Jags vs. Patriots- What to Look For

After nearly nine months without Jaguars football, the teal attack is back as Jacksonville travels to Foxboro to take on the Patriots. Find out what keys to look for in tonight's epic preseason tilt.

Preseason football is here and the Jaguars will get a nice test as they travel to the home of the AFC East Champion New England Patriots. The primary objective for both teams is to leave the game healthy but also to gauge player development.

What to Look For:



1. Blaine Gabbert's poise-

Rookie Blaine Gabbert is getting the start due to David Garrard's sore back and one could argue that this will be the toughest game any rookie has had to face taking into account the shortened offseason. Gabbert has looked great in camp but he's obviously a work in progress and this will be the first time he won't be wearing a red jersey. Let's see how he stands in the pocket in the face of a rush without any real offensive stars around him.

2. Wide Receiver Separation

- One of the biggest question marks for the Jags going into the season will be at the wide receiver position. To this point Jason Hill has disappointed and there really isn't any game-changing type of players. If Blaine Gabbert is going to be able to progress nicely he's going to need some guys to get open, which nobody did during the team's scrimmage.

3. Pressure off the edge

- We believe that Aaron Kampman will be back near full strength by the regular season opener but who will play opposite him? The Jags just signed Matt Roth and he's the likely candidate, but if Austen Lane, Larry Hart, or Aaron Morgan can make an impact it will give the Jaguars some depth at the position.

4. Interior Line Play

- The Jaguars have a competition on the interior line between rookie Will Rackley and veteran Jason Spitz. Spitz looked very shaky in the team's scrimmage and many league experts figure him to be nothing more than a backup at this point of his career. Rackley will have the job eventually and the team hopes eventually will be immediately.

5. Safety Coverage

- The Jaguars signed Dawan Landry who will start at one safety position but Landry was more of a strong safety than a free safety. The projected starter opposite him, Courtney Greene is also more of a strong safety. Just having Don Carey on the bench is an improvement over last season, but if the safety position can't cover, opposing offenses will feast as they did a season ago.

Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and the host of "The Sports Crunch" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie

Want more in-depth coverage on your favorite NFL team? Click here and get started today.


Jags Illustrated Top Stories