The Jacksonville Jaguars lost their pre-season opener to the Miami
Dolphins, sort of. The Jaguars first team units dominated the Miami
Dolphins throughout the game. Looking at the individual players,
there were some winners and losers on the offense and defense last
night, including some players fighting to make the roster.
BYRON LEFTWICH: Byron Leftwich was very sharp completing
70% of his passes and throwing for a touchdown. There were some
protection issues on the offensive line and he was sacked twice, but
he was able to step up in the pocket and even scramble for some
positive yards on one instance. He was crisp in his passes placing them where they needed to be.
Of his three incompletions, one was a drop, one was a throw away, and
the other was on a hot read that was thrown before the receiver turned around.
DAVID GARRARD: David Garrard also looked sharp. Like
Leftwich, he completed the majority of his passes. While Garrard did
not account for a touchdown, he did lead two scoring drives resulting
in 10 points. Garrard showed some obvious restraint in his normal
temptation to run with the football. He still had a few mishaps, i.e.
an errant pass that would have been picked off if it wasn't for a
great heads-up play by Greg Estandia, but overall he had a very good showing.
JOHN BROUSSARD: Rookie wide receiver John Broussard showed what he
had been showing all training camp, the ability to make plays.
Broussard ended the night with three receptions for 66 yards, one of
which was a beautiful out pattern thrown right into his hands by
Lester Ricard. Broussard was able to beat the jam and fly right past the defender.
JUSTIN DURANT: Rookie linebacker Justin Durant stepped in and just
made plays. He was a three-time All-MEAC defensive player of the year
and he showed why. He was second on the team in tackles with three,
and he was seemingly always around the ball and being disruptive in the backfield.
BRIAN IWUH: The second year linebacker once again shined in the
preseason leading the team in tackles. Iwuh, like Durant, was flying
around all over the place to the ball. He has some speed, which seems
to be a trend the Jaguars linebackers are moving towards.
DEE WEBB: The secondary corner has made drastic improvement from his
rookie year. Webb played very good coverage last night, and he
actually showed he could tackle people, which was his biggest knock last season.
JAMAAL FUDGE: Fudge once again shined in the Miami preseason game.
Last year he led the team in tackles, this year he showed his ability
to cover ground. Fudge was constantly around the ball, and came close
to picking off Trent Green at one portion of the night.
BRENT HAWKINS: Hawkins flashed the ability the coaches and fans have
been raving about. While he did not notch a sack, he was disruptive
and made plays in the backfield, including stuffing a run for a loss.
JAMES WYCHE: Wyche is pressing hard to make this roster opening eyes
last night. Wyche was constantly in the Miami backfield forcing
pressure. He sacked Trent Green once (nearly twice) and also stripped
him of the football resulting in a turnover.
TONY MCDANIEL: Tony McDaniel continued to do his best
Henderson/Stroud impression last night regularly dominating his
offensive lineman and disrupting plays. McDaniel is stout against the
run, and showed some ability to rush the passer last night.
MIKE WALKER: Walker continues to show the ability to get open and
catch the football like he did in training camp. Despite having a
dislocated finger, he caught nearly every catchable ball thrown his way.
TIM COUCH: Tim Couch looked like a deer in the head lights in the his
first live action since 2004. He was indecisive in the pocket and took
a sack when he shouldn't have. He often sailed his passes high and
struggled to completed 50% of his passes.
GEORGE WRIGHSTER: To quote Jack Del Rio, "the best ability is
availability". I did not see Wrighster on the field at all last night,
and with Greg Estandia impressing the coaches and making plays,
Wrighster is in a real fight for his roster spot. Not playing isn't
going to help that at all.
REGGIE WILLIAMS: While Williams did catch the ball the one time it
was thrown to him, it wasn't made until the beginning of the third quarter.
Williams first came in with the first team in the first quarter.
Waiting so long to make his first play, albeit a good one, doesn't
help his case to stay on the roster.
PAUL SPICER: Paul Spicer was playing with the second and third team
defense last night, but primarily lined up at defensive tackle
instead of his normal end position. With the plethora of talented
defensive tackles on the roster, it does not look good if Spicer
can't even see the field at defensive end, a position of concern.
THE OFFENSIVE LINE: The offensive line as whole didn't play well.
Tony Pashos was beaten badly early, Dennis Norman allowed a crushing
sack that resulted in roughing the passer, and Khalif Barnes
struggled early. This was all without Jason Taylor and Joey Porter on
the field. Offensive lines generally need time to gel, especially
with two new lineman, but they need to step up their game and protect the running back.
LABRANDON TOEFIELD: Toefield very well might have cost himself his
roster position last night. While his production was not terrible (18
rushing yards, 31 receiving yards) he lost two critical fumbles. When
you are on the bubble, you just cannot put the ball on the turf,
especially twice in the same game.