After a tumultuous preseason along the offensive line, the Jacksonville Jaguars have begrudgingly decided on who will start at center week 1 versus the Philadelphia Eagles – Jacques McClendon.
McClendon starts at center Sunday.
— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) September 1, 2014
Thrust into the lineup after Mike Brewster came in and performed very poorly in his first few preseason games, McClendon is the choice essentially by default. McClendon was originally expected to compete with rookie Brandon Linder for the right guard spot, but it became evident early in training camp that his services would probably be needed more at center. Brewster was a trainwreck from the get-go and was an obvious roster cut candidate heading into week 1.
While McClendon is going to get the start week 1, there’s a good chance he won’t finish the season with the first team. 6th round pick Luke Bowanko ranged from adequate to impressive in the preseason and is probably the better option once he gets healthy and caught up with the playbook. For now, the Jaguars are likely reluctant to start what would amount to basically 3 rookies on the offensive line with Bowanko, Linder, and Luke Joeckel coming off an injury in his rookie year. Even though it appears to be improved from 2013, the offensive line is one of the less secure position groups on the roster and will likely be an area to keep an eye on throughout the season.