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Bowanko Out at Center and at Tackle This Week

Aug 26, 2015 -- 1:42pm

By: Amanda Borges (@Amanda1010XL)

The Jaguars got one last practice in before their third preseason game this Friday. There are a handful of players who will not be playing this week because of injury, including Marqise Lee, Toby Gerhart, Neal Sterling, Johnathan Cyprien, Julius Thomas, Greg Jenkins, and Demetrius McCray.

Earlier this week, Gus Bradley named Stefen Wisniewski the starting center for the team. It was after that that Bradley explained what the next step for Luke Bowanko is, who didn’t get the job. Bradley suggested that Bowanko could see some time at tackle, either left or right. Bradley clarified today that Bowanko will not play tackle this week. Instead, he will be the backup center, and could get some reps at guard. Bowanko could play tackle once the regular season begins.

Aside from the center position, there haven’t been any other starters named by Bradley.

This third preseason game is more of a “dress rehearsal” for the season so more cuts will be made next week. For this game, James Sample is considered a gametime decision. Bradley has confirmed that running back TJ Yeldon will start.

If you want to head out to the game this Friday, it starts at 8 PM.

 

Tags: Jaguars

Progress Still Apparent in Jags Pre-Season Stinker

Aug 24, 2015 -- 9:04am

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

Someone said to me in the aftermath of the Jaguars 22-12 loss to the New York Giants that Tom Coughlin wanted to win football games and that Gus Bradley wanted to evaluate talent. There may be some truth to that statement, given these two coaches have personalities that are polar opposites. But truth be told, all coaches want to win, gain momentum, and deal with the media about positive results rather than the echoes of what went wrong.
 
Bradley and Coughlin are both in similar situations, they have to win this season. The Jaguars, no matter how they looked Saturday night in New Jersey, have made some progress, but still have a ways to go to be a winning football team. Anyone who said this was a team that was going to the Super Bowl this season on a message board or as part of some fan club is sorely mistaken, regardless of whether their heart is in the right place.
 
This weekend’s game was a far cry from what we saw at home last Friday. But with the loss, which was marred by injuries and lack of execution, there were questions partially answered, mainly with the quarterback play, the running game and the offensive line.
 
Blake Bortles may not have been as sharp as he was against the Steelers, but his mechanics are improved and he shows more leadership qualities that leaders have, and his throwing motion is better regardless is players dropped what looked like sure passes. The running game continues to show it is better, even if it is through two meaningless games. Toby Gerhart, Denard Robinson and Bernard Pierce are solid complimentary players.
 
Fans will have a chance to see how good TJ Yeldon is this coming Friday against the Detroit Lions.
 
There are still some issues on defense, especially with the pass rush. It is mediocre right now, with no player stepping forward. Cap Capi is not the answer, folks, and is still a longshot to make this team. Injuries to key players will have an effect on both the offense and defense where several are out for the game this week. How the team moves forward will show a real test of its character.
Wins don’t mean anything in preseason. Progress does. Figuring out who is this team’s starting center and third receiver matters. Hoping Marqise Lee is not a bust and whether Demetrius McCray is free of injury matters. Wins will come when the other minutae is figured out.
 
More of that minutae will be discussed in detail this week. There will be game analysis, fan opinion and more talk about how good this team is going to be. It’s football season. Everyone has an opinion. But the ultimate opinion that matters is the one that makes the decisions regarding this football team. We can hope and will and think this football team will go to the playoffs this year and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. It is the longest of shots to happen. I like the passion and enthusiasm, but reality sets in. This team isn’t ready yet. Saturday night proved it.

With Some Players Out Against Giants, Who Starts?

Aug 20, 2015 -- 12:52pm

By: Amanda Borges (@Amanda1010XL)

The Jaguars squeezed a practice in before their walk through tomorrow, in preparation to head to New York. But, against the Giants, not everyone will see playing time.

Players like Julius Thomas, Neal Sterling, Johnathan Cyprien, and Marqise Lee will sit out Saturday night. This leaves room for others to step up and show coach Bradley what they can do in a gametime situation.

Today’s practice was more of a walkthrough format, they didn’t wear pads or helmets and they went over mental reps of plays they plan to run against the Giants. T.J. Yeldon may see some playing time come Saturday, but Bradley says he will be a gametime decision.

I spoke with Yeldon a little bit in the locker room and he was in a good mood, saying despite his minor injury and the fact that he’s worn a non-contact jersey in practice, he feels pretty comfortable out there. I asked what Bernard Pierce has taught him since he’s been here. Yeldon jokingly said Pierce doesn’t give him any advice at all. Pierce stood 3 feet away, smiling and shaking his head.

While watching Saturday’s game, expect the starters to play a little longer than they did last week. With a few players missing, some guys you may not recognize will get the nod.

Stefen Wisniewski will start at center, but Luke Bowanko will get an equal amount of reps.

As for the defense, Craig Loston and Josh Evans will split reps at strong safety. Bradley is really impressed with both of them, saying that Loston has been able to grasp the defense and he understands everything that’s been thrown at him during camp.

The game starts at 7:30 on Saturday night.

Tags: Jaguars

Can Cap Capi Make the Roster?

Aug 20, 2015 -- 9:13am

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

One of the things I like about training camp and the preseason is the potential for any player invited to camp who is not a “name” star had a chance to make an impression that could lead to a roster spot – either here in Jacksonville or with some other NFL team.

After Friday’s two-sack performance by Cap Capi, an undersized defensive end, in the 23-21 win over Pittsburgh, there has been plenty to celebrate for the free agent just looking to fulfill his dream of playing on the professional level.

The Jaguars have been successful over the past few years at finding quality free agents who have been signed to the active roster, and have contributed in a big way.

Defensive lineman Ryan Davis was signed three years ago and has been an important part of the rotation. Last season, it was rookie Allen Hurns who burst on the scene with a Week 1 performance we still talk about against the Philadelphia Eagles. And with Capi’s effort less than a week ago, who knows if he can crack the active roster and unseat one of the veterans who are also fighting for a chance to stay here in town.

Capi isn’t the only one trying to make a name for himself, as head coach Gus Bradley has talked openly about the efforts of running back Corey Grant – who could solve some of the team’s issues with kick returns. Nick Marshall is coming along at safety after playing quarterback at Auburn. Thurston Armbrister has been a standout at linebacker in camp. And let’s not forget players like Craig Loston, a free agent last season, looks for more playing time in 2015.

It’s a good situation to be in for Bradley and his staff, to see competition everywhere at every position – except quarterback. Free help solidify a roster, add depth and in many situations far exceed expectations. For a young team like the Jaguars, that means there is more opportunity to turn heads, make big plays and get noticed.

Capi took advantage of that against the Steelers, even if it was against third string talent. Fans all over message boards and on the web have been singing his praises, expecting him to do the same thing this weekend against the New York Giants. Some have even predicted he will lead the Jaguars in sacks this season.

That might be jumping overboard a bit, but I like the fact the fans are drinking the Kool Aid. You never know if a performance like that springboards into a decade-long NFL career.  It worked for James Harrison and look what kind of career he has had.

I will be interested to see if Capi or another free agent is the talk of the night and the week following the game with the Giants. Hopefully, Capi will continue his strong performance so far. Hopefully, Grant, Marshall and others will do the same. Their efforts just prove there is plenty of talent out there, regardless if you are drafted into the NFL or not. And for those undrafted players, it is just another reason for motivation. The Jaguars can only hope that kind of effort makes this team more successful

Where Does Dan Skuta Fit in Jaguars Defense?

Aug 19, 2015 -- 3:01pm

By: Amanda Borges (@Amanda1010XL)

The Jaguars practiced sans-pads today and multiple players did not practice at all.

Marqise Lee, Neal Sterling, Peyton Thompson, Brennan Williams, and LaRoy Reynolds were held out due to injuries or soreness. Rookie running back T.J. Yeldon, James Sample, Johnathan Cyprien, and Julius Thomas did participate with limited contact.

Arrellious Benn, Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Aaron Colvin and Ryan Davis had the day off.

Linebacker Dan Skuta has had the eyes of coaches, media, and fans alike on him since he's arrived in Jacksonville. DC Bob Babich plans to move him around a bit in his system, and it's still unknown what Skuta's role on this team will be.

When coach Gus Bradley is asked about him, he says he still needs some reps. Skuta has said himself that sometimes he's confused during practice.

Where will the former 49er fit on this team? Skuta just wants to rush the passer.

Here's my chat with him today.

 

Tags: Jaguars
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