|Date:||August 22nd, 2009
|Time:||7:30 pm EST
|SBN Coverage:||Buc 'Em||Coverage Map
The Jaguars open their home preseason slate against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. To say the Jaguars need to show improvement is an understatement. The Jaguars first team looked flat out bad against the Dolphins in the preseason opener. It didn't get better from there. Penalties, overthrown balls, fumbles, you name it, the Jaguars did it. Now the Jaguars have one more tune up game before participating in perhaps the most hyped preseason game ever in Philadelphia. The Jaguars take on an average Bucs team in a game that the Jaguars should win if they play any better than they did Monday night.
What to Watch: Jacksonville Jaguars
1. First team offense: Where to start? David Garrard didn't look good; Tony Pashos seemingly wanted to give Eben Britton the starting RT spot; MJD looked average in the handful of plays he was in. In short, the first team offense needs to get going. This isn't the Buccaneers defense of Warren Sapp and John Lynch, and the Jaguars offense should treat it as such. If the first team offense doesn't sustain a drive or two Saturday night, then panic buttons will be hit.
2. Eugene Monroe: The number eight pick was one of the few bright spots against the Dolphins. Despite holding out for two weeks, Monroe looked great in the preseason opener. Unfortunately for him, Tra Thomas also looked good against the Phins. Monroe needs to have another good performance to keep the heat on Thomas and to have a realistic shot at getting the starting left tackle spot.
3.The 3-4: Or should this be under "What to hope to not watch?" The times the Jags lined up in the 3-4 against the Dolphins were ones where I had to hold down my inclination to vomit. Just as Vic and everyone else who's commented on the subject has said, the Jaguars aren't a team built to run the 3-4. It showed Monday night and it will continue to show as long as this horribly wrong experiment is allowed to continue.
4.The wide receivers: This is easily the most wide open position on the team. After Torry Holt, I dare anyone to list the 2 through 5 wide outs with any confidence. Nate Hughes has made a statement that he is more than a practice squad player. Jarrett Dillard made some nice grabs, Troy Williamson looked alright, and the two Mikes, Walker and Thomas, make their preseason debuts Saturday.
5. Special Teams: When the kicker is the leading tackler in any game, you know a team's special teams had a bad day. Fans have been wondering whether the hiring of Russ Purnell was a bad move, and the unit's play against the Dolphins seemingly proved they were right. The coverage unit needs to get better or the Jaguars defense will be put in an even bigger hole this season.
What to Watch: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1. Quarterbacks: The Buccaneers are carrying a bevy of quarterbacks that gives new meaning to the term "if you have two starting quarterbacks, you have none." Former Jaguar Byron Leftwich is seemingly at the head of pack at the moment, but the Bucs invested their first round pick in Josh Freeman. Expect both to see extensive time against the Jaguars.
2. Derrick Brooks: Or lack there of. The Bucs let the aging All-Pro linebacker go in the off season and the search to replace him will be an on going process. The Buccaneers don't have anyone that screams at you in their current linebacker corps, though it will be a position to watch Saturday night.
3. Kellen Winslow: When's he's not breaking his leg in motorcycle accidents or going on rants about being a soldier Winslow is one of the best all around tight ends in football. However, he is just as well known for his boneheaded off the field moves as he is for his on the field moves. The Bucs traded their 2009 second round pick for the soldier in hopes of improving their offense. The Jaguars will need to cover Winslow extensively in order to effectively shut him down.
4. Raheem Morris: Within the span of a few weeks, Morris went from being a defensive backs coach, to defensive coordinator, to head coach. Some have questioned the move because of Morris' qualifications, and a solid preseason would do alot to bolster his reputation.
5. Running Game: The Buccaneers only managed 95 yards rushing in their preseason opener against the Titans. They will look to re-establish the running game with Carnell Williams against the Jaguars. The Buccaneers certainly have capable backs behind Williams, including Earnest Graham. The Bucs will need a running game to help them through their current troubles with the quarterback position.
Player on the hot seat
Tony Pashos, RT, Jacksonville
Pashos needs a good game Saturday night. He looked bad Monday night and his competition, Eben Britton, looked really good. If Pashos continues to be good for a holding call a game, his days as a Jaguar are numbered.
7-3 Jaguars (When the starters leave