JagNation Game Preview: Jaguars vs. Redskins

The fourth and final preseason game is here, and we are less than two weeks away from the season opener against Tennessee.

As many of you know, the final preseason game is one in which the starters play one series or less, and it resembles a junior varsity football game more than any other. This game is for the hardcore football fans, who care about who the 49th, 50th, 51st, 52nd, and 53rd guys on the roster will be.

The big subplot of this game will be the return of Mark Brunell to Jacksonville. This is the first time that Brunell has played in Jacksonville since he was traded in the spring of 2004. Mark Brunell was the best quarterback that this franchise has ever had, and he helped bring the team to heights in which they haven't since reached. Lets hope the good fans of Jacksonville give Brunell a nice ovation, unlike the one that former head coach Tom Coughlin received last season when he returned with his New York Giants.

Five most important things:
    1. Get to the locker room healthy. This has been the most important thing in preseason. Up to this point, the Jaguars haven't had too many significant injuries, and the most important thing is that it stays that way.

    2. Roster battles. The Jaguars have a lot of guys that are fighting for roster spots, and this will be the most important thing to watch.

    3. Can a receiver step up? It would be nice to see a wide receiver play well and step up. I don't know how long the starting receivers will be in, or even who they are, but it would be nice if one of them made a difference and separated them from the pack.

    4. Tackle the ball carrier. The Jaguars defense has been missing a lot of tackles each and every week of the preseason. This could stem from a somewhat "soft" training camp with not much hitting. It would be nice if the Jaguars defense, whoever it is on the field, can do a better job of wrapping up.

    5. Quinn Gray. Quinn Gray is coming off the toughest week of his life with his father's passing, and he needs to play well and earn a roster spot. Let's all root for Gray to play his best football.
What to look for:
    1. Reggie Williams vs. the field. Reggie played a solid game last week and caught a couple very tough passes in traffic. There is a ton of talk about the former top ten pick falling so far off the depth chart that he's looking for a new job Saturday. This is Reggie's final opportunity to stand out and show his pedigree.

    2. Alvin Pearman vs. LaBrandon Toefield. Toefield had the horrible two fumble performance in the first game of preseason, and has been solid ever since. Pearman has been his unspectacular, solid self in each of the Jaguars preseason games and in camp. Only one guy will make it, and Pearman can clinch it with a solid performance.

    3. Terry Cousin vs. the field. The field is younger, cheaper, and faster, but Terry Cousin has experience. Cousin's play during the preseason has left something to be desired, and he will need to have a solid game to make the roster.

    4. Linebacker battles. Two spots remain, five players vying for those spots. Who will stick out enough to earn a roster spot between Pat Thomas, Nick Greisen, Brian Iwuh, Chris Claiborne, and Kevis Coley?

    5. Other bubble players: Chad Nkang, Sammy Knight, Bruce Thornton, Josh Gattis, Derek Landri, and Paul Spicer. Some will make it, some won't.
Other notes:
    - Mark Brunell is fighting for a backup job with the Redskins or some other team.

    - Will the Jaguars "band-aids" (Seth Payne, Chris Claiborne, Sammy Knight) be able to cover some gashes?

    - Will defensive tackle Tony McDaniel be able to return to game action for the first time since injuring his knee against Tampa Bay nearly two weeks ago?

Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, and Sportsillustated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer.

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