Some things to monitor in Jags-Bucs
Fans in Jacksonville that don't buy a ticket to the Jaguars' game against Tampa Bay Saturday night won't have a chance to see it on TV until the NFL Network rebroadcasts the Tampa telecast at 7 a.m. Sunday morning.
Here are three issues I wonder about as Jacksonville heads into its second preseason game:
1. The quarterback: We've got David Garrard against Byron Leftwich here, but at this time two years ago they were teammates fighting for a job. Garrard won it, but the shock was that the Jaguars then released Leftwich, who collected a Super Bowl ring as Ben Roethlisberger's backup in Pittsburgh last year. It wouldn't be a good scenario for the Jags if Leftwich, battling to be the Buccaneers' starter, plays well and Garrard doesn't. It would be nice to be able to sense some chemistry between Garrard and a couple of his targets.
2. Pass protection and run blocking: The offensive line is supposed to be revitalized, but it didn't fare well in its first chance. The Dolphins put pressure on the quarterbacks and knocked down a couple passes while limiting the Jacksonville run game. Don't expect a heavy dose of Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings is out. But Greg Jones and Chauncey Washington need to fare better, and it starts with their blocking.
3. Pass rush push: Tampa Bay's offensive line didn't fare very well against the Titans defensive line last week. Can the Jaguars' candidates for rotations spots in the defensive tackle mix -- Atiyyah Ellison, Terrance Knighton, Derek Landri -- make some noise and gain some footing that will earn them playing time with John Henderson, a certain starter, and Rob Meier, a certain member of the rotation?