Zane Beadles already locked in at left guard?
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley settled one of the more prominent position battles on the team this week when he named veteran free agent signing Stefen Wisniewski the starting center heading into week 3 of the preseason and the regular season. Wisniewski’s ascension to the top of the depth chart means the Jaguars will have 2 new starters along the offensive line after a horrific 2014 campaign that saw the Jaguars produce the worst pass blocking unit in the entire league.
But could we see a third new starter?
Much more low key than the center battle, there has quietly been a competition for the left guard spot. Third round pick A.J. Cann originally had an edge in camp and the first preseason game, but last week’s preseason game essentially assured Beadles’ spot ahead of Cann on the depth chart. Beadles’ Pro Football Focus grade (+0.3 in 60 snaps) is well ahead of Cann’s (-1.4 in 50 snaps), and Tony Boselli agreed that Cann isn’t ready to start on the most recent Jaguars Monday:
"“Beadles has been solid… he has played better… he’s playing better than Cann right now. In my opinion it’s over.”– Tony Boselli"
Boselli also brought up an interesting point – he’d like to see Luke Bowanko get into the mix at left guard since he’s now relegated to a utility backup role.
I don’t see that happening, but it does confirm what everyone already thinks about Beadles being the weak link along the offensive line. Frankly, that’s an encouraging sign. Beadles is at the very least a serviceable veteran who isn’t going to completely torpedo the play of the offensive line. After a very rough start to 2014, Beadles ended up as the 32nd ranked offensive guard out of 78 according to Pro Football Focus.
For now Beadles appears to be locked in to the starting left guard spot, but he’s not an infallible piece along the line. If he falters too much during the regular season, the Jaguars might be willing to turn to Cann or even Bowanko to try and shore things up.
Next: Wiz wins starting center job
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