Coming into the 2014 season, there was a buzz about the defensive line for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Sen'Derrick Marks earned a long-term contract extension with his play on the field, Red Bryant and Chris Clemons were signed away from the Seattle Seahawks, Tyson Alualu has hit his stride in camp so far, and young players like Ryan Davis and Chris Smith are stepping up to give the kind of pass-rushing depth we haven't seen in years.
And when they finally got to show off in the preseason opener, the defensive line did so well that a starting offensive lineman lost his starting spot with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
According to Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune, Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith has demoted starting right guard Jamon Meredith has now been moved down to a backup offensive tackle role.
"Jamon didn’t play as well as he needed to, so we’re going to let him concentrate a little bit more at the tackle position and give that next group of guards an opportunity,’’ said head coach Lovie Smith.
Pro Football Focus rated Meredith as one of the worst performances by an offensive lineman in Week 1 of the preseason, giving him a -2.1 grade for pass blocking and a -0.8 grade for run blocking.
But Meredith may not be the only offensive lineman on the hot seat thanks to a dominating performance by the Jaguars defensive line. Starting left guard Oniel Cousins was rated as even worse, earning a -3.8 overall grade -- -2.1 for pass blocking, -0.8 for run blocking, and -0.9 for penalties.
That's two Buccaneers interior offensive lineman that were dismal against the Jaguars interior defensive line. Pretty encouraging for a position group that has seen a lot of turnover in the past eight months.