Overall, this wasn’t a bad start. Not even close. Are there concerns after the Jaguars’ 2012 preseason opener? Must work be done? We’ll answer yes and yes to those questions, but here’s what’s important to remember following the Jaguars’ 32-31 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants Friday. This wasn’t *supposed* to be a finished product but it was a good way to start.
If a poll was taken in the Jaguars' locker room of which player most marches to the beat of a different drummer, Rashad Jennings might win in a landslide. Teammates admire the running back's relentless work ethic, but off the field, he's not your average NFL player. He leaves the partying and carousing to others, preferring quiet time at home with his guitar and listening to country music. During training camp, he still makes time to write a weekly Sunday column for his Lynchburg, Va. hometown newspaper, the News & Advance.
Here’s what we learned from the Jaguars’ 32-31 preseason victory over the New York Giants Friday. 1) Blaine Gabbert has a chance. People around training camp had seen it. People who hadn’t been around training camp found it hard to believe. If you watched the first three series Friday, it was clear: Gabbert still has progress to make, but that progress is happening.
Quarterback Blaine Gabbert showed good command and made good throws on the Jaguars’ first series, converting several third downs and leading a touchdown drive. He got time, stepped up and found Laurent Robinson, Mike Thomas and Cecil Shorts, hitting Shorts for a short TD that produced a 7-0 lead. It was an encouraging showing from the second-year quarterback. Gabbert did lose a fumble later when he got swarmed. He simply needs to go down and be sure to hold on.
There’s always a ton of corrections to be made from a first preseason game. The Jaguars will be no different when they examine the tape from Friday night’s bizarre 32-31 comeback victory over the New York Giants at EverBank Field. Fumbles by rookie punt returner Mike Brown, receiver Cecil Shorts and quarterback Blaine Gabbert led to 21 Giants points, which forced the Jaguars to climb out of 24-7 and 31-21 deficits. The first-team defense generated no pass rush and the special teams gave up 95 yards on three kick returns. It was mostly an ugly 3 hours, 30 minutes of football, but the encouraging thing for Jaguars’ fans is that Gabbert and players that figure to have key roles on offense provided enough highlights to offset the turnover-filled night.