Jacksonville Jaguars mailbag
@ESPNdirocco: Gus Bradley said Mike Brewster and Brandon Linder both played well at center against Chicago on Thursday night. It's still too early for anything definitive because the game against Detroit will be key to the decision, but my guess right now is we see Brewster at center and Linder at right guard. If Linder were to win the job at center, then it would probably be Jacques McClendon at right guard.
@ESPNdirocco: Hey, I acknowledged that a while ago. Once camp started it was evident Blake Bortles was ahead of Ricky Stanzi. But based on the way Bortles threw the ball in organized team activities and minicamp there was no reason to put him ahead of Stanzi.
@ESPNdirocco: Bradley said that Brewster got 29 snaps and said Brewster played well on 25. The other four -- a holding penalty that wasn't called, a false start, getting bull-rushed on a sack, and a missed block -- were pretty poor. Overall, he did a solid job and was better than he was against Tampa Bay. I still think he's the best option at center right now.
@ESPNdirocco: Luke Joeckel has had a great camp and shows no sign that his surgically-repaired ankle is bothering him. He's quick and athletic and moves his feet very well. He's still a bit raw because he doesn't have much experience at left tackle in the NFL, but you can see why the Jaguars made him the No. 2 overall pick in 2013. He's going to be a very good player.
@ESPNdirocco: As a general rule I'd say yes. A zone-blocking scheme requires that offensive linemen create movement along the defensive line rather than opening a specific hole. In a man-blocking scheme, players are assigned certain defenders according to the play called and defensive adjustments, and the running back is assigned to hit a particular gap. Man-blocking is easier from the standpoint that there's not much reading involved. Players block their assigned man. Zone-blocking isn't complicated but there is an adjustment period. The Jaguars had trouble with it last season because it was new and the interior wasn't playing well. They're having trouble this season because there are four new starters on the line (including Luke Joeckel, who played less than a quarter at left tackle) and the center and right guard spots have been struggling.
@ESPNdirocco: That depends. Right now Allen Hurns is No. 2 behind Marqise Lee. When the season begins and Cecil Shorts is healthy and available, he's probably No. 3. When (and if) all the receivers are healthy and available, Hurns would most likely be No. 5 behind Shorts, Lee, Allen Robinson, and Ace Sanders.
@ESPNdirocco: I would like to see Denard Robinson get a few touches with the first-team offense. He has proven he's no longer a liability in terms of holding onto the football -- through two preseason games, anyway -- and he has playmaking ability on the edge that the other running backs don't.
@ESPNdirocco: I'd be very surprised if Luke Bowanko is on the field for the season opener. Even if his sprained ankle isn't serious (he was having an MRI on Friday afternoon) he's still going to miss at least a week and he'll need time to ease back onto the field. I still think it'll be Brewster and Linder at center and guard.
@ESPNdirocco: He's going to get reps with the first team against Detroit on Friday. They haven't determined when he'll get on the field, but he's going to get significant playing time.
@ESPNdirocco: I believe Jordan Todman has all but locked that up. He has had a very good camp and he does a better job as a pass protector than the other two, which is important. He had a nice blitz pickup against Chicago, going low on linebacker Jon Bostic to give Chad Henne some extra time to complete a pass to Marcedes Lewis.
@ESPNdirocco: There's no way to answer that other than by saying he'll start whenever Bradley and OC Jedd Fisch believe he gives the team a better chance to win than Henne. Nobody knows when that will be. In a perfect scenario, the Jaguars don't want to play him at all in 2014.
@ESPNdirocco Blakes looked good albeit vs 2nd string & most will depend on Henne in reg season but whats over/under when Blake could start?— James M. (@JMills1185) August 15, 2014
@ESPNdirocco: I think it's a pretty solid group. It's diverse, too. It's got speed guys, big guys, and possession guys. There's no legitimate No. 1 receiver, though, which isn't much of an issue right now. Shorts is a very good player but I wouldn't call him a prototypical No. 1 receiver. Maybe Marqise Lee develops into one, but that's going to take a while.
@ESPNdirocco: Cameron Bradfield will slide into the starting spot at right tackle while Austin Pasztor is out.
@ESPNdirocco: I think it has no impact because this coaching staff was not here then. This is about making sure Bortles is completely ready to play before putting him on the field. You can find just as many examples of QBs that played as rookies, struggled, and developed into quality starters.
@ESPNdirocco: I'd be close to stunned because Bradley and GM David Caldwell have been emphatic Henne will be the starter in Week 1. Bradley said it again on Friday.
@ESPNdirocco how surprised would u be if jags did same during draft:fool & make us believe 1 thing & do another by starting Bortles week 1— James M. (@JMills1185) August 15, 2014