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Monday, September 1, 2014
Jacques McClendon not looking ahead

By Michael DiRocco

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacques McClendon has been cut so many times that he is not looking at being named the Jacksonville Jaguars' starting center as any kind of milestone.

He knows it could end rather quickly.

McClendon
McClendon
"I don’t think we have any time to revel in that," McClendon said Monday afternoon. "... It’s just an opportunity to build on what I’ve started to build over the past year. I don’t really reflect on it. I think when you look back too much you can’t see what’s right in front of you, and what’s in front of me is a great opportunity."

Third-year player Mike Brewster began training camp as the starting center and McClendon was the starting right guard. But Brewster struggled and McClendon and rookie sixth-round pick Luke Bowanko got work at center. The Jaguars chose to go with the third-year player from Tennessee. Brewster was cut on Friday.

"His experience and where he’s at right now [is the reason they chose to go with McClendon]," coach Gus Bradley said. "We feel that Luke still has an upside. He’ll continue to compete in the reps that he gets, but we just felt at this point in time, Jacques is the guy."

It has been a long road for the 6-foot-3, 324-pound McClendon, who has played in nine games (two starts) with Jacksonville and Indianapolis. The Colts drafted him in the fourth round in 2010 and he played in four games as a rookie. Since then he has been cut seven times, including twice by the Jaguars.

He has been with the team continuously since Sept. 30, 2013, and started the final two games of last season at left guard. He did play one snap at center, moving over when the Jaguars sent center Brad Meester out to catch a pass in his final home game.

Now center is McClendon's home, beginning with Sunday’s season opener in Philadelphia.