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I was encouraged by the Jaguars’ preseason opener

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The Jacksonville Jaguars are primed for the most exciting season in franchise history. Man, does it feel good to say that!

The Jaguars’ preseason opener ended with little more than a whimper and a cloud of dust.

Zero points from the starters.Zero points from the backups.Vanilla playbook.Urban Meyer upset.

But, it’s Week 1 of a preseason where there are a lot of new pieces being installed on both sides of the ball. And unlike the haters and losers (of which there are many) I was encouraged by what I saw out of this team.

What specifically was there to love? Let’s do this...

Trevor Lawrence is seeing the field

This article explains it in much better detail than I’ll go into, but Lawrence looked very good in his first NFL action. He has the arm strength to make first down throws across his body and the field. He has the touch to put the ball on the money to Marvin Jones, Jr. for that third-and-17 conversion. Once he gets more than a dozen snaps with a watered down playbook, and can find some rhythm, I think he’ll succeed.

The run defenders have arrived

Malcolm Brown was brought in with a Day 3 pick to help plug up the run defense and if he can stretch out the production we saw in limited snaps across a full NFL game (and stay healthy while doing it) he’ll look like a bargain. The Browns didn’t run for more than three yards on a play until the third quarter. Sign me up, y’all.

Take away the deep stuff

The secondary is, to put it lightly, a work in progress. But the starters took away everything deep and didn’t let up when the Browns got in the red zone—forcing field goals, punts, or turnovers on every drive until the end of the second quarter when it was time for backups to shine.

They cut Tim Tebow

Yeah, Tebow wasn’t worthy of a roster spot. While Urban will give his friends opportunities, when push comes to shove he’ll make the right football decision.