It may only be a scrimmage for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but a story will be told at EverBank Field tonight.
While the team will go through its pre-practice routine of warm ups and conditioning, there will be live action and work with the first and second units, allowing head coach Gus Bradley and his staff to really begin the evaluation process for this team and put together a game plan for 2013.
This is only the first test for the team. Four more of them will come in succession starting next week against Miami at home and then three other preseason contests.
In the end, players will receive a passing grade (a roster spot or practice squad invite) or one that will allow them to seek employment elsewhere.
Here are some things to look for from Saturday night’s scrimmage.
Solid quarterback play. Both Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert will see action tonight. Gabbert has been slowed by an ankle injury (sprain). Henne has looked comfortable in the offense Jedd Fisch has implemented so far. Adam Scott and Mike Kafka mat see action.
Small doses of Maurice Jones-Drew. He has looked good in practice. He can run, shift, cut catch the ball and accelerate. Let’s see what he does in more defined play. Justin Forsett will not play after spraining his toe and has been in a walking boot the past two days. Also, look for Denard Robinson and Jordan Todmon will get a look as well.
Another receiver must emerge. Tony Clemons? Tobias Palmer? Mike Brown? Look for those three receivers to get plenty of attention. Also look for Cecil Shorts to play his heart out again and Ace Sanders to run all over the field. The unspectacular group has had its moments in camp. Now it is time to show some separation from the field.
No Injuries. I cannot stress this enough. The Jaguars were destroyed last season in training camp by offensive line injuries. The team must hope to come out of the session unscathed.
Starters on the defensive line. Bradley said the first units will play against each other. This will be a chance to see who plays with who. Jason Babin and Andre Branch are first unit locks. Now, let’s see who fills in the pieces. We will also get to see more action from Roy Miller at defensive tackle.
Who’s zooming who? In the secondary, the starters are pretty well set. Depth will be an issue. Can rookies step up and provide quality in the second unit? Will Marcus Trufant and Dwight Lowery be able to calm an anxious group of youngsters? Where do Chris Prosinski and Mike Harris figure in all of this change?