Jaguars Daily Blog
All About the Money, Or is it?
Despite playing in three playoff games in his career, Saturday night's preseason game in Tampa Bay may be the most important game in Vince Manuwai's career. It is rumored that if Manuwai, who is slowly recovering from a knee injury from 2008, can not win the starting guard job, he will likely be asked to take a pay cut or released.
All of that seems to make sense, but if Manuwai is competing with veterans Kynan Forney and Justin Smiley, what happens if Forney wins the starting job? Rolling into the regular season with journeyman Kynan Forney means you're just one play away from having Justin Smiley as a starter. Although talented, Smiley is so injury-prone that the Miami Dolphins wouldn't let him lift weights in the offseason in the fears that he could hurt himself and they would be responsible for his entire $2.5 million salary.
In summation, the Jaguars could be playing a dangerous game by cutting Vince Manuwai and his $3.5 million in salary while keeping the oft-injured Justin Smiley who makes just $1 million less.
Another position that head coach Jack Del Rio hopes to be decided on Saturday will be at safety. None of the four primary competitors, Gerald Alexander, Anthony Smith, Sean Considine and Reggie Nelson have been consistent and if ever there was a spot up for grabs it's this one.
Sources tell us that it's entirely possible that the Jaguars starter at safety may not currently be on their roster. Here are a couple names to keep in mind: Jarrad Page (Kansas City), C.J. Spillman (San Diego) and Victor "Macho" Harris (Philadelphia).
Jacksonville star running back Maurice Jones-Drew has missed his third consecutive practice, and there is no explanation why. Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio knows what he has in his explosive back and the preseason is merely a formality, but missing three consecutive practices could cause some to be concerned.
Patience May Pay Off
It appears as if cornerback Scott Starks has finally won a starting job, somewhat. Health permitting, Starks will be the Jaguars nickel corner this season, a role he's been projected to win for quite a while, but hasn't stayed healthy. The sixth-year pro has missed 26 of the team's last 32 games but has had a strong camp and the team hopes that their patience with the former third-round pick from Wisconsin will be rewarded.
One Less Excuse
Those who believe that Jaguars quarterback David Garrard's struggles are anyone's fault but his own will have one less position group to blame. This group of Jaguars receivers and tight ends appear to be the best that Garrard has ever played with and he fully believes it.
"I feel like we've got guys that aren't even starters that can come in and make plays, like a Troy Williamson, Zach Miller or Ernest Wilford," Garrard said. "I think we're not limited with the skill players we have"
So was the team limited with the skill position players previously?
"Not necessarily limited, but sometimes they were limited in what they could do," the Jaguars quarterback said. "There were things they could do, and things they couldn't do. I think with the guys we have here now, there's a wider range. They can do a lot of things."
If Garrard doesn't perform now, it can only be blamed on the offensive line, coaching staff and media.
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