Starting Job Battles: Offense
Yesterday we looked at the defensive starting jobs open to competition this training camp. The offense seems to be relatively stable with less positions up for grabs. Most of the training camp battles on offense will be over backup jobs and spot starts.
Jun 11, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Ryan Otten (88) runs drills during a minicamp at the Florida Blue Health
Ryan Otten could make an immediate impact at tight end.
Marcedes Lewis is the unquestioned starting tight end, but the Jaguars are looking for someone to step up and provide a receiving threat in two tight end sets. Caldwell brought in rookies Ryan Otten and Kyler Reed to compete with veteran Isaiah Stanback. Ryan Otten performed very well last year with David Fales throwing to him at San Jose State, and Otten’s 6-6, 241 pound frame provides a monstrous matchup problem alongside Marcedes Lewis.
Once Justin Blackmon comes back from his suspension, he and Cecil Shorts III will start alongside each other. The Jaguars have several candidates to fill in for Blackmon in the first four games, foremost among them is veteran Mohamed Massaquoi. Rookie Tobias Palmer flashed in mini-camp and has a good chance to make the roster. The more interesting competition will be for the slot position. Jordan Shipley played well towards the end of the 2012 season, but rookie Ace Sanders has the quickness and elusiveness to make an immediate impact in three receiver sets. Shipley will probably get the nod to start the year while Sanders is eased into the offense and contributes on special teams.
I was tempted to withhold this position because I think this is Blaine Gabbert’s job to lose. I would be shocked if Chad Henne is even on the roster to start the season. Gabbert outplayed Henne by a significant margin in training camp last year and there’s no reason to think that will change this year. More attention should be paid to who will backup Gabbert. The favorite is rookie free agent Matt Scott, but Mike Kafka could also hang onto a roster spot as the third quarterback.
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89