Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/18/13
I am not one who worries too much about special teams play or what happens in the fourth quarter when a third-string quarterback adds a touchdown or two to run up the score.There are 90 players on each side of the ball trying to make a football team.The Jaguars lost 37-13 in a game that looked lopsided but only got out of hand after the half, which leads me to believe there are some good things to be said about the Jacksonville Jaguars' first-unit.Offense and defense included.While a second preseason game is about maturation, a steady dose of starters and the implementation of a game plan that will take more shape in Week 3, the first half of the game gave fans and the coaching staff hope of being competitive this season. And it clearly showed us that Blaine Gabbert is the undisputed starter of this franchise.This wasn’t a situation where Gabbert looked like did last season. He was more confident, more poised and did some things in Jedd Fisch’s offense that we had not seen last season under Mike Mularkey’s staff.There was no sign of ill effects from the ankle injury Gabbert suffered two weeks ago.There was no signs of fear in the pocket. The team played up-tempo football and played more consistently in the no-huddle and shotgun formations.For the first half, this was a “winning” franchise and the separation between starter and reserve quarterback was as apparent as being a freshman and senior in high school.Blaine Gabbert won this job, Chad Henne did not lose it. If the hand injury Gabbert suffered is nothing more than a bruise and a sprain, there is nothing to worry about in camp.If it’s more, than we will write about it later. Right now, Gabbert, Maurice Jones-Drew, Denard Robinson, and company were on their game last night. The loss really means nothing when evaluating talent.Here are a few more things we learned...* Allen Reisner looked like a keeper. He is currently second on the depth chart and caught the team’s only touchdown pass. But Reisner got open down field and blocked well. He will be important in the team’s two tight end sets.* Maurice Jones-Drew was solid. He just wanted to get that first real hit in and move the ball. He did both of those things and looked fresh and ready to play the opening game while doing it.* The team missed Luke Joeckel. Running the football on the right side was more difficult than the left. It showed throughout the first half and third quarter.* Denard Robinson will be huge for this team. I keep saying it but it’s true. Robinson carried the ball well in New York and looks to be a solid backup for this franchise.
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