Dec 18, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars center Luke Bowanko (70) against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
3) Center: Luke Bowanko vs Stefen Wisniewski
Luke Bowanko played his heart out as a 2014 sixth round draft pick with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. He won the starting center role and manned it as competently as he could while the offensive line struggled to come together as a unit. Big things were expected for his development during this offseason.
Then the Jacksonville Jaguars went out and secured the services of former Oakland Raiders starter Stefen Wisniewski.
Wisniewski is an experienced center with mediocre success during his time with the Raiders. His familiarity with new Jags offensive coordinator Greg Olson is a big plus for the Jaguars, but whether he can be anything special remains to be seen. He’s only on a one-year deal with the Jags, suggesting an uncertainty as to his long-term viability with the team.
He’ll have his work cut out for him fending off Bowanko, though. Wisniewski’s strength is adaptability along the offensive line, being able to play guard or center. At this point, it’s uncertain if he can power through a shoulder injury to beat out Bowanko and return to starting form.
The most interesting part of the center training camp battle is that the outcome will greatly impact the play of the entire offensive line. Right now it seems that Bowanko has much more upside than Wisniewski, but if the team wants to put together a more competent line then they may go with whoever is more polished immediately. That could give the veteran an edge here, allowing the offensive line to become a more cohesive unit more quickly.
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