One of the bigger concerns headed into training camp for the Jacksonville Jaguars that is not often discussed is the transition from guard to center for Brandon Linder. Linder finished last season on injured reserve after a stellar rookie season and the overwhelming assumption is that he will be fine in his shift from guard to center, but those transitions don't always go smoothly. There hasn't been a lot of talk about the move publicly, which is probably a good thing, but Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles is confident in his friend's transition to the position.
"He's been good," Bortles told reporters on Monday when asked about Linder at center. "He's obviously an unbelievable offensive lineman and I think everybody knows that."
The relationship between center and quarterback is very important, as they often both work in conjunction calling protections and shifts on plays. This will also be the third different starting center in a row to start the season for Bortles, so it's good that it's someone he's very familiar with and who has shown to be nearly a Pro Bowl caliber player at the guard position.
"I don't think it was going to be a challenge for him to switch over. It was just a matter of time until he started feeling comfortable with it and I think he picked it up really quickly," Bortles added. "I think mentally was the probably the biggest question mark and he did a good job with it. He spent a lot of time on it, worked hard, and I think he's going to have a good year."
If the transition for Linder is quick, as Bortles expects, it could pay dividends in both the passing game and running game in 2016.
The Jaguars hit the field again on Friday, July 29th for the start of training camp. For a full schedule of dates open to the public, you can check out our Guide to Jaguars Training Camp.