5 Things To Look For – Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Miami Dolphins


Jul 31, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Ace Sanders (18) runs after catching the ball in a punt-return drill during the first day of training camp in pads at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars are set to open the gates to EverBank Field for their first pre-season game of the season on Friday.  It will be our first look live game look at the 2013 Jaguars, and although it is still just a pre-season game we still will get a first look at what may be to come in 2013.

That being said here a few things to look for during Friday’s game.

1.   Obviously the first thing to look for is the Quarterback play.  Even though they are listed as co-starting quarterbacks on the unofficial depth chart, it is believed that Blaine Gabbert will be the first to lead the Jags offense on Friday.  The job is still up for grabs though, so the key to watch is which one of the players can run the offense more effectively and efficiently during the game.  At this point neither Gabbert nor Henne has separated themselves from the other, making this an opportunity for one of them to take a step forward.

2.   How healthy is Jones-Drew.  Jones-Drew has said that he is not yet in football shape.  Chances are he isn’t going to play more than a

Jul 31, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson (29) takes the snap in the wildcat formation as running back Maurice Jones-Drew (32) runs towards him for a handoff during the first day of training camp in pads at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

drive or two on Friday to avoid any kind of setback.  So it will be nice to get a look at how Jones-Drew is doing on his road to recovery.

3.   First look at the live Defense.  There are a lot of new faces on the Jaguars defense this season and there has not been any live tackling in training camp in an attempt to keep players healthy.  Despite expected starting safety and rookie Johnathan Cyprien not being able to play in this game it will still be good to see how the new defense responds to a live game situation.

4.   Can Ace Sanders continue to impress.  So far in camp the reports say that the only wide receiver that looks better during practice than Sanders is Cecil Shorts III, and Shorts III is one of the Jags top offensive weapons.  Ace Sanders clearly did not want to be just a return man, he also wants to contribute in the passing game and is right now earning himself consideration to line up next to Shorts as the number 2 receiver until Justin Blackmon returns from his suspension.

5.   Speaking of Offensive Weapons.  Last but not least, Denard Robinson is a very intriguing player to watch.  Chances are because its only pre-season we will not get to see too many plays where Robinson will be used as Offensive Coordinator Jedd Fisch hopes to use him during the regular season.  That being said it will still be interesting to see if they do preview and special plays, and like Sanders we will have to see how Robinson can adjust to the live tackling of the NFL.

Friday will also be the first game that 2nd overall draft pick Luke Joeckel will be playing in, and while that is still very exciting in itself I will be focusing my attention on a few other aspects first.

-Mike Milder