Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Third Act Plays Big Stage

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Third Act Plays Big Stage

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO

The Jaguars (1-1) play their third preseason game, against the Green Bay Packers (2-0), tonight at historic Lambeau Field. Here are some things to look for:

WHAT TO WATCH

A dress rehearsal: The first half will be similar to a real game because both sides are expected to play their starters for at least a half. The starters then get only a token appearance in the final preseason game next week.

Passing game: Quarterback Byron Leftwich says the preseason is tough because the team doesn't game-plan, but the Jaguars' first-team offense has punted five times in six series against the Dolphins and Bucs' first-string defenses.

Defending Brett Favre: The veteran quarterback (right) led the Packers on three consecutive scoring drives during a 48-13 victory over Seattle last week. He was 7-of-12 passing for 74 yards and a touchdown.

Special teams: New special-teams coach Joe DeCamillis wants to improve the coverage units and might face a challenge tonight. Second-year cornerback Will Blackmon returned a kickoff 83 yards and a punt 16 yards against the Seahawks.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

S Jamaal Fudge: The Jacksonville native who made the team as an undrafted player last year will get a long look at safety and might start because Reggie Nelson is out with an ankle injury.

S Sammy Knight: The veteran who was signed last week will also get a long look because of Nelson's injury.

LB Justin Durant: The second-round pick figures to play mostly special teams this year, but he'll likely start tonight with both Clint Ingram (ankle) and Pat Thomas (hamstring) sidelined.

G Uche Nwaneri: He was considered a gamble when he was drafted in the fifth round because he was suspended for the 2005 season. But he's been impressive enough that he'll start at left guard when Vince Manuwai moves to right guard in place of Chris Naeole, who's resting his injured knee.

QB David Garrard: He outplayed Byron Leftwich while playing against the Bucs' backups last week. Although there's not supposed to be a quarterback controversy, the fans will take notice if he does it again against the Packers.

SHOWCASE

A small-market team that hasn't won a playoff game since 1999, the Jaguars usually don't get a lot of exposure, so this game is a chance to get noticed. …

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