The Jaguars have gotten exactly what they expected when they signed strong safety Barry Church to a four-year, $21.6 million deal in the offseason. Church, one of the league’s most unsung players, was the player the Cowboys regretted losing most in free agency.
In fact, Church has to rank as one of the best free agent signings of the offseason.
Church has 24 tackles, a sack, an interception returned for a touchdown and a pass breakup, stabilizing a position that saw inconsistency in four seasons with Johnathan Cyprien. As a bonus, Church has provided leadership to the secondary, the defense and the team.
“He has been good,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN. “He has played well. We are very, very happy with what he has done.”
Church, who has played 335 of 349 defensive snaps, has led a defense that has a league-leading 15 takeaways, including 10 interceptions. Those totals are more than the Jaguars had all of last season.
Church had one of the Jaguars’ five interceptions of Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday, and one of two pick-sixes. He returned his 51 yards to the end zone for his first career interception return for a touchdown.
“It feels like once you get one, the ball starts to find you,” Church said, via Phillip Heilman of the Florida Times-Union. “I don’t know how it works, but it definitely works.”