The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the practice field for the first on-field work of 2017 training camp as this is being written. One of the big goals to find out through the first week or so of camp is what the offensive line is going to look like. Most of us think we have an idea how it’s going to shake out, but just like he stated during organized team activities, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone maintains he wants to have the best five offensive lineman on the field.
“Honestly, what I’m really looking forward to is the acclimation period is two days. Then we have pads the one day. Then we are off on Sunday. Then we come back and we have five straight days,” Marrone said on Wednesday when asked about the difficulty of finding the best five offensive lineman.
“To me we should have a very good feel where we are prior to going up to practice against New England,” Marrone continued. “I think there may be a couple things here or there that the New England practices may separate for us, but I think we should have a good feel. If everyone is participating and everyone is available then we will have a good feel of where we are there, as far as what the positions are or at that point what the best five is – we should definitely know. As far as the best five at that moment.”
With looking for simply the best five and not necessarily the best at each individual position means that some players might have to kick inside to guard or even outside to offensive tackle. Most anticipate that second round pick Cam Robinson will slide inside to the guard position to ensure the best five lineman are on the field, with veteran Branden Albert starting at left tackle.
According to Marrone however, they haven’t really talked about Robinson playing anything other than left tackle.
“Right now we have him at left tackle. We haven’t talked about it,” Marrone said about where Robinson will play. “We have had major discussions of how do we want to get to know what the best five are. We haven’t discussed anything else except left tackle.”
I would like to think that the team is open to Robinson playing a position other than left tackle if they’re truly looking to field the “best five”, but it is a bit of an odd stance. It makes me wonder if Albert is indeed the starting left tackle as anticipated, does that mean Robinson just sits the bench? Can the team really afford to take another “value” pick in the second round and have them not play?
Marrone indicated he’d like to have an idea for the offensive line by the end of joint practices with the Patriots, which makes sense so you can start to have the best five working together through the rest of the preseason. The team kind of shot themselves in the foot last season, having Luke Joeckel play left tackle all offseason then suddenly shift him inside to guard on the fly. You don’t want that kind of situation again, especially if you plan on moving Robinson inside to guard, a position he’s never played.
As it stands right now however, the team seems to indicate the view Robinson as nothing but a left tackle and I find it hard to believe both he and Albert are not each one of the “best five”.