Thursday, August 28, 2008
Pondering Jags in their exhibition finale
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Apologies in advance for being briefer in these observations of Jaguars-Redskins than I was with Titans-Packers.
A) The Titans went into the third quarter with the majority of their starters while the Jaguars wanted to get theirs out of dodge as quickly as possible.
B) I cannot pretend to be good at watching two games at once. Perhaps someday. Not yet by any means.
- I've liked Marcedes Lewis since the 2006 draft, though I know he's not panned out as many would have liked. He took a short pass over the middle early on and turned it upfield and those strides are something to see. Talked to him during one of my visits to Jacksonville and he seemed very likable. I hope things click for him and the Jags use him in a way in which he's a bigger factor this year. Surely he can do better than 37 catches for 391 yards and two TDs.
- On the first defensive play for Jags, Jason Campbell's pass bounces off Devin Thomas, Mike Peterson kind of tips it to himself and collects it. It sure is easier to be opportunistic when you're well-positioned.
| ||AP Photo/Nick Wass|
| ||Reggie Williams (right) catches a three-yard touchdown pass against the Redskins during the first quarter of their preseason game Thursday night.|
- When I watched the Jaguars-Dolphins game earlier this month in Jacksonville, I pointed out that David Garrard didn't seem to be really scanning the field. On his short, easy TD pass to Reggie Williams, he started looking right, then found Williams in the middle, followed him to the left, then delivered an easy ball. He looked different, and better, to me.
Later, Cleo Lemon hit giant Greg Estandia in the right side of the end zone. He went up and got it over a helpless defender. I couldn't help but think how much more effective Jags are in the red zone right now than the Titans are. If that holds Week 1, the road team will have an advantage at LP Field.
- Garrard got very good protection from his offensive line. On NBC's national broadcast, John Madden raved about how it was making life easy for the QB when he dropped back. (Love him, of course. Just one pet peeve: How does anyone say "Jag-wires?" Find me the W in there, please.) Apparently the line got the message when Jack Del Rio said he needed to see more after last week's game.
Starting right guard Maurice Williams, though, suffered a right leg injury when he got rolled up on, and that could throw things off. They are already working without center Brad Meester, whose biceps injury during training camp is an eight-to-10 week deal. The report on the broadcast said a sprained knee for Williams. Tutan Reyes is listed as his backup and could have to start in Nashville against the Titans Sept. 7.
- Troy Williamson needed a good night to help his cause and I really wasn't expecting to see anything that would change minds that had been made up. But he had a big play early in the fourth quarter -- a 51-yard TD pass from third-stringer Todd Bouman. That boosted Williamson's totals to four catches for 84 yards. He still probably has a nervous day or two ahead of him. If he doesn't make it, two failures will hardly stop other teams in need of speed from grabbing at him.
- I like that the Jaguars went ahead and got Derrick Harvey some second-half snaps. Of course had he gotten hurt, the second-guessing flood gates would have opened. He didn't get hurt, did he?