In the last three years I have been doing web blogging on the Jaguars, first with Big Cat Country and now Black and Teal. In doing that, you learn to focus more deeply on the action. You can’t write if you don’t see. This has changed me as a fan and how I watch the preseason. Here are some things I have learned.
It is the time to experiment. If the coaching staff wants to try things out with the full team, now is the time. Jacksonville played with 3-4 defensive fronts last year. Some of that stuck this year, go watch how much they are keeping. A football team is a new creature every year. The players capabilities dictate the success of schemes. They have to experiment, so don’t get too wrapped up in things that don’t look good in preseason. It might only be an experiment.
They don’t game plan much in preseason.An all out blitz by the opponent against a Mike Thomas reverse doesn’t make sense, but you might see it. The Jaguar coaching staff is less concerned about the opponent than they are about individual match-ups. How did Jordan Black look compared to Eben Britton? They might run plays that feature runs to the right to get it on tape. They want to see individual performances and teamwork more than yards.
The game means a lot to the players. This is the most important time for the players. Watch individual performances even into the third and fourth quarter. That is the interesting aspect of preseason. Tyson Alualu and Derrick Harvey and Aaron Kampman and Jeremy Mincy or Terrance Knighton. Watch those guys. Watch Vince Manuwai and see if power is returning. Watch Eugene Monroe throw a pancake block. This is what the coaches look for and so should you. The players more than anything. The guys in the fourth quarter may be this year’s surprise rookie FA. Take notice.
Pay attention to Luke McCown. If David goes down, he is the guy. Watch him perform, he will get a lot of opportunity to show his talent. See if you can believe in him.
Go enjoy the night air and some relaxation time. These are no stress games. Go out and enjoy them. The stadium experience is getting better and better. Have fun, there is no reason not to. Soon you will be pulling your hair out and yelling and going horse. Preseason is your warmup time as well. Get out of the house and have fun.
Hope that makes sense. See you at the stadium.
- Terry O’Brien