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ROUNDTABLE: Which Jaguars Player Could Push For A Starting Job?

Zach Goodall

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May 22, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars safety Ronnie Harrison (36) runs on the field during organized team activities at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve decided to roll out a new segment here at LockedOnJaguars.com, where we accept one question from Twitter every week and turn it into a “roundtable” discussion regarding the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The entire Locked On Jaguars staff will give a short, yet detailed, answer to the weekly question to offer analysis regarding the team. Be sure to send your questions in on Twitter to @LockedOnJaguars.

With that being said, let’s get this thing rolling!

From @_boog1: Who’s one current backup player that could push for a starter for their job during training camp?

Zach GoodallWhile it isn’t a specific player that first comes to mind, I believe right guard A.J. Cann’s starting gig is the least secure across the depth chart. He hasn’t ever reached the potential the team had hoped for after selecting him in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and is the weak-link on a very strong offensive line.

Will Richardson, offensive tackle out of NC State that the Jaguars drafted in the fourth round, could compete at the right guard position during training camp, but I believe the team sees him as a long-term right tackle, and he could end up being the swing tackle this year instead. Look for guys like Josh Walker, Tyler Shatley, and William Poehls to compete with Cann for the right guard job.

Chris Thornton : (Editor’s note: Chris wrote this before Colin Holba was released, so he got it right I guess? The Jaguars brought in competition for Carson Tinker after Holba’s release in Andrew East.)

A guy I feel who could be in jeopardy to losing their starting job is long snapper Colin Holba. Holba joined the Jaguars in 2017 after replacement long snapper Matt Overton was placed on IR following a shoulder injury. Holba was signed and played for the Jaguars to finish the 2017 season and postseason. However, with almost a year passing since Carson Tinker’s ACL injury, Tinker could be in line to retake the starting long snapping job and push Colin Holba (and now Andrew East) out.

Demetrius HarveyA couple of young players who could push a potential starter this offseason come from the linebacker and right guard positions in Donald Payne and Josh Walker, respectively. Walker, who the team signed at the start of the 2017 season and played in two games last year, has been taking first team reps in place of an injured A.J. Cann during OTAs and mini-camp, over players such as rookie Will Richardson and interior backup Tyler Shatley.

Donald Payne is another up-and-coming player at the linebacker position who could push someone else such as Blair Brown who is competing at the SAM LB position this season. Payne has performed well in his role at middle linebacker, recording a couple of pass breakups and two interceptions with the first team during OTAs and training camp (per Mike Kaye of First Coast News) and could push for a starting job this summer.

Ruairi SongerD.J. Hayden is the Jaguars current starting nickel cornerback, but could be at risk for losing his starting position at nickel corner based on the talent behind him. Jalen Myrick fits better as an outside corner with his long speed, but could impress enough to win starting reps at slot with the boundary positions being locked up by Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Tyler Patmon played well in the Bills playoff game and was the star of last year’s training camp, where he recorded eight interceptions. Quenton Meeks is a high-floor rookie CB who could get some looks at the position if he makes the roster.

I expect Hayden to be the starter if can take advantage of his opportunities in training camp. If he doesn’t, it’s a toss-up between Myrick and Patmon as to who would get the starting job.

Zak DewittWe’re all aware that strong safety Barry Church is probably gone next year and replaced by 2018 3rd round pick Ronnie Harrison. However, I think there’s a strong possibility that happens this year – perhaps not in training camp but as the season wears on. Defensive coordinator Todd Wash has already come out and said that Harrison has been better than they expected when they drafted him.

Church is on the wrong side of 30 and his role is not complicated or hard to replace. He’s primarily a box safety, which Harrison can easily do. The safeties’ jobs in our defense are also made a lot easier with Ramsey and Bouye on the outside. The only thing you’d lose by playing Harrison is the veteran presence and maybe the processing speed. Harrison brings more range, more athleticism and more versatility to even play both safety spots. It may be an unpopular opinion but I would love to see Harrison in place of Church this year.

Zach Goodall covers the Jacksonville Jaguars on the Locked On Jaguars Podcast and on BigCatCountry.com. Follow him on Twitter @zach_goodall.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Bortles, Jaguars get their revenge over the Patriots, 31-20

Demetrius Harvey

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Sep 16, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) attempts a pass against the New England Patriots during the first half at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots took off quickly for their rematch of the AFC title game just last season. The Jaguars were without star running back Leonard Fournette as he nurses a hamstring injury.

After the Patriots missed on their opening drive field goal, the Jaguars would drive 56 yards on the heels of Corey Grant, TJ Yeldon, and Blake Bortles to score a go-ahead 4-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to Donte Moncrief, who made a beautiful grab over Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

The Jaguars defense came in to force a 3-and-out only for the Jaguars and Blake Bortles to drive down the field again and score a beautiful 20-yard touchdown to Keelan Cole.

After the Jaguars’ second punt of the game to the Patriots 6-yard line, the Patriots would take eight minutes and 16 seconds off the clock only to come up for a field goal. The Jaguars defense played a little bend-but-don’t-break, which allowed Brady and company to drive down the field.

With around a two minutes and 45 seconds to go until halftime, the Jaguars and quarterback Blake Bortles would take the ball 75-yards for a beautiful 4-yard touchdown pass to end the half. Perfectly executed.

Blake Bortles would end the first half with a great stat line. Going 17 for 25 with 200 yards and three touchdowns. Nearly a perfect game for the Jaguars and their star quarterback. The Jaguars would go into halftime with a 21-3 lead over the New England Patriots.

After the second half kickoff to the Jaguars offense, they would drive down the field to the Patriots seven-yard line, however, they were unable to come up with a touchdown this time, settling for an easy field goal for Josh Lambo.

What was looking to be another scoring drive by the Jaguars turned into a fumble by rookie wide receiver DJ Chark. The Patriots and Tom Brady would, of course, turn that short field into a touchdown. 24-10 Jaguars.

After a Blake Bortles interception the Patriots looked poised to score again, however, this time the Jaguars defense came to play. Dante Fowler Jr. had a great burst on the edge beating his man for a strip-sack. Jaguars recover.

After the Patriots were forced to punt, Blake Bortles did what he has done all game. Find the open receiver and let them make a play. Dede Westbrook took a short slant route pass from Bortles 61-yards for a touchdown. 31-13 Jaguars. The Patriots would go on to score a garbage time touchdown at the end of the game. 31-20 final score.

THREE BIG PLAYS:

Keelan Cole makes the catch of the year.

No additional comment needed. See for yourself.

Move over OBJ.

Dante Fowler Jr. comes up big with a strip-sack on Tom Brady

Following a Blake Bortles ill-advised interception late in the 4th quarter, the Jaguars defense needed a stop, and they came up huge with Dante Fowler Jr. beating his man around the edge for a strip-sack/recover on quarterback Tom Brady. This was Fowler’s first game of the year after being suspended week one.

Dede Westbrook takes a Blake Bortles pass 61-yards for a touchdown

All the receivers came to play today but this Westbrook touchdown was a thing of beauty. Westbrook took a simple slant route from Blake Bortles 61-yards for a touchdown. Great blocking and an amazing way to seal the victory for the Jaguars.

PLAYER OF THE GAME:

Never a doubt. Blake Bortles is absolutely your player of the game today. Blake’s stat line for today: 29/45 for 377 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. The Boat (Blake Bortles) was on fire today. The Patriots defense had no answers for him and the Jaguars passing offense. This was easily the best game of his career.

FINAL WHISTLE:

The Jaguars did it. They got their revenge in the best possible way as they took on the Patriots and laid one on ‘em to earn a victory. There were very few times throughout the game where the Jaguars did not seem to have complete control of this game, and they played aggressively. No longer were the Jaguars simply three yards and a cloud of dust. Blake Bortles, Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, TJ Yeldon, Corey Grant, the list goes on. Nearly everyone on offense had themselves a day. The Jaguars beat the Patriots through the air effortlessly.

The Jaguars will take on the Tennessee Titans (1-1) at home next week.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Patriots Week Two Inactives: Fournette Out, Campbell Starts

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Calais Campbell (93) reacts during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots have released their inactive lists for the game today.  For the Jaguars star running back, Leonard Fournette is out today with a hamstring injury. However, Calais Campbell who was added late to the injury report with a knee injury is expected to start today.

There was speculation before the game that Campbell could be out. It is possible the Jaguars limit his snaps this week.

Jaguars running back TJ Yeldon will start ahead of Fournette. Corey Grant will also look to get in on the fun after only having one touch last week against the Giants.

JAGUARS INACTIVE REPORT

One surprise on the Jaguars inactive list is rookie linebacker, Leon Jacobs. Although he was injured this week with the ankle injury, he was thought to have been progressing. Look for linebacker Larentee McCray to take his place at SAM linebacker.

 

PATRIOTS INACTIVE REPORT

 

For the Patriots they are without their starting right tackle in Marcus Cannon. They also get back their starting running back in Rex Burkhead as well as their first-round pick, rookie running back Sony Michel.

 

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Promote Running Back Brandon Wilds, Release WR Rashad Greene

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 30, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back runs the ball Brandon Wilds (38) in the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

According to Mark Long of the Associated Press, the Jacksonville Jaguars today have promoted Running Back Brandon Wilds from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. As a corresponding move, the Jaguars have released veteran Wide Receiver Rashad Greene Sr.

This move should not come as too much of a surprise as starting running back Leonard Fournette has been nursing an injured hamstring all week, and TJ Yeldon was added to the injury report yesterday with an ankle injury.

The move might indicate that either Fournette will not be playing in tomorrows matchup against the New England Patriots, or Wilds will simply be insurance in case the star running back goes down again. Either way, it is something to keep an eye on as the Jaguars announce their inactive report around 90 minutes prior to kickoff tomorrow.

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