The Jacksonville Jaguars get ready to meet the Atlanta Falcons in the third preseason game for both NFL teams.
This may be the “dress rehearsal” for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but equally important it has become the game where players on the “bubble” have a chance to shine.
While 50 of the 53 spots on the active roster may already be set, there are still opportunities to make a lasting impression on the coaching staff.
The battle for the final roster spots will be fierce, with questions remaining about depth at linebacker and the offensive line. The team’s play tonight may help head coach Doug Marrone determine if Jacksonville keeps more than three running backs or an extra tight end who can help on special teams.
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Will there be a surprise addition to the roster and will Marrone decide to release a popular veteran?
At the beginning of OTAs, Marrone told the media he wanted there to be competition all over the roster. He also said is a free agent came into camp and pushed out a veteran or a starter, it meant a good player was replacing another good player.
That makes a winning franchise stronger. Tonight isn’t just about earning a roster spot. It’s also about earning more playing time.
If the this is one of the chances for players to make a statement, here are three players to watch.
The wide receivers have been competing all of camp. Rashad Greene has been hot and cold. He muffed a punt against New Orleans but had a 56-yard return to help the Jaguars beat the Minnesota Vikings.
Greene may give the Jaguars something the other five or six pass catchers don’t – a veteran possession receiver. He isn’t fast, but the former FSU star can change the dynamic of a game in a hurry.
It’s not a matter of whether Patmon makes the team, but it is a matter of whether he becomes the nickel cornerback in this secondary.
Tyler Patmon has looked good when replacing Jalen Ramsey in practice and has shown he may be a step ahead of D.J. Hayden, who was signed this offseason to replace Aaron Colvin from last year’s defense.
Patmon has made the team, but continued solid play may earn him more playing time in the regular season.
The former fifth-round draft pick was thought to be the leader before OTAs to start this season, but the seventh-round draft pick this season has been a natural fit in this system. Now, he provides depth on what is arguably the team’s thinnest position.
Look for Brown to get plenty of time on the field tonight.