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Jaguars vs. Steelers: Players to watch on both sides of the ball

The 2015 season is upon us, starting Friday night in the first preseason game of the year against the Steelers. Who are you going to be watching for in the preseason opener?

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars preseason kicks off this Friday night… it’s time for football!

After quite a loaded offseason and yet another impressive draft by Dave Caldwell & Co., we're all looking forward to the 21st season of Jaguars football. For the Jaguars to find some long-awaited success, all of the players on the roster must play at their highest level, and this week I am specifically looking for two players to perform at a high level, regardless of the game being a preseason game: Zane Beadles and Dan Skuta.

Zane Beadles

Beadles was brought in on a five-year, $30 million deal in the 2014 offseason to be the leader of a young offensive line, and he failed to meet the expectations. Beadles turned his game up a notch in the latter end of the 2014 season, but never looked like the Pro Bowl guard he was when he played in Denver.

All that said, word is that new offensive line coach Doug Marrone has tinkered with Beadles' posture to fit with the Jaguars blocking scheme, and that Zane has performed well in training camp. My eyes will be on the left guard when the offense takes the field Friday night.

Dan Skuta

On the defensive side of the ball, my eyes are on another free agent signee of the Jaguars, newcomer Dan Skuta at the OTTO linebacker position.

Last year, the club brought in former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Dekoda Watson to play OTTO on a three-year, $6 million contract, but Watson never really panned out and was released in November. Skuta was signed to a much more confident contract (five years, $20.5 million) and is locked in to start at OTTO.

Last season for San Francisco, Skuta recorded 5.5 sacks as a rotational player, so I'll be watching to see how he produces as a starter in a new defense in Jacksonville.

Yes, it's only a preseason game. But Friday night is a big night for Jaguars football as we start to count the days until the regular season starts. It will be interesting to see how the team, as well as specific players, like Beadles and Skuta, perform in the first preseason game this year.

Who are you looking forward to seeing play against the Steelers on Friday night?