The Jacksonville Jaguars gave up a league-worst 71 sacks n 2014, an issue magnified by the fact that a rookie quarterback in Blake Bortles took a majority of those hits. Consequently, general manager David Caldwell made a concerted effort to add competition and talent along the offensive line. Caldwell signed right tackle Jermey Parnell and center Stefen Wisniewski in free agency, and he also drafted guard A.J. Cann in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
There are only 5 starting spots on the offensive line, and the Jaguars appear to have at least 3 of the spots locked down. Parnell will handle right tackle, Luke Joeckel will continue to start at left tackle, and Brandon Linder is in no danger of losing his right guard spot. Wisniewski and Luke Bowanko should battle it out at the center spot, and that leaves just left guard up for grabs.
The Jaguars voiced their disappointment in Zane Beadles‘ play last year when they took Cann in the third round, and it signaled their willingness to move on from a big free agent signing if they don’t perform. There’s still quite a bit of practice ahead of us, but Beadles is going to have to show a lot to hold off Cann.
"“That’s the business, man,” Beadles said. “That’s the front office’s job. They’re always looking to replace everybody. Always looking for better, younger talent. That’s the way it is. The way I look at it is I need to come out and do my job. That’s all I have to focus on.”"
Beadles dealt with some tumult last year as the only veteran presence on a very young offensive line, and the Jaguars had to move forward without the services of their offensive line coach. With Doug Marrone now on the coaching staff, Beadles should get more attention and coaching up.
"“The big thing has been to widen out my stance a little bit,” Beadles said. “It’s going well. It’s a little awkward at first anytime you switch up a technique. But the more you do it, the more comfortable you get. I’m always open to trying new things. I’ve been pleased with it so far.”"
This is going to be one of the more interesting storylines heading into training camp, as the Jaguars would probably like their big free agent acquisition from 2014 keep his job in 2015, but they appear to be willing to sit him down if he doesn’t perform.
More from Black and Teal
- Jacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdom
- Jaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect now
- Bold trade proposal has Jacksonville Jaguars shipping LT Cam Robinson
- Jaguars News: This division rival might be making a big move
- Former Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”