Jaguars play it safe in loss to the Ravens on Thursday night
By David Levin
Was the decision to keep 32 players off the field the right one for the Jacksonville Jaguars?
This is what happens when 32 players are held out of an NFL preseason game. The Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff made the decision to keep the majority of their starters on the sidelines Thursday night, which was a major reason for the 29-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
While many fans took to social media to question the decisions of head coach Doug Marrone to sit Nick Foles, Calais Campbell, Leonard Fournette and others, it made sense in a meaningless preseason game.
Yes, the score of this game doesn’t matter. The work the two teams put in during their joint practices this past week will help define their seasons more than their effort at the stadium Thursday night.
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I came across a Jaguars fan last night who I talk to you periodically about the tea. He said he still had major concerns about our backups who had trouble competing against the Ravens backups, especially along the offensive line. Watching the other night, especially in the third and fourth quarter, proved this team still has plenty of work to do.
I’m curious to see how this roster transitions into the second week of the preseason, as Jacksonville prepares to play the Philadelphia Eagles in their first home game. It will also give us a chance to see Foles compete against his former team, even if it is in a short timeframe.
Even with the staggering loss, there were a few bright spots. C.J. Reavis played a solid game in the secondary. Running back Ryquell Armstead looked good and showed he could become a factor in the run game as the season progresses.
Josh Allen had a good first quarter. He looks the part of a dynamic rookie who could push for extended playing time.
The Jaguars do have concerns with depth on the offensive line, at linebacker and potentially at backup quarterback. This team wants Gardner Minshew to be the second option behind Foles, but he needs more development. I wonder if the front office takes a look at who might be available as a veteran option. It’s obvious the team will only keep two signal-callers this year.
By the way, that kid as moxie. I won’t rehash “the hit” he took and lived to tell about it.
Before we fans decide to throw our hands up in the air and close the door on the upcoming season, let’s remember that next week will be more conducive to a legitimate game situation. Until then we really don’t know whether the questions we have about this roster will be answered.
If the Jaguars come out next Thursday with starters in the lineup and give the same effort they did against the Eagles, then it might be time for concern. Until then, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
I’m sure the coaching staff is doing the same thing.