Closer to a Plan for Left Side; Jaguars to Try Joeckel at Guard, Beachum at Tackle, for Bengals

By O'Halloran, Ryan | The Florida Times Union, August 26, 2016 | Go to article overview

Closer to a Plan for Left Side; Jaguars to Try Joeckel at Guard, Beachum at Tackle, for Bengals


O'Halloran, Ryan, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

Each day this week, the Jaguars' Plan A for their offensive line continues to crystallize.

Left tackle Kelvin Beachum went through another practice in good order Thursday and remains on track to start Sunday against Cincinnati. After the workout, coach Gus Bradley said if Beachum is a go, Luke Joeckel will start at left guard.

"I told the coaches, 'Let's do it this way,'" Bradley said. "To us, it's fact-finding. Let's find out some facts here. Let's see how Luke does. Let's see how Beachum does. We just need to have this look."

Despite the Beachum (left tackle)-Joeckel (left guard) combination, Bradley did not close the left tackle competition, although this is the final preseason game for the starters.

The best case for the Jaguars: Beachum makes it through the game physically, Joeckel looks good at left guard and that's how they line up Sept. 11 against Green Bay.

"We know it's going to be a work in progress [for Beachum], but just what he's shown in practice - the confidence level, understand the scheme - is very good," Bradley said.

All 35 of Joeckel's regular season starts have been at tackle. He has never played an NFL snap, preseason or regular season, at guard.

It would be understandable if this was a blow for Joeckel, the second overall pick in the 2013 draft and headed to free agency in March.

But ...

"There's no disappointment," Joeckel said. "They've communicated with me the whole time what's been going on. Kelvin has come in and is getting healthy. I'm just trying to do whatever the team needs. My mindset is to be the best guard I can be or the best tackle I can be."

'WE SAW THAT MINDSET'

Bradley said Joeckel's attitude despite the impending position change has been "unbelievable."

"You would think he would [be down] and you would say, 'OK, we need to talk to him and help him through this,'" Bradley said. "But I haven't talked to him [except for] just in passing. I'm not surprised. …

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