|August 28th, 2010
|7:30 pm EST
The Jaguars travel to Tampa for the all important 3rd preseason game. With the majority of the starters will be expected to play into the 3rd quarter, it will be the best look we'll get of the team before the opener vs Denver. Who will step up and who may see their final action as a Jaguar?
Also, use this as the initial Game Thread.
Jaguars Offense vs Buccaneers Defense
Even with Maurice Jones-Drew out for the rest of the pre-sason, MJD was never going to be much of a factor in the game. Instead, this game should help the team determine if MJD can afford to come back later rather than sooner. Rashad Jennings will get plenty of touches as the starting running back, and his performance will have a major impact on how the team will look coming into the regular season.
In addition, Eben Britton will return to the lineup at right tackle for the first time this preseason. This now gives Jacksonville their starting 5 on the offensive line. The unit looks like it'll be much improved from last year, and hopefully Eben will continue with that growth.
Perhaps the biggest position battle of the night will be the musical chairs at WR. After Mike Thomas and Sims-Walker, it's wide open. Underwear League MVP Tiquan Underwood started to make some noise vs Miami, but hasn't been heard from much since the pads went on. Now, if the Jags opt to keep 6 WRs instead of 5 on the roster, this will be a bit less intriguing.
Jaguars Defense vs Buccaneers Offense
Without Josh Freeman directing Tampa's attack, this should be the easiest assignment the Jaguars "1s" have to do all preseason. Professional malcontent Kellen Winslow and RB Carnell Williams are there only legitimate weapons on offense, and without their QB, they're effectively out of the ball game.
The big question as usual will revolve around the passing game. The starting defensive line should see action well into the 2nd quarter at least. How will the combo of Aaron Kampman and Derrick Harvey look with more than just 10 snaps to judge?
The safety position has been beaten and salted into the Earth, so I'll leave that one alone. However, I would love to see Derek Cox get out of the sophomore slump he's been having so far.
The defensive tackle position will be another to keep an eye on tonight. There are 3 "locks" right now, Alualu, Knighton, and Douzable. After that, it is something of a guessing game. Aatyiah Ellision is pretty close to a lock. The thing start getting tricky. Will the Jaguars keep 5 or 6 DTs? If they keep Jeremy Mincey, do they view him more as a DE or DT, for rotational purposes.
Player On The Hot Seat
If Jennings wants to show everyone that he can be a legit running back in the NFL, this will be his chance to do it. If he doesn't impress, than every piece of bad news about MJD's knee will be cause fort he panic button.