Decision Time in Jaguar Land


Somewhere in a conference room coaches are huddled discussing moves for the roster and the early starting line-up. Comments are being made like “If he plays well then….”, “I haven’t seen this from ….. “, “He deserves a shot…”. Who plays and who doesn’t isn’t Gene Smith’s call, it is Jack’s. One thing has changed for the Jaguars since Gene, jars don’t sit on the shelf very long. The days of being Scotty Starks or Montel Owens are vanishing. Game film determines your fate and Gene wants game film.

Gene Smith        Source: Yardbarker

The Tampa Bay game will be interesting not from a football perspective but from a “who is in the game” perspective. Here are some questions the coaches might be looking at.

Is Eben Britton healthy enough for Denver? He hasn’t been on the field in a long time and when he was, Derrick Harvey ate him up. Jordan Black has played and played ok at times. Is Jordan the starter for Denver until Eben gets more time?  Can Jordan earn a starting spot outright?

Is Kynan Forney the starting left guard?Justin Smiley might be what Miami thought, finished. If that is true, then is the battle between Vince Manuwai and Kynan Forney? Does Justin have a future and does that signal the end for Vince? Sounds like a soap opera but that is what is happening. See if Justin Smiley gets some game time this weekend. See how much Vince Manuwai gets. Then you make the call.

Is Jarret Dillard the third receiver? Is Troy Williamson the third receiver? Which one starts? Here is my first clue, which one was drafted by Gene Smith? One is a guy who gets open and catches the ball, one is a guy who stretches the field and sometimes catches the ball. If Troy Williamson puts on a show, that makes life real interesting.

Can Tyson Alualu play NFL football?  I know he is a starter and I know there is no question about that, but we don’t know much about him. Watching Miami, they didn’t have much problem handling him. OK, first game rookie, I understand that. First round draft choices don’t always work out and we don’t know that much about Tyson right now. I guarantee a lot of eyes will be on him.

Are the Linebackers set? I am pretty sure they are. Kirk Morrison, Daryl Smith and Justin Durant are the probable starters. Is someone playing well enough to challenge? Who is the backup? Is Russell Allen a potential starter? Let’s see how the linebackers play this weekend. Let’s see who plays this weekend.

Is Derek Cox healthy or limited?I know he is a starter but his play hasn’t been wonderful. Is he limited? Are there questions about him? Will Tyron Brackenridge play? It will be a very interesting to see if Derek is in the game and if he is targeted. If he comes out, will Don Carey continue to get a look? That will be interesting.

Well that is about all I can think of to watch. Let’s see, anything else? OK, I know safety.

Is Reggie Nelson finished as a Jaguar?I know Gerald Alexander is a starter but who else? Sean Considine? If ever there was a job to win, it is this job. They don’t seem to want Reggie to win this position yet he comes up as the leading tackler every game. It feels to me like it is anyone but Reggie, but who? It will be interesting to watch the safety play both who and how well. This is a defining game for someone in the backfield or coming to the waiver wire.

Of course we could list every position, running back, quarterback, special teams, but you already know all that. Who gets running back duty and how well David plays is always of interest. I say just watch the game, then call a friend in Tampa and tell him how it was.

– Terry O’Brien