By K.J. Momberg @kjmomberg on August 14, 2014
The Jacksonville Jaguars came away with a 16-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their preseason opener. Over the course of the game, we learned a lot about what to expect from the team this coming season. With that in mind, here are five takeaways from the Jaguars' first preseason game.
For the Jaguars, this preseason is all about rookie quarterback Blake Bortles. In his debut, the first-round pick looked poised and seemed to have a solid understanding of the Jaguars' offense. He may not be ready to start just yet, but he does not appear to be far off.
Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks may have only played a handful of snaps against the Buccaneers, but he sure did make the most of them. Marks finished with four tackles, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble. After being rewarded with a four-year, -million contract extension, Marks looks like he is out to prove that last season was not just an aberration.
The Jaguars defensive line was bound to improve with the addition of Chris Clemons, Red Bryant and Ziggy Hood in free agency. Against the Buccaneers, the unit proved it has more quality depth than it let on. Backup Ryan Davis lined up all over the line, and rookie Chris Smith was disruptive off the edge. Even Tyson Alualu showed off a nice move on a sack/fumble.
Going into the game, Allen Hurns was on the roster bubble. However, the undrafted rookie went out and led the team with 43 yards on two receptions. Hurns ran crisp routes and looked to have a good rapport going with Blake Bortles. As other receivers on the roster struggled with drops, Hurns stepped up and likely solidified his spot on the final roster.
Mike Brewster has been the starter at center throughout training camp, but after he botched two snaps against the Buccaneers, there is no telling who will be the starter going forward. Veteran Jacques McClendon also got time at the position, and rookies Brandon Linder and Luke Bowanko could see some time there in the coming weeks. As of now, the position remains wide open.
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