JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Denard Robinson last year and promptly labeled him an offensive weapon. He may finally be able to fill that role. Robinson took a misdirection pitch and went 26 yards for the go-ahead touchdown to give the Jaguars a 16-10 victory over Tampa Bay Buccaneers in front of 59,100 at EverBank Field Friday night.
Robinson had just 20 touches on offense last season and had trouble holding onto the football because of nerve damage in his hand, a lingering problem from his senior season at Michigan. Now that the nerve damage has healed he hasn't had any ball security issues and the Jaguars are hoping he can be the edge playmaker that the offense needs.
Here are some other thoughts on the Jaguars' first preseason game of the year:
It was a stellar debut for rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, who completed 7 of 11 passes for 117 yards. Three of the incompletions were drops: two by Mike Brown and one by Chad Bumphis. Bortles led the Jaguars to a field goal in the third quarter, with the drive's biggest play the result of his best pass of the night. He hit Brown up the seam for a 31-yard gain, standing in under pressure and taking a hit by defensive tackle Akeem Spence that resulted in a roughing the passer penalty. Bortles was only off target with one pass, a ball he tried to float over a defensive end in the middle of the field. It got knocked away.
The Jaguars' first-team offense looked out of sync during the first two weeks of training camp and it wasn't any different on Friday night. It generated just 42 yards on four possessions. Quarterback Chad Henne completed 4 of 7 passes for 30 yards but all this throws were short. He didn't try to go downfield at all. The offensive line really struggled in the running game, generating just 37 yards on the four possessions.
It was a particularly discouraging performance by starting center Mike Brewster. There are concerns about his lower-body strength and whether he'll be able to get any kind of push in the middle in the run game. That showed up some against the Bucs, but the bigger issue was two poor shotgun snaps that ended up over Henne's head.
Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks earned a contract extension late last season and he picked up where he left off in the first quarter. He had a strip sack, forced an incompletion by getting in Josh McCown's face, and made a tackle at the line of scrimmage. Marks was part of a defensive line that got a lot of pressure, including forcing McCown's errant throw that safety Winston Guy returned for a touchdown.
A bit of a surprise was the fact that rookie receiver Marqise Lee, one of the Jaguars' two second-round picks, wasn't involved in the offense at all. He had no catches and wasn't even targeted when he was on the field with the first-team offense. He has been the Jaguars' most impressive rookie throughout the first two weeks of camp.