By: Eric Serna
As much as I did and didn’t see in the scrimmage game for the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 3rd, there was one glaring thing I missed: Just exactly how many fans came out to a SCRIMMAGE GAME! It was estimated close to 19,000 fans attended the event, and buzz on Twitter proved the Jaguars were one of the highest on the list of fans attending the game this year out of all 32 teams. This was on a night where the Jacksonville Sharks were offering a great deal for their scheduled AFL playoff game, and the Jacksonville Suns also had a game for fans to attend. But despite that, a huge amount of fans came to cheer on their Jaguars in what was a very basic scrimmage. There were some moments of course, good, bad, and ugly. And luckily enough we were close to the action. James Johnson (@J_1010xl), our buddy Phil Smith (@PhiltheFilipino) and myself (@EricAlmighty1) were sitting close in section 133 of the stadium. Gage D’Acunto (@gdacunto) was getting the view from section 138 and then from one of the suites (because that is how he rolls). I saw there was a big turnout, but I never would have guessed even too much over 10,000 fans had shown up. The Jacksonville Jaguars have got it’s fans behind them it seems for sure. Now it is the teams turn to show it wasn’t for nothing, and win some games this year. So without further delay, some of our thoughts from all of us on what we thought! (We got to see a lot, the picture below is our seats in section 133).
My Thoughts: I think overall, there wasn’t much to show for either offense or defense, just flashes really. The defense looked solid until the offense entered the red zone. The offense was using a lot of the dump and run with the ball we’ve seen in year’s past, which was not a very promising thing to see. But man, the show was stolen by Ace Sanders. Hands down. I am 100% backing down from what I said on Ace Sanders as a 3rd or 4th option with most of his use on special teams. This guy can be a legit receiver. He has Devin Hester return ability to add to his value, but he is a guy who has the speed to create space, and will contest for the ball like a real receiver should. He wasn’t perfect on routes, but everywhere else he shined. Couple of other thoughts: Mercedes Lewis had a great red zone catch, if he can be consistent, he will have a good year in this offense. Denard Robinson was unimpressive to me as in the OW position, but it is clear the special teams will be light years better then ever before with him and Sanders. Main highlight on defense for me was Dwayne Gratz who dropped what could have been a pick six. Despite some bad throws, it’s still obvious this is Blaine Gabbert’s job to lose to Chad Henne, although no quarterback was impressive at all (even the extremely limited reps Mike Kafka and Matt Scott received).
Gage’s Thoughts: “The offensive line looked much better then in recent years. They gave Gabbert time, and he looked like he made the most of it with some really good throws. He looked better then Henne, despite having a few passes that were not very good decisions. I would give the advantage to Gabbert over Henne for better pocket presence and awareness in the scrimmage. Sanders shined on both as return man and as a receiver. Very fast, very explosive, and has really good hands. Isn’t afraid to contest for the ball. Robinson looked good as well. Defensive line recorded some sacks and the defense together looked alright. You can tell for the most part they are a young defense.”
“ BLAINE GABBERT WILL BE MVP!” “The main thing I took from the scrimmage was that even though it was clear we have made A LOT of progress with this team as a whole, we still have a LONG way to go. But there is plenty to be excited about with what we saw from Sanders and I think the defense will be a Top 15 defense this year.” (Also, for those who couldn’t make it out with us to the stadium, you really missed out a fun night out!! We found out Josh Scobee knows Phil Smith is awesome!)
Jame’s Thoughts: “Gabbert and Henne were both solid in goal line situations. Neither really separated themselves, so it is still Gabbert’s job to lose. Pannel Egboh was a beast on the field. When we spoke to Jessica Blaylock, she said the staff was high on him. She was also right in terms of the starting defensive line: Roy Miller at NT, Tyson Alualu at the 5 tech DE, Sen’Derrick Marks at the 3-tech, and Jason Babin in the Leo role. Sanders has a lot of potential in the slot and even on the outside. He was getting separation in camp, and it carried over into the scrimmage. He had nice returns and could be the teams starting returner. All he needs to do is transfer that into pre-season and regular season games. Aside from one deep attempt, Jedd Fisch’s offense is supposed to vertically challenge teams. Need to see more deep balls. With Brian Anger, Scobee, Sanders, and Robinson, this team could be the league’s best in special teams. And as for Robinson, he is a work in progress at the OW spot, but shows flashes as a returner.”
We all had a lot of thoughts on the game, and we want to hear yours as well!! Feel free to let us know what YOU thought of the scrimmage. I think the consensus is that Ace Sanders was the clear bright spot, along with some other notable mentions. And although there was a great feeling around this team, this is still a fairly young team with a lot of question marks. If you couldn’t make it out, we will have a video on the highlights we caught on camera from the stands! We got a lot of great clips with the seats we managed to be in for the entire scrimmage, so make sure to check out IES video/film vault at the top of the screen and subscribe to our YouTube page InsideEdgeSports. In the meantime, check out these highlights on the Jaguars official site from the scrimmage. Shout out to everyone who was able to make it out to the game, it was a a great time! Make sure to follow us all on Twitter, and like our Facebook page! Links to us are on the left side of the site, just take a moment to do that, help us reach more passionate fans of the Jaguars, NFL, NBA, and any sports fan you know!! As always, we appreciate all the love and let us know what your thoughts are in the comment section below! And of course, feel free to get us trending!