Total Titans’ questions about the Jaguars

Titans fans, you enjoyed the series of question and answer exchanges we did with writers from the other side last year, so we’re planning to do that again this year. We kick off the season with Tim McClellan of Jaguars Journal. I’ve submitted four questions to Tim about the game this Sunday. Those questions and Tim’s answers follow below. Tim has also sent me four questions of his own. I’ll post those, along with my answers to them, tomorrow.
Total Titans: I believe I reflect the feelings of most Titans fans when I say that Richard Collier is in our thoughts and prayers. It’s good to hear that he seems to be doing better. What effect do you think his shooting will have on the Jaguars?
Jaguars Journal: Any time a team faces adversity such as the situation that the Jaguars are dealing with this week, it can go in the direction of unifying or distracting the team. A lot of that has to do with the maturity of the men, and the cohesiveness that exists already. The Jaguars are a very close team. My hunch is that the Collier shooting will serve as a spark that keeps them focused on the task at hand.
TT: The Jaguars have had problems with their receiving corps ever since Jimmy Smith retired. How have their two new WRs, Jerry Porter and Troy Williamson looked in the preseason? How much will they improve the passing game?
JJ: The Jaguars passing game is probably going to take on a very familiar look in 2008 at least to start the season. Porter has not participated since mini camps in the spring, and Williamson has been dealing with a minor injury. Troy showed the team why he’s here in the last preseason game when he got behind the Washington defense on a deep corner route that went for a 51 yard touchdown. What will have more of an impact on the Jaguars passing game this year is the emergence of Marcedes Lewis as a viable pass catching threat, and the sudden rise of Matt Jones. Porter may have an impact over the course of the season, but I believe that Jones and Lewis will probably be the mainstays in the passing game this year.
TT: First-round draft pick DE Derrick Harvey was a holdout and missed most of the preseason, so it will probably take him a while to settle in and start making a contribution. How has rookie second-round draft pick DE Quentin Groves looked in the preseason? Do you expect him to make a difference in the pass rush, and how soon?
JJ: Quentin Groves has certainly flashed in the preseason, but it is clear that there is going to be a steep learning curve for him to overcome. He has the speed and size to be a contributor, but he lacks the technique or solid understanding of the game at the NFL level. I think both Groves and Harvey will be contributors this year, but they will be role players and not every down ends. The good news for the Jaguars is that Reggie Hayward has looked good in the preseason, appearing to have finally gotten beyond his Achilles tendon injury.
TT: What’s your prediction for Jack Del Rio’s gameplan?
JJ: Run the ball and stop the run. That’s the identity that this team lives or dies by, and that will continue to be the mainstay for 2008.
Thanks to Tim for doing this. To read more from the Jaguars’ point of view, please check out Jaguars Journal here on MVN.
For more info about the Jags, I wrote a season’s preview on the Jaguars last month which you can read here.

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