The Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to figure out what they're going to do at the starting center position. Incumbent starter Michael Brewster had an overall OK game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Friday, but overall it's pretty clear he's not where the Jaguars would like him to be.
Brewster has started to lose some snaps to Jacques McClendon, who in my opinion had the best performance at center on Friday, and now the team is starting to give rookie third-round pick Brandon Linder snaps at the position with the second team.
"He’ll play some Thursday night as well. He played some center for us at Miami," Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch told reporters on Tuesday. "We felt pretty good in terms of giving him some opportunities out there as well."
As mentioned, Linder has played center in the past and it wouldn't hurt to cross train him at the position in case something happens, but I think it speaks to the fact that the team is unsure of the center position currently.
"It’s still 20-something days away from opening day, so we have an opportunity to continue to evaluate and watch the competition. One of the things that has happened is that we’ve been so spoiled," Fisch said about the center position. "We’ve had the same center here for how many years? I was thinking about this when I was driving home the other day. I was like, ‘not only did we shoot two snaps over our heads in the first preseason game, we did it at time when it was the first year Brad Meester wasn’t on our team.’"
While Meester was on the downside of his NFL career, he was still at the worst a serviceable starter and it appears that gap between Meester and the next guy still exists, which is why the Jaguars went after Alex Mack in free agency.
"I think it magnified that up a little bit more. I think we have a good competition going though," Fisch added. "It’s pretty cool. We’re going to see four centers who play this week on Thursday night. We’ll be able to watch them develop and watch them grow and evaluate each week."
Ultimately, I think the starting center and right guard end up being McClendon and Linder, respectively.