The 27-year-old Hood had 140 tackles and 11½ sacks in five seasons with the Steelers. A college standout at Missouri, Hood was the 32nd overall pick in the 2009 draft. But he never really felt comfortable playing end in Pittsburgh's 3-4 scheme.

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