At long last the NFL preseason is finally here.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will play their first preseason game Thursday, August 10th against the defending champion New England Patriots at their home turf. What more could you ask for to see just how much the Jaguars have improved this offseason under new head coach Doug Marrone and executive vice president Tom Coughlin?
It will be hard to see just how much improvement the Jaguars have made this summer in week 1 of the preseason as the starters will most likely only play a couple of series to one quarter at most. But there are several important things to watch for throughout the game.
Here are the five key areas to watch in preseason Week 1 for the Jacksonville Jaguars:
5. Cornerback depth
The Jaguars made a huge splash back in March when they signed former Houston Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye to a lucrative five year- $67.5 million deal. Bouye paired with budding star Jalen Ramsey will give Jacksonville the best young CB duo in the league according to Ike Taylor of NFL Network.
One thing the Jaguars did little to address though is the depth at CB behind these two players. The only player behind these two with starting experience is fourth year player Aaron Colvin who figures to be the teams nickel-back. If an injury were to occur to any of these three players that would force Josh Johnson or seventh round rookie Jalen Myrick into action. Neither of these players have much experience at all, so it will be interesting to see how they perform throughout this game against one of the deepest receiving corps in the NFL.
4. The tight ends
This is one of the few position battles on the team where we don’t really know who will start. Veteran Marcedes Lewis figures to be the main blocking tight end, but after Lewis there are several players battling for what figures to be two roster spots.
Ben Koyack came on strong at the end of 2016 making several impressive catches but he will be challenged by incoming free agent Mychal Rivera and third year vet Neal Sterling for the “move” tight end position. There are also lesser known players who have had good camps so far that could push for one of these roster spots. Caleb Blueitt is a name to watch as he also has long snapping experience. The Jaguars recently lost long snapper Carson Tinker for the season due to a torn ACL. Keep an eye on these tight ends throughout the preseason.