The Jacksonville Jaguars went into their preseason opener against the New York Jets with a number of question marks around the left side of their offensive line. No Kelvin Beachum meant Luke Joeckel would be moved back to left tackle and probably have to pull double duty with the first and second team while paired with a backup left guard (or even a backup’s backup).
Starting the game, it was Luke Joeckel at left tackle, Chris Reed at left guard, and Tyler Shatley at center. This was going to be a disaster, right?
Joeckel was actually very good on Thursday night, as was the left side of the offensive line. Ryan O’Halloran noted that he played 40 snaps and was in the game for the entirety of the first half. While Joeckel was in the game, Blake Bortles and Chad Henne were both sacked once, but neither sack was because of Joeckel. He also wasn’t called for any penalties either.
After the game, Gus Bradley praised Joeckel’s ability to handle speed-to-power rushes against the Jets, better than he did last year.
And in terms of the run game, Joeckel was strong and quick to get to the next level.
And he gets a ton of credit for Chris Ivory’s touchdown at the goal line.
It was strange to see Beachum and Joeckel listed as co-starters at left tackle on the team’s first depth chart this week, but with Joeckel’s performance against the Jets, it’s not so strange anymore.
You can listen to us hanx ourselves and worry about Luke Joeckel on Episode 2 of the Keep Choppin’ Wood podcast below.