1. Blake Bortles’ debut: Starter Chad Henne will likely play about a quarter, so this will be our first extended look at the rookie quarterback Bortles, whom the Jaguars took with the No. 3 overall pick in May. Bortles has thrown the ball better in training camp than OTAs and minicamp and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said he reported to camp with a deeper knowledge of the offense than he anticipated. But he hasn’t been in a live, full-contact situation yet, and that’s the real test of how much he has developed. Granted, the Jaguars haven’t game-planned for the Bucs and the Bucs’ defense isn’t likely to be that exotic in the first preseason game, but it’s still going to be a good indicator of where Bortles stands.
2. Who’s catching passes? The injury situation at wide receiver doesn’t exactly leave a lot of experience on the field. There are only three healthy players who have played in more than two games in their careers, and that includes the two free agents the Jaguars signed on Wednesday (Ramses Barden and Chad Hall). The starters are likely going to be second-round draft pick Marqise Lee and undrafted rookie Allen Hurns, unless Mike Brown (32 catches in 13 career games) has recovered from the hamstring tightness that ended his practice on Wednesday. This is a good opportunity for the young receivers to get more reps than they would have if everyone were healthy. Chad Bumphis, Kerry Taylor and Lamaar Thomas have a chance to make a case for making the roster.
3. Watch out for lightning: The Jaguars are experimenting with what they’re calling the lightning package, which is putting four defensive ends on the field on obvious passing situations to generate more pressure on the quarterback. The ideal lineup would be Chris Clemons, Andre Branch, Ryan Davis and Chris Smith. The Jaguars used it for a few plays during Wednesday’s practice, but tonight’s game against the Bucs is the first time they’ll have a chance to use it against an opponent. The one drawback is that it leaves the defense susceptible to the run.