JagNation Game Preview: Jags vs. Bucs

August 18, 2007 - 7:30 p.m. - Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Jacksonville, FL - Kickoff Forecast: 83 degrees, 20% chance of precipitation

Week two of the preseason is upon us, and it's the first time that Jaguars fans will be able to see the team play at the friendly confines of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium against an opponent since last December's bitter 24-21 loss at the hands of the New England Patriots. In week two, the starters will play a little longer on both sides of the ball, but game planning will still be virtually non-existent, especially considering that the Jaguars will travel to Hillsborough County late in October to play the Buccaneers in a game that will actually count in the standings. Basically, neither team will want to show each other too much.

Five Most Important Things for the Jaguars:
    1. Leave the game healthy - I know that was number one for last weeks game against the Dolphins, but that is really the most important thing for a preseason game, being that the outcome really doesn't matter.

    2. Improved play by the offensive line - The Jaguars offensive line played somewhere between very bad and horrific last week against a Miami defense that was without Jason Taylor, Joey Porter, and Zach Thomas. I'm fairly certain that the issue of pass protection may have come up in meetings and practice this week and their play must improve.

    3. All players that use their feet to advance the ball must do a better job - Josh and Adam we are talking about you. Podlesh finished with solid numbers last week, but couldn't keep the ball out of the end zone. Scobee missed a potential game-winning field goal on the dirt of the Marlins infield. Scobee's miss is understandable, but two poor games in a row won't help his confidence at all.

    4. Can the safeties pass the test? Gerald and Reggie really didn't get challenged last week against a horrible Dolphins passing attack, but that will likely change this week. Jeff Garcia is an experienced passer, and Joey Galloway is still as fast as anyone in the league.

    5. Gray vs. Couch vs. Ricard - Will Quinn Gray be healthy enough to play? Each player is fighting for a roster spot, and the spot may go to none of the three.
What to look for:
    1. Pass protection - This will be a major issue until the Jaguars line proves that they can protect the quarterback. Tampa Bay is a very good test with Kevin Carter and rookie Gaines Adams rushing from the edges. Pashos, Barnes, and company need to redeem themselves.

    2. Wide receiver separation - Last week the Jaguars receivers did a solid job of getting open. This week they play a much tougher secondary. Barber, Kelly, Phillips, and Allen are solid, and should pose a nice test early on.

    3. Reggie Williams - There has been a lot of talk in the media about Reggie not being on the Jaguars final roster with the emergence of Broussard, Northcutt, and Walker. We at Jagnation don't believe all that, but we do think that Reggie should probably start taking it personal. Lets see how well Reggie gets off the jam and finds open spots, that's more important in preseason than actual catches.

    4. Tackling - The Jaguars third-stringers did a very poor job of tackling last week in Miami, and with some very precious roster spots on the line, lets see how they wrap up Tampa Bay ball carriers.

    5. Excitement in the stands - This is a very important season for the Jaguars. Many in the organization felt that they had the talent to advance in the playoffs last season if it wasn't for the rash of injuries. The Jaguars get a chance to exorcise those demons this year, and start the home schedule off with an impressive showing, even though it may be meaningless.
Other questions:
    - Can John Broussard keep up his stellar play against some better defensive backs?

    - Will Lester Ricard build off his solid showing in Miami?

    - Will Matt Jones keep two hands on the football?

    - Can LaBrandon Toefield save his job after a nightmare of a game just a week ago?

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