John Broussard has a point to prove on Thursday night. He wants to show all of the teams that passed on him in the draft that they made a mistake.
Thursday's game against the Packers will provide a good stage for Broussard to make his point because Packers rookie wide receiver James Jones was Broussard's teammate at San Jose State. James was drafted in the third round. Broussard lasted until the final round.
"We had the same stats. I don't know what happened. He backed me up for three years," Broussard said.
What happened was the pro scouts took one look at Broussard's legs and decided they were a little on the skinny side. Broussard and Jones are each 6-1, but Jones is a solid 207, whereas Broussard is a slight 176.
The 31 pounds that separate the two players would seem to have allowed the Jaguars to select what might turn out to be the steal of the draft; that's how impressive Broussard has been since joining the Jaguars.
He's the fastest wide receiver on the team, has caught just about everything thrown in his direction, appears to be a reasonably polished route-runner and has shown sensational leaping ability. What's not to like? Yeah, the skinny legs.
"I knew what I would do. The thing I had to get over is the actual draft," Broussard said.
Does it bother him that he wasn't selected until the seventh round?
"Yeah, a lot," he said. "At first, I was mad at the world. I'm here now and, no matter what, I can't complain."
Broussard shouldn't complain because it appears he's being given every opportunity to prove he should've been drafted higher. On a team bent on improving its passing game, Broussard could become one of the fixes.
"I think he has tremendous speed and quickness, but what people don't understand is he has a real knack for the game. When he becomes stronger and becomes a little more physical, I think he'll have a real bright future," wide receivers coach Todd Monken said.
"Every game I have something to prove," Broussard said. "Preseason is practice. You can't accomplish anything until you get into the game."
Charles Sharon is almost certain to get some playing time with the number one offense on Thursday and it's possible Broussard could also get some time with quarterback Byron Leftwich. Working with the number two offense in the first two preseason games, Broussard and backup quarterback David Garrard established a very productive rapport.
"It's the preseason. I'm not really worried about the personnel," Leftwich told reporters following practice on Tuesday. "We just need to execute no matter who's in the game."
Leftwich is scheduled to get his most playing time of the preseason in Green Bay. "This is the one that's more exciting because you know you're going to have more playing time, but it's still part of the (preseason) process," Leftwich said, careful not to place too much importance on preseason games.
"You understand that it's the preseason and it doesn't count, but that's still not an excuse to not execute," he added.
In terms of what would satisfy him in the way of a performance by the number one offense on Thursday, Leftwich said: "No mental mistakes, make plays; a lot of positive plays. You don't want negative plays. You don't want sacks."