Most of the time, when I write, I am writing for myself. As I mentioned before, we are just fans that are paying attention to our team. Most of you are just fans watching the team. We are just sharing opinions. So if we are wrong, yep, we are wrong. A lot of times what we see is different than the Jaguar web site, the coaches or the media writes or speaks about. We watch the players and see who is getting the job done.
I have been watching these guys since mini-camp. Here are the ten things I saw and wrote about on the site. When you watch the Denver game, see how many of these things are true. Then you can write and give us a report card.
We told you:
Eugene Monroe was developing into a pro-bowl level tackle. His pass blocking and run blocking was going to be a strength on the line. Watch and see if the Jaguars run to the left. See if pressure comes from the left.
Uche Nwaneri was improving but his run blocking is still an issue. Uche got a big contract extension and is a good pass blocker, but watch runs to the right and see how they develop. Also see if we can run up the middle or even attempt it. That was the weak spot last year.
The offensive line was improving but communication and team work is still lacking. If David gets hit or sacked, watch and see if someone missed a blocking assignment. Also notice f David is getting sufficient time to throw. That would be an improvement. Watch if Justin Smiley is healthy or if Vince Manuwai comes in to play. Most of the guys on the line can execute, it is the teamwork they haven’t developed.
Eben Britton has technique issues. Eben plays too high at times and can be thrown to the ground or thrown aside. Watch and see how much pressure comes from his side of the field. If the Jaguars run to the right, see if the runner gets free or if Eben’s man makes the tackle.
Dirk Koetter has designed faster plays. Getting the ball out is the first defense against being sacked. Manning is so fast at that, he gets hit a league low number of times (except in the Super Bowl against the Saints). See if David is hitting quick passes to receivers on the same page.
Mike Thomas looked much improved in camp. At the time this was news, now it is a given except not yet proven in game time. Let’s see what Mike produces and whether he is more than a slot guy.
Derek Cox and Sean Considine were the weaknesses in pass coverage. Derek Cox has the skills but not the experience yet. He can be picked on. Sean Considine is slow. The Denver Broncos will open up the passing. Pay attention if Derek Cox is the leading tackler, that means they are throwing his way. See if Eddie Royal breaks free and races past Sean.
Pressure on the quarterback is happening. We pointed out that in all of the preseason games the quarterback had less time than last year. Sacks and hit totals may not be there, but hurried throws are a good start. Watch and see if Kyle Orton looks comfortable or if he is in a fight for his life.
Teams will test Alualu. I saw a few plays during preseason where the opponent ran up the middle. I never saw that with John Henderson around. Denver will have to try and run. Watch where they try to run. That is where they think there is a weakness. Expect them to test Alualu by running up the middle. See if it works.
David looks sharp and so did Luke. David looked much more comfortable in the pocket, except when he did that silly lock on pick. Luke McCown had some good moments as well. A 3-4 defense is disruptive, they are in your face. See if David handles this well and finds the open guy. A 3-4 defense will leave someone open during a rush. David needs to make them pay.
Based on what I think will happen, David will be sacked about three times and hit a few more times. He will, however, get time to get passes off and the short yard, long drive technique will work. Denver will key on Maurice so start Marcedes in your fantasy league. The defense will get pressure on Kyle Orton. Denver will not run the ball well. All passes will be at the corners and safeties. Denver will be in the red zone 4 times minimum. Two touchdowns, two field goals. That is 20 points minimum. How will our offense do? Depends on the conditioning. I expect the Jaguars to dominate the second half. I see a very good and exciting game coming.
- Terry O’Brien