Jaguars Daily Blog

In today's daily blog we take on the legitimacy of a preseason depth chart, how many jobs are actually up for grabs this week and how the Jaguars will get the most out of quarterback David Garrard.

Why Bother?

By reading the title, you know that we must be talking about the "all-important" preseason depth chart. The latest depth chart shows the expected 22 starters on offense and defense, and most of those spots look very legitimate.

The backups seem to be a little peculiar as wide receiver Tiquan Underwood has fallen beneath Clarence Denmark as fourth-string, and so tight end Zach Miller has fallen below Zach Potter. Cecil Newton, who has looked ultimately bad is considered the backup center over undrafted rookie John Estes, who was outperforming him prior to his injury.

Defensively, newcomers Leger Douzable and Tony Gilbert have fell behind Walter Curry and Teddy Lehman respectively. Cornerback Don Carey is still second-string despite getting burned with regularity in every single preseason game.

On special teams, both Mike Thomas and Rashad Jennings are listed as the first-team punt and kickoff return men, despite neither returning a single punt or kickoff during the preseason.

If anyone believes that the team will keep Zach Potter or Clarence Denmark over Zach Miller or Tiquan Underwood, then your last name is probably Potter or Denmark. It's more possible that Walter Curry or Teddy Lehman could earn spots above Leger Douzable and Tony Gilbert, but even that isn't very likely.

We are aware that it's somewhat of a requirement to put together a depth chart, but falsifying it does nobody any good whatsoever, especially the fans.

Final Audition on Thursday

The Jaguars will close their preseason on Thursday night as they take on the Atlanta Falcons. Projected starters are expected to play little, if at all, and this is purely an evaluation game for the back end of the roster.

There are probably about seven jobs up for grabs on Thursday:

Backup safety- Reggie Nelson, Sean Considine, Tyron Brackenridge

Fourth and fifth corner- William Middleton, Don Carey, Scotty McGee, Josh Gordy

Fifth defensive end- Jeremy Mincey, Julius Williams, Aaron Morgan

Fourth defensive tackle- Leger Douzable, Walter Curry, Ko Quaye, Jeremy Navarre

Backup interior line- Justin Smiley, John Estes, Cecil Newton

Backup tackle- Kevin Haslam, Paul McQuistan, Daniel Baldridge

Keep it Simple

David Garrard is in his ninth-season and is 32 years old. He's no longer a young, inexperienced quarterback and what you see is most likely what you're going to get. It's time to simplify the quarterback's responsibilities and play to his strengths.

To put it even more simply, limit the thinking that Garrard has to do. Garrard can only go to one read and then check down, so the Jaguars must devise an offense around short, one-read passes. Ironically, despite being a mobile quarterback Garrard struggles throwing outside the pocket. If Jacksonville is going to move him outside the pocket, they must keep the one read simple and give him the option to run.

As nice as it is to have speedsters on the outside such as Troy Williamson and Tiquan Underwood, having both is not necessary with Garrard under center. Garrard simply can't throw the deep pass and having two deep ball receivers may be a waste of a roster spot.

In summation, the Jaguars can win with Garrard, they just have to play to his strengths. Realistically, the elite defenses in the league will force him into thinking and plays he can't make, but that's the hand that the Jaguars have dealt themselves.

Jags Illustrated Top Stories