WELCOME TO DUVAL
Home of the Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are hosting their home opener tomorrow night vs the Atlanta Falcons. Friday night’s match up will be the first of two games this season that the Jaguars & Falcons go head to head; the Jaguars travel to Atlanta for the primetime game on Thursday, December 19th. Last night the two teams held a joint practice down at the Florida Blue practice fields.
This series will be more challenging for the Jaguars since the Falcons head coach Mike Smith spent five seasons in Jacksonville as the defensive coordinator. Smith coached one of the top defensive units during this time with the Jaguars ranking 4th overall in defense. This will be the eighth time the Falcons & Jaguars have met during preseason with the Jaguars holding a 4-3 lead.
The Jaguars have a lot to prove on Friday night, after coming off the uncomforting 47-12 loss versus the Patriots. This loss came easier than expected for the Jags nation, taking into account that of the 90 players on the roster 48 were not on the team’s roster during training camp last year. General Manager Gene Smith has been busy over the last three year considering 80 of the 90 players were acquired since he started in Jacksonville.
“We’re looking for a certain way, a Jaguars way, of approaching things and playing fast and playing at a high level and making the plays, making the plays that are there to be made. We’ll go through making corrections, getting things cleaned up where we can and continue to stress the details of what we’re looking for and push on,” said head coach Jack Del Rio during an interview this week.
The Jaguars coaching staff plans to have more starters take the field this week compared to last week. For the first time this week five starters participated in practice: David Garrard, Maurice Jones Drew, Derek Cox, Aaron Kampman & Terrance Knighton. Players such as right tackle Eben Britton, tight end Marcedes Lewis, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton & center back Derek Cox will be making their season debut versus the Falcons. Defensive end Aaron Kampman & running back Maurice Jones Drew are not expected to play on Friday.
“We’ll begin to increase their workload. They’ll start to be integrated into practice a little bit. There is a concern of getting them ready for the season, but it’s balancing that getting ready for the season versus doing the right thing so that they’re healthy and fresh for the beginning and the end of the season,” stated Del Rio.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00pm and will be nationally televised on FOX. Come on out to support the Jacksonville Jaguars as they take the field in EverBank for the first time this season, and for some players the first time ever.