What We Learned: Jaguars vs. Buccaneers

We have already recapped Saturday's preseason victory over the Buccaneers, and we figured out that although there are still a few things the Jaguars need to work on, they showed improvement in a lot of areas.

In our game preview last week, we named our five most important things for the Jaguars, and also gave five things to look for. Today we are going to analyze yet again, and elaborate some more on what actually occurred.

Five Most Important Things for the Jaguars:
    1. Leave the game healthy - Mission failed. The Jaguars suffered injuries to starting free safety and first round pick Reggie Nelson, as well as defensive tackle Tony McDaniel and starting guard Chris Naeole. Naeole's injury is considered minor (knee sprain), but Nelson's and McDaniel's seem much more serious (ankle and knee respectively). It's never a good thing when your most important task for a game fails so miserably.

    2. Improved play by the offensive line - The Jaguars starting offensive line played much better than a week earlier, even when Naeole came out of the game. Rookie guard, Uche Nwaneri came in and played well, probably cementing a roster spot for himself. The second team O-line still struggled a bit.

    3. All players that use their feet to advance the ball must do a better job - Both Josh Scobee and Adam Podlesh had good evenings on Saturday. Scobee routinely had touchbacks and made his only field goal attempt (it was only 19 yards). Podlesh punted the football much better than a week ago, and kept the ball near the sidelines. Jaguars fans should feel better about the special teams.

    4. Can the safeties pass the test? Although the first team defense didn't play much, the answer to this question is a big, "I don't know." Reggie Nelson went down early and will likely miss some time, therefore this will definitely be a question for next week.

    5. Gray vs. Couch vs. Ricard - This three-headed competition was cut down to two, as Tim Couch was released before Saturday's game. Quinn Gray was inactive yet again (not helping his case), and Lester Ricard threw just one pass. Incidently, Ricard did complete it for 21 yards and a first down.
What to look for:
    1. Pass protection - The first team offensive line gave Byron Leftwich time to throw. The backups didn't do as well.

    2. Wide receiver separation - For the most part, the Jaguars receivers did a nice job of getting separation. Charles Sharon ran fantastic routes, as did John Broussard. Wilford got open as well in his limited opportunities.

    3. Reggie Williams - We saw Reggie on the field, and he got open, but unfortunately he didn't have any balls thrown his way. Reggie took a step back Saturday night with the great plays of Sharon and Broussard.

    4. Tackling - Still a major problem for the Jaguars backups. Dee Webb is tackling so poorly that he makes Deion Sanders look like Ronnie Lott (my apologies to the younger readers for the 80's-90's star reference). Sorensen, Greisen, and Landri all missed tackles as well.

    5. Excitement in the stands - The crowd at JMS was as big as I've seen in any preseason game this year outside of the great state of Wisconsin. The number of tickets distributed was 66,944, and I'd say about 60,000 showed up. Nice job Jaguars fans.
Added bonus:
    - Can John Broussard keep up his stellar play against some better defensive backs? Yes. Broussard isn't afraid to go over the middle and continues to show great hands.

    - Will Lester Ricard build off his solid showing in Miami? Sure, I guess. Ricard only threw once.

    - Will Matt   Jones keep two hands on the football? Matt wasn't open very often, and when he was, the passes were poor.

    - Can LaBrandon Toefield save his job after a nightmare of a game just a week ago? Toefield ran okay, no fumbles. I believe that he will still need to do something spectacular to keep his employment in Duval county.

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