Twin Tackles Catching On In Jacksonville

The Jaguars decided to go big during the draft, selecting offensive linemen with their first two picks. Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton are expected to contribute immediately for Jacksonville, so there will be a lot of pressure on both of them. Fans, coaches, teammates and front office executives alike hope that the two grow together in order to form one of the best tackle tandems in the league.

Eben Britton was drafted by the Jaguars in the second-round two Saturdays ago and by that Sunday, he was already chatting it up with fellow first-day selection and lineman, Eugene Monroe.

"On Sunday after the draft we got in touch with each other and we're just super-excited to be working together and have a chance to make each other better," said Britton. "And hopefully [we'll] play on the offensive line for the Jaguars for a long time, so it's exciting."

With both expected to be staples for the Jaguars' line, the two will take every opportunity to get to know one another, as they both look forward to growing together. Although they grew up on opposite sides of the country, the two have been familiar with each other for years.

"I followed Eugene; we were the same year coming out of high school and I followed him as we came out together and through his college career and saw how he was doing," added Britton. "So I'm real excited."

The two have already begun the learning experience, as they have begun learning their assignments together.

"Yeah, we actually studied a bit last night, just trying to learn things," said Monroe after the team's first practice last Friday. "It's good to have somebody who's coming in here fresh with me. Hopefully we can have a long career here together."

It will be a steep learning curve for both Monroe and Britton, as the two must grasp an NFL playbook. There will be added pressure on both players, as they are expected to contribute early on this season, so it's crucial for both players to adapt early on.

Eben Britton (Kosovac/JagNation)
"It's unbelievable to think that I'm on the same field with guys like Maurice Jones-Drew and Big John Henderson, guys I've watched since high school, playing for the Jaguars," said Britton. "But you kind of have to put that stuff aside because you have to get to work and once you step on the field you've got to make sure you're getting the job done, and you're not just standing around looking at people."

To add to the pressure of being relied on to make an early impact, both players must adjust to different roles. Britton has been working at right guard early on in mini-camp, but he said he's not concerned about the position switch, as he played some guard in high school and college. Monroe must also adjust to not be "the guy" amongst his peers, as he is running with the second string right now.

"It's been a while since I worked with the twos, but it's a learning experience and I'm competing," said Monroe.

Learning from the tutelage of experience players like Tra Thomas is something that Monroe said could help with his early adjustment period.

"You sit back, you watch, you ask questions," added Monroe. "And he's willing to help, anything I ask. My locker's right next to his, and I think that's pretty cool."

It will be even cooler if Monroe and Britton are the ones offering advice to rookies' years from after sparkling careers. That scenario can easily play out, but it starts now in mini-camp, as both linemen get ready to embark on their pro careers in Jacksonville.

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