Richard’s JagAWARDS: Preseason Week 2
In the second preseason game of the year, Jacksonville (0-2) lost last night to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) by a score of 24-23. The big story of the night was wide receiver Troy Williamson finally living up to the hype. It was a sure sign of life for him. In addition to Williamson, quarterback David Garrard looked better than he has recently. But, the offensive line play is certainly questionable at this point.
On the defensive side of the ball, the secondary needs improvement.
My favorite award this week was for Best Sound Editing. It will keep me laughing all week.
Now, on to the Awards…
Best Play of the Game: It was the first offensive play of the game. Wide receiver Troy Williamson scored a 74-yard touchdown off a David Garrard pass. Williamson has shown more during training camp and the preseason than all of last year. He made a play that lived up to that deep-threat hype. Let’s see if Williamson can make similar plays throughout the regular season.
Best Director (goes to Jaguar coach or coordinator): Todd Monken, Wide Receivers Coach – Williamson is the sole reason I am awarding Best Director to Monken. If he had a long talk with Williamson this week, Monken must be a master at motivational speaking. I hear Tony Robbins earns a nice paycheck.
Best Jaguar in a Leading Role: Troy Williamson, starting wide receiver – Torry Holt needs help, and it looks like Williamson can potentially provide it. The offense will open up tremendously if Williamson (3 receptions, 147 yards, one touchdown) catches the long ball. With three fantastic catches of 74, 12 and 61 yards, he might have a future in the NFL.
Best Jaguar in a Supporting Role: David Garrard, starting quarterback – Last night was the best Garrard has looked in the past month. He was 10/16 for 216 yards and one passing touchdown. The 74-yarder to Williamson was the most exciting Jaguar play I’ve seen in quite awhile. Plays such as those can bring wins. Wins sell tickets.
Worst Jaguar(s): The special teams unit – I’m beginning to wonder how much this unit misses top special-teamer Montell Owens. Also, I haven’t heard any mention of losing Joe DeCamillis to the Dallas Cowboys. With Russ Purnell in his first year in Jacksonville, kickoff coverage has struggled. In the second quarter, Buccaneer Sammie Stroughter had an impressive 75-yard kickoff return. One of the Jaguars’ primary strengths last year is now the team’s main weakness.
Best Buccaneer in a Leading Role: Luke McCown, backup quarterback – Considering McCown played against the Jaguars’ starting defense, he played extremely well. His stats (6/9, 51 passing yards, 2 touchdowns) don’t paint the full picture. In the next week, head coach Raheem Morris will announce whether Byron Leftwich or McCown will start the season. I think it will be Leftwich, but McCown can earn the starting role prior to Week 4. However, rookie Josh Freeman is considered to be the future. He’s too physically gifted to let him warm the bench.
Best Buccaneer in a Supporting Role: Derrick Ward, running back – He can be a solid starting back. Ward’s five carries for 40 yards were overshadowed by his 27-yard dash in the first quarter. A repeat of last year’s 1,025-yard performance for Ward is not out of the question. Even with a crowded backfield, the New York Giants will miss him.
Worst Buccaneer: Aqib Talib, starting cornerback – This award is for off-the-field performances. On Thursday morning, Talib allegedly struck a cabbie in the ear and neck with his fist. Talib was charged with simple battery and resisting arrest. The NFL is looking into a possible suspension. There is no word if Talib is friends with hockey star Patrick Kane.
Best Sound Editing (Jaguar quote): “We’re not going to let you all shape who we are.” – Head coach Jack Del Rio talking about the media during his post-game conference
Best Animated Short (goes to the player with the most passion on the field): Troy Williamson, starting wide receiver – It was his night.
Williamson will be the talk all week. However, I’ll be more impressed if Williamson consistently puts up last night’s numbers during the regular season.
Tweet of the Week (Twitter post): “Another day of good work, trying to get better!” –Rookie Eugene Monroe on August 19th
Eleven Jaguars who did not dress out:
Don Carey (shoulder)
Derek Cox (groin)
Justin Durant (hip flexor)
Rashad Jennings (groin)
Jonathan Lewis (ankle)
Zach Miller (knee)
Montell Owens (knee)
Daryl Smith (rest)
Scott Starks (hamstring)
Mike Thomas (hamstring)
Mike Walker (ankle)
Other Jaguar notes:
Jacksonville wore its teal tops and white pants for the first time this year.
Three Buccaneers previously played for the Jaguars. They are long snapper Andrew Economos, wide receiver Cortez Hankton and quarterback Byron Leftwich (6/12, 63 yards).
Since linebackers Daryl Smith and Justin Durant did not play, Brian Iwuh started for Smith while Thomas Williams replaced Durant.
In limited action, Maurice Jones-Drew had four touches for 20 total yards.
Punter Steve Weatherford started against the Buccaneers. In the first half, he kicked four punts with a 40-yard average. Adam Podlesh had three punts for a 48.3 average. The battle for the punting job might be the tightest on the team.
Veteran Torry Holt had one catch for 23 yards. He’s playing very little because he has nothing to prove.
David Garrard and most of the first-team offense played the entire first half. Earlier in the week, head coach Jack Del Rio mentioned this was his plan.
Rookie left tackle Eugene Monroe performed poorly. Most notably, he was beat by defensive end Gaines Adams, and he was flagged for holding on another play.
Tight end Tyler Lorenzen, who was a college quarterback, caught his first NFL touchdown. It was a 20-yarder from Todd Bouman in the fourth quarter.
Rookie draft pick Tiquan Underwood (one catch for 30 yards) had two drops. Also, he didn’t pull down the two-point conversion in the fourth quarter to potentially win the game for the Jaguars.
Third-string quarterback Paul Smith did not play. Most likely, it is a hint that backup Todd Bouman will keep his role.
42,177 tickets were distributed for last night’s game. The key word is “distributed.”
If you would like to watch the game on television, NFL Network will air delayed broadcasts at 7 a.m. today and Wednesday. The game announcers are Chris Myers and former Buccaneer John Lynch.
For its next preseason game, Jacksonville travels to play the Philadelphia Eagles this Thursday at 7 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field.