Ah Miami, such a fantastic place. I've had the pleasure of spending many an intoxicated night on the shores of South Beach. In fact, if you're ever down there, you have to eat at Tapas y Tintos. Best Spanish style food ever.
That being said, this trip to Miami that our team is taking is not for pleasure. We've got a dedicated mission to accomplish in a very short amount of time. Our team has to demonstrate right out of the gates that the offense is improving over last year. Yeah, the ESPN machine is aiming at the offense and to an extent Jacksonville needs to shut them up. They are clearly a team at a crossroads, from the quarterback to rumors about the coach, and it's time to make a stand. I don't think that we need the support of the mainstream sports media to win the Super Bowl and annihilate the AFC South, but my god it's like the team plays in a foreign country.
FBT, who writes at Jaguars Journal was so kind as to offer his thoughts on what the jaguars have at stake I argue that the most important thing about this game is staying healthy, but FBT has a different opinion.
While avoiding injury is certainly priority #1, but so is showing the skeptics that the buzz is not just talk.
The offense needs to go out and start fast in Miami so that they show fans that all of the hype that has been surrounding this new scheme during the spring and camp has some meat behind it. There are still people reluctant to buy season tickets because they want to see for themselves if the offense is going to be anywhere near as good as they've read or heard from others. So, the offense needs to be quick out of the box to give them the nudge they need to commit to the team by buying the tickets.
Good points, all.
Let's discuss today's game a bit.
- First off, if you're a fan of Florida sports, you must read The Phinsider for some Miami-Centric coverage of the Dolphins. Because this is a preseason game he's not paying too much attention to the Jaguars, but if you're a Floridian, you might be interested.
- Reggie Williams is taking snaps as the scout team punt returner This might be the most important game of Reggie's career, and it's "only" the preseason. I said on SB Nation Radio that Reggie won't make the team and this game will make or break him.
- Byron and the "new" Offense: I'd expect to see some big plays out of the first team offense. I'd imagine that Byron and David are going to go deep early to get some momentum established with the new offense. I'd be excited to see some action out of Wiggins and Marcades Lewis early on as well, just cause I'm wetting myself at the thought of two TE sets. I'm also hearing that we're using the TE as a full back, which makes for even more interesting possibilities. (H-Back anyone?)
- Safeties. I can't say it enough, our second wave of safeties (Gattis, mainly) needs to show that they can do the job. Reggie Nelson has to demonstrate in the first half that he's got an understanding of the playbook and can read a defense. How cool would it be to see Reggie intercept and "pick 6".
- Wide Receivers: Charles Sharon has to come up to speed fast and carry over his mini-camp success into on the field production. Ernest Wilford isn't starting, so Mike Walker gets a chance to shine against real cornerbacks.
- Defense: Watch every linebacker during every snap. Since you usually can't see what's happening in the secondary, I'd advise you to keep track of the linebackers. Nick Greisen (55), Tony Gilbert (50), Jorge Cordova (58) and Pat Thomas (53) are all competing for the last two roster spots. Let's see how they do.