2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Falcons, Jaguars trying to settle O-line in finale

By MARK LONG - AP Sports Writer
    2014-08-27 15:44

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The Jacksonville Jaguars had few, if any, concerns at center for a dozen years.

Brad Meester was Jacksonville's man in the middle every season since 2002, and he was arguably the most consistent and dependable player in franchise history. He set a team record for games played (208) and notched the two longest streaks of consecutive starts (92 and 89).

So it should be no surprise that the Jaguars have had a tough time replacing him.

The Jaguars essentially benched center Mike Brewster after two preseason games, opening up the job to journeyman Jacques McClendon and rookie Luke Bowanko.

Jacksonville hopes to settle the position in Thursday's preseason finale against Atlanta, which also is looking to finalize its offensive line.

''We just want to challenge them one more time to see who shows up and what we're looking for,'' Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said.

Brewster was supposed to slide right into the starting job. The former Ohio State standout spent two years waiting for Meester to retire, but he sailed two shotgun snaps over Chad Henne's head in the preseason opener against Tampa Bay and then got handled inside the following week at Chicago.

''I try to stay positive,'' Brewster said. ''I don't see the point in ever worrying about certain things you don't control. You've just got to prepare yourself for anything and that's how I've always been. It's how I was raised and it's how I'm always going to be. Just don't let anything like that throw you off.''

All indications are Bowanko will get the nod over McClendon, who is expected to start at left guard against the Falcons in place of Zane Beadles (calf).

Jacksonville selected Bowanko in the sixth round of the NFL draft in May. The Virginia graduate wasn't expected to start right away, especially since the Jaguars already have third-round pick Brandon Linder penciled in at right guard and second-year pro Luke Joeckel starting at left tackle.

But with Brewster's struggles, the Jaguars believe they will be better off in the long run if they get the rookies on the field - even if it means taking some lumps early.

''It's like coming in your first day of college,'' Bowanko said. ''You know others here have been doing this for a while, but it's not really about them. It's about what you can do and what abilities you bring to the table and justifying people's faith that they had in you to draft you.

''I just came in, and if I was good enough to do that, it would kind of take care of itself. Nothing is etched in stone, anything even to this day. So I'm just working to get better and put my best stuff out there.''

Bowanko might be further along had it not been for a foot injury that kept him out parts of training camp.

''He's got a lot of upside,'' Bradley said. ''It's unfortunate that he's nicked up a little bit. We're intrigued by him. He just needs to get reps. He needs to get bounced around a little bit, get a feel for that.

''He's healthy enough to play, but I think in his mind, he's not quite 100 percent. So what a good feel for him to learn that he's got to play at a high level because you're going to get banged up.''

The Falcons know all about that, especially along the offensive line.

Atlanta's patchwork line was a huge problem in 2013. The Falcons responded by drafting Texas A&M's Jake Matthews with the sixth overall pick. They planned to play Matthews at right tackle, but had to move him to the left side when Sam Baker went down with a season-ending knee injury in the preseason.

Lamar Holmes has been the starting right tackle since, but Gabe Carimi also has a chance to earn the starting spot Thursday night. Carimi missed the first three preseason games with an ankle injury.

''It's going to be an important night for a lot of players,'' Falcons coach Mike Smith said. ''It's going to be an important night for our organization. We've got some tough decisions to make.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Devier PoseyOct 20 07:13p

The Houston Texans have declared CB Darryl Morris, WR DeVier Posey, LB Jadeveon Clowney, OT Jeff Adams, S Josh Aubrey, CB Jumal Rolle, QB Tom Savage inactive for Week 7.

R. Griffin IIIOct 20 07:08p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is expected to be put through a rigorous workout Wednesday, Oct. 22, that will give team officials a better idea of where [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 20 07:07p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) could start in Week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys if he looks really good in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22, according to a [ More ]

Ike TaylorOct 20 07:03p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, LB Ryan Shazier, SS Shamarko Thomas, DL Steve McLendon inactive for Week 7.

Jadeveon ClowneyOct 20 07:03p

Houston Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney (knee) will not play in Week 7 because his lateral movement is not where the team wants it to be.

Daniel KilgoreOct 20 06:53p

San Francisco 49ers C Daniel Kilgore (leg) will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken bone in his left leg during the team's Week 7 game. [ More ]

Colt McCoyOct 20 03:23p

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy would start this week if QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is unable to play, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Brian OrakpoOct 20 03:13p

Washington Redskins LB Brian Orakpo (pectoral) will undergo surgery for his torn pectoral, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Orakpo is out for the season.

Paul PoslusznyOct 20 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny (pectoral) will undergo surgery later this week to repair his torn pectoral muscle.

Brian OrakpoOct 20 01:23p

Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins LB Brian Orakpo (pectoral) will miss the rest of the season because of a torn right pectoral muscle.

Paul PoslusznyOct 20 01:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny (pectoral) will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list after he suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Week 7.

Brian OrakpoOct 20 12:42p

Washington Redskins LB Brian Orakpo (pectoral) will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Jay CutlerOct 20 12:23p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler threw an interception and fumbled twice in the team's Week 7 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Cutler has turned the ball over multiple times [ More ]

Philip RiversOct 20 12:13p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers extended his team record to 27 straight games with at least one touchdown pass in the team's Week 7 loss to the Kansas [ More ]

Stepfan TaylorOct 20 11:25a

Arizona Cardinals RB Stepfan Taylor vultured two touchdowns in the red zone Sunday, Oct. 19. RB Andre Ellington said he called Taylor in at the goal line and could [ More ]

Jake LockerOct 20 11:13a

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) is expected to play in Week 8, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

Jake LockerOct 20 10:50a

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (hand) is expected to be back in Week 8. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Sunday, Oct. 19, that Locker's hand was still sore this [ More ]

Kiero SmallOct 20 10:43a

Cleveland Browns FB Kiero Small was added to the 53-man roster, and FB Ray Agnew III was waived Monday, Oct. 20.

Ryan TannehillOct 20 10:33a

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill was effective in a scaled-back offense that utilized short-to-intermediate throws and reduced the number of troubling deep throws Sunday, Oct. 19. He was 25-for-32 [ More ]

Fred JacksonOct 20 10:13a

Updating previous reports, Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson (groin) said his adductor longus pulled off the bone about a centimeter, and he felt a pop. The injury is typically [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamOct 20 10:02a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) played 30 offensive snaps (41 percent of the offense) in Week 7 Sunday, Oct. 19. He was targeted twice but was shut [ More ]

Anthony DixonOct 20 09:23a

Buffalo Bills RB Anthony Dixon is likely to start against the New York Jets in Week 8.

Owen DanielsOct 20 08:53a

Baltimore Ravens TE Owen Daniels was targeted by QB Joe Flacco nine times Sunday, Oct. 19, and caught six balls for 58 yards and a touchdown in Week 7. [ More ]

C.J. SpillerOct 20 08:32a

Updating previous reports, Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (collarbone) is out for the season, according to a source.

Jerod MayoOct 20 02:52a

New England Patriots LB Jerod Mayo (knee) is out for the year, but his financial status may improve as a result of the injury. A total of $4.5 million [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictOct 19 11:22p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (neck) suffered a cervical strain in the Week 7 game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Leon HallOct 19 11:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Leon Hall (back) left the Week 7 game against the Indianapolis Colts due to a strained back, and he was unable to return.

Paul PoslusznyOct 19 11:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny (shoulder) will have an MRI on his right shoulder after leaving the Week 7 game against the Cleveland Browns with an injury. He left [ More ]

Allen RobinsonOct 19 11:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson scored his first career touchdown in the Week 7 game against the Cleveland Browns. He finished with four receptions for 60 yards and the score.

Denard RobinsonOct 19 11:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson ran for a career-high 127 yards with a touchdown in Week 7 against the Cleveland Browns. 'The last time I carried the ball 20 [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 19 11:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars DE Andre Branch (groin) left the Week 7 game against the Cleveland Browns due to a groin injury. He left the locker room after the game on crutches.

Peyton ManningOct 19 11:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning left the Week 7 game against the San Francisco early in the fourth quarter due to the lopsided score. He led Denver to a [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group