Jul 31, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson (29) runs after taking the snap in the wildcat formation during the first day of training camp in pads at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Loser: Denard Robinson, running back
No matter how well Denard Robinson does during Jacksonville Jaguars training camp this year, he’s going to be overshadowed by T.J. Yeldon. While Robinson is a gifted athlete and he has been working hard to improve his skills at his new running back position, what he shows during training camp will all be in comparison to Yeldon.
Yeldon is expected to come in and be the starter during his rookie campaign. It isn’t Yeldon’s fault that this is the expectation, it’s the fault of guys like Robinson and Toby Gerhart, who just couldn’t get the job done at running back in 2014. Robinson is definitely improving and I think he will flash with during some drills, but it will all be in Yeldon’s shadow.
Assuming that Yeldon remains healthy and can find the correct part of the field to show up to, it will be doubtful that Robinson gets a lot of attention. I like the work that he can put in and his athleticism will shine, but it will all be in comparison to another player this year and that doesn’t bode well for the converted running back.
Aug 22, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars guard Zane Beadles (68) against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Winner: Zane Beadles, guard
Zane Beadles enters Jaguars training camp with a lot of attention on him. Guard position battles usually don’t get a lot of love from the media, but Beadles managed to have his work questioned by pretty much everyone this offseason. The Jaguars front office brought in rookie guard A.J. Cann to compete with the veteran Beadles and this training camp, look for Beadles to prove he is every bit better than the rookie.
The problem for Beadles in 2014 is that he wasn’t good enough for Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell. He was a solid guard who just wasn’t what the Jaguars expected. He was supposed to be a stalwart blocker in a young offensive line and instead he did just good enough. Bringing in Cann was to push Beadles.
Expect the plan to have worked.
Beadles has worked on everything from his stance to his footwork this offseason to prove that the belongs in the starting lineup. This is the work ethic the Jaguars expect from a veteran like Beadles and you can bet that it will show during training camp. Beadles is a professional and he is putting in the work to ensure he remains on top. His self respect and willpower alone could keep him above Cann on the depth chart and expect him to appear as a standout during training camp.
Next: A couple of secondary players with more attention on them