The Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line looked much improved in last Thursday’s preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. The team finally had all of their starters healthy and available and did a nice job the first half of the game. The right guard position was split between Will Richardson, who started the game, and A.J. Cann.
The competition didn’t get any easier as Richardson was doing will until a couple of false start penalties that saw him get yanked in favor of Cann, who came in and had a nice block to open a big running lane and was called for a penalty later on.
I still think Richardson will end up with the starting job, but he will need a good week of practice, at the least.
“It’s hard to take those [penalties] out though, when you say that. I think that Will’s really worked hard and it’s going to be a tough decision and he’s done a good job. And make no mistake about it, Will’s increase in play and competitiveness has increased A.J. [Cann],” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said when asked about the competition at right guard.
“A.J.’s gotten better, too, at the same time. It’s so true, I think a lot of times people sit here and think that we say that just as a cliché, but when you have guys, and they’re competing, and then all of a sudden you feel someone breathing down your neck you just step it up. And it’s not that you don’t want to, or you didn’t want to before, or you’ve become complacent, it’s just human nature,” Marrone continued. “So I think that’s a good decision for us. I think both players can play. I think we’ll look at what gives us the best chance and I think it might go now to practice with the games being even.”
Marrone also said he hadn’t made a decision yet on if either of the two would end up playing in Thursday’s preseason finale and it also depends on how the week of practice goes towards making a decision on who the opening day starter is going to be.
For now I think it looks like Richardson is the better pass blocker and still getting the hang of run blocking at the guard position, while Cann is the better run blocker right now but has struggled in pass protection. I’m not sure we will see either one play Thursday night.