In the middle of a busy free agency period, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed former Dallas Cowboys guard Mackenzy Bernadeau to a very cheap, very short deal. It was a prove-it deal for Bernadeau — just $4 million over two years — with the thought that if and when Bernadeau could take the reins from a departed Zane Beadles, he could possibly be the fixture at left guard.
But after training camp and the preseason opener, does Bernadeau still have a spot on this team?
Bernadeau was awful when the team went to full pads, with Luke Joeckel being moved to left guard on the first day and the team not looking back from that. And he got zero snaps with the first or second team on Thursday with all 26 of his snaps coming with Brandon Allen as quarterback.
And now the Jaguars are trying him out at center to hopefully add some versatility and value... as well as a reason to keep him.
“[Bernadeau] got some center reps, too, so it is the more that you can do,” head coach Gus Bradley said on Saturday. “But not at the expense of walking in and seeing him compete at certain spots, so we are trying to build that flexibility with him. See how he handles it. We keep challenging those guys. In the offensive line, I think with the situation that we are in, guys see there are opportunities. So as coaches, we are sitting back and kind of watching to see who steps up.”
Add to that the fact that Gus said “there is some truth to the depth chart and where it is at right now” when asked specifically if Bernadeau was a third-string guard. Not only that, but Chris Reed and Tyler Shatley, who played left guard and center with the starters in Kelvin Beachum’s absence, didn’t do that poorly against the Jets. They gave up an ugly, ugly sack on Blake Bortles in the first quarter and another on Chad Henne in the second quarter, but that was all I saw of them on Thursday.
In all, you’ve got a guy in Bernadeau who is currently playing with the third-team when he was brought here to compete as a starting left guard. Beachum likely won’t be back this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers so it’ll be interesting to see how many snaps Reed and Bernadeau get at guard.
Ed. Note: We credited backup left guard Chris Reed with giving up a sack on Blake Bortles in the first quarter. That was actually backup center Tyler Shatley.