The Jacksonville Jaguars started off the preseason with a bang, winning their first game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16-10. There were a number of players who provided a large impact on the game whereas others failed to meet expectations. Here is a brief breakdown of two players who must work hard to stake their claim in the next game.
Marqise Lee, Wide Receiver
Marqise Lee has a lot of expectations on him this season as he looks to reclaim the title of best receiver from the 2014 draft. After preseason predictions had him as a top-10 player, he wound up falling into the second round of the draft.
Lee still possesses great run-after-the-catch ability and can easily find a way to get around defenders with his impressive combination of speed and agility. The game against the Buccaneers was an excellent chance for him to start proving himself as starting wide receivers Cecil Shorts and Allen Robinson were sidelined with injuries.
Unfortunately, things didn’t start off well for Lee. Despite playing 17 snaps, Lee didn’t have one pass thrown his way. Head coach Gus Bradley initially called out Lee’s lack of effort but quickly recanted, citing that his initial comments were made about one specific route Lee ran. Still, Bradley made the point of saying, via The Florida Times-Union, “A couple of things that came up where he was unsure of positioning of the defense and the route in terms of how he should attack it. So, there was confusion on his part that we got cleared up.”
The Jaguars are hoping that Lee truly has cleared things up because he figures to be a big part of the offense this year, most likely out of the slot. He will be a valuable weapon for both Chad Henne and Blake Bortles as long as he can clean his game up and show us all the talent we know he has.
Marcel Jensen, Tight End
Marcel Jensen is an undrafted rookie who has been making waves in camp. He was raw coming out of college but the Jaguars knew what kind of ability he had, with Bradley saying, via Jaguars.com, "We knew he had athleticism to be able to catch the ball…Some of the skills we saw on tape are what we are starting to see now."
Jensen isn’t expected to be a big part of the Jaguars plans in 2014 but given all the hype coming from camp, it was expected that he would keep making strides in preseason. So far, he hasn’t delivered.
Jensen played 42 snaps but didn’t see a single pass thrown his way. He also struggled in run blocking, carrying a minus-5.5 grade per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). This is a disappointing showing for Jensen and, to make matters worse, it may be a little while until he is able to redeem himself. It was reported by Hays Carlyon of The Florida Times-Union that Jensen was held out of practice Tuesday for an abdominal injury.
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