NFL: The Preseason Worth Watching: Can Jags Rookies Pay Dividents?

Tim HigginsCorrespondent IJuly 17, 2009

AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 22:  Ryan Palmer #13 of the Texas Longhorns blocks the vision of Jarrett Dillard #81 of the Rice Owls to prevent a touchdown in the first quarter on September 22, 2007 at  Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium  in Austin, Texas.  Texas leads 41-7 at the half.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

As the rain drops down my window on this cloudy afternoon, I slowly rot from the lack of quality sports entertainment.  As a football and lacrosse player, its bad when the most sports entertainment that I can find is the US Soccer Team.  Then I remember that it is not far away from football season.  August is when the real pads come out, august is when the fun begins and we can awake from this hibernation that I have lived in ever since the end of january as my hopes were crushed as Santonio Holmes fell gracefully in the endzone defeating destiny itself.  You can almost smell the scent of the pigskin now.

The scent of a poor 2008 campaign by the Jacksonville Jaguars still reeks, but the hope of the new life is slowly taking over.  When I saw that Jarrett Dillard had been signed this morning it seemed as if the last of the putrid scent of last years embarassment of a season had disapeared.  Gene Smith has brought a new smell, one that brings much hope to all Jaguars fans. 

Soon, the scent could become a flower, but it could also turn out to be a posinous weed.

None the less, the suspense is starting to nabb at me, but it's almost here.  August 17th, against the Miami Dolphins.  I feel like the 2009 Jags fate will be shown there.

I cannot remember a preseason that has been more anticipated on my part.  The Jaguars have many questions, but some seemed to have been answered but others are simply a maybe.  The offseason was the test, and the season is simply seeing if the answers were right.  And as preseason comes, it feels as if the test is running through the checker.  So what are the test questions and how have they been answered?

1. The Offensive Line?

This question was one that one could compare to a gimme on a test.  The Jaguars have created, during this offseason, an offensive line that could easily be argued as the best, deepest offensive line in the league.  The chance of the Jags getting this question wrong is slim.

2. The Quarterback?

The question coming in to this season is whether David Garrad could return to 07 form.  The Jaguars have no real control over this one, so to me I think of the QB situation as a long essay.  The Jaguars have done everything to try and make the essay the best it can be, adding a better WR core and a deeper healthy strong offensive line, but really it is the person reading the essay or in real life reading the coverage (aka David Garrad) who determines the score of the essay.

3. The Running Backs?

This question may not be as gimme, but it is one that the Jaguars are pretty darn sure of.  The only small question is whether MJD can carry the full load, however, with the seeming emergence of Rashad Jennings and Greg Jones, the Jaguars seem to not have to worry much about this question.  Plus, MJD is a flat out beast.  Just saying....

4. The Wide Reciever?

This is the Jaguars test question that they have never seemed to get right.  They've tried and tried but this year theyve finally scrapped the old, and started fresh. And fresh may be just the way to do things.  The Jaguars have a young promising balanced WR group featuring speed (mike thomas/troy williamson) old superstar mentor (torry holt) young upcoming unknowns (mike walker/jarrett dillard), and height (marcedes lewis/tiquan underwood).  This becomes one of the influnecial factors of the offensive section of the test.  If the Jaguars get this question right, they could become in the top 10 scores, or the top 10 offenses.

5. The Defense?

This one used to be a gimme for the Jags, but they seemed to have "slacked off" in the defense department.  Maybe because of Greg Williams as a poor fit, maybe because of the department of marcus stroud, or maybe because of just time.  The Jaguars have done some strengthening of their "knowledge" of the defense of late, signing a few players off waviers, and trading for one.  Also the addition of Sean Considine and young promising rookie Derek Cox may prove to be difference makers.  However, the Jaguars are not feeling really good about the defensive line, and are hoping to maybe get lucky on this question.

Final Grade:

The Jaguars probably pass at an 80%, making them a B team.  B teams arent bad, and in fact can get lucky and beat an A team, and if B teams have enough chemistry they can make runs. 

B team: anywhere from 7-9 to 12-4

Playoffs: 30-60 percent chance