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What a difference a year makes for the Jaguars

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

It’s pretty amazing how different it feels the day of the first Jacksonville Jaguars preseason game in 2018 than it did a year ago. The focus of the first preseason game last offseason was centered around quarterback Blake Bortles, and not for good reasons. Bortles had an up and down training camp, including being benched mid-practice at one point at veteran backup Chad Henne getting some time with the first team.

All eyes were on Blake in an unwinnable situation.

This year? There’s no question. Bortles seems to have picked up where he left off in the playoffs last season, there’s a gap between he and backup Cody Kessler and no one seems worried. In fact, I hope Bortles doesn’t even play against the New Orleans Saints. He doesn’t need to.

Then there were big questions about the offensive line, who would start where and if Branden Albert was coming back. This year, everyone wants to see the offensive line because we think it will be really good.

On defense, everyone was curious to see the new look secondary with the additions of Barry Church and AJ Bouye and now I think most hope they don’t even take a snap and risk injury.

The story lines last season for the first preseason game were “oh God is Blake actually bad” and “I hope Bouye isn’t a one-year wonder!”.

This morning the talk is about how the rookie SAM linebacker who is probably going to play 15 snaps a game will look and who the sixth wide receiver will be.

What a difference a year makes.