Jaguars Won’t Use Offensive Line Woes As An Excuse
Here are the injuries suffered by the Jaguars’ offensive line:
Starting Center Brad Meester (torn biceps)
Starting Left Guard Vince Manuwai (torn anterior cruciate ligament)
Second String Offensive Tackle Richard Collier (went out too late)
Starting Right Guard Maurice Williams (ruptured biceps)
Both Mo Williams and Vince Manuwai are on the Injured Reserved list. Brad Meester suffered from his injury in the off season and is still recovering. I haven’t seen any updates on his condition except that he won’t be playing against Buffalo. That means that Uche Nwaneri and Tutan Reyes (both reserves) will be starting against Buffalo along side recently acquired Milford Brown and Chris Slaughter.
Patching up the offensive line seems like a daunting task. However, Jack Del Rio won’t lower his expectations:
"“This is when the staff has to earn its money,” Del Rio said. “This is when [offensive coordinator] Dirk Koetter, [assistant head coach] Mike Tice, [offensive line coach] Andy Heck – the whole staff, really – has to find a way to a way to utilize the guys we have, find out the things they can do, find out where they can execute.“Because we’re not going to lower expectations. We expect to play good football. We expect to win the game.”"
As an education major, I cannot tell you how important expectations are for students. I have no doubt that it transfers into the real world as well, especially in such a highly emotional situation like football.
Del Rio’s expectations seem to be transfering into optimism for the newly deemed starters of the offensive line. Despite their pounding against the Titans, the offensive line guys seem to feel confident:
"“We expect to go out there and play with consistency,” Nwaneri said. “Tutan has been in this game for a while, and this is my second year. I know what we expect, and I know what I expect of myself. We’re going to be a cohesive unit, and we’re going to take care of business the way we would if Vinny or Mo were here.”"
The offensive line story is elevated by the threat of former Jaguar Marcus Stroud on the other side of the line. Stroud never seemed healthy for the Jaguars and rumor has it that he was sour about the team. The media is proclaim this as a vengance match. Who knows? With Stroud getting two sacks against the Seahawk, he may be back at full strength. David Garrard may find himself becoming more personal with Stroud than he ever was when Stroud was on the Jaguars.