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Bubble guys on edge


It's a week that makes no allowance for age or class status. This is final-cuts week, the most anxious days of rookie John Broussard's life.

"I don't know what enough is," Broussard said when asked if he thinks he's done enough to have already won a roster spot.

Might it come down to his performance in Thursday's preseason finale against Washington?

"I hope not because you never know how one game is going to go. If it is, all I have to do is go out and play," he added.

Broussard is a classic rookie white-knuckler. He's a seventh-round pick who's trying to convince the coaches his six catches for a team-leading 111 yards receiving are, in fact, indicative of what he's capable of in the regular season. One more impressive performance might seal the deal.

"I just want to score. If I don't end up making the team, I want to score and keep the ball. I'd probably give it to my mother. I can do $500," he added of what he thought the fine might be for not giving back the ball; it's $1,531 for throwing it in the stands.

Charles Sharon (pictured above) is another wide receiver who might be on the bubble. In fact, the final wide receiver roster spot could come down to a decision between Sharon and Broussard.

Sharon was the Jaguars' best wide receiver throughout spring drills and earned the right to run with the first-team offense at the start of training camp. He's tied with Broussard and Ernest Wilford for the most preseason receptions by a wide receiver, six, but he saw Reggie Williams move ahead of him on the depth chart this week.

"You can't look at stuff like that," Sharon said on Tuesday. "It'll make you worry about the position you're in."

Coach Jack Del Rio was asked about Williams' move up the depth chart and Del Rio said: "Reggie's had a solid camp. He's been challenged. He's working hard and he's improving. No one would question his toughness."

"I just have to keep doing the things I've been doing and let the chips fall where they may," said Sharon, who views this Thursday's game as "another performance I can put on for the coaches and the fans. I have to earn a spot on the team. That's how I look at it."

Sharon is a first-year player who spent last season on the practice squad as an undrafted rookie. Now, he's trying to take the natural next step; a spot on the final roster.

Chris Claiborne never had to worry about making the final roster. He's a former ninth pick of the draft who had never known anything but stardom. Injuries shortened his career as a starter, however, and now Claiborne finds himself trying to add another year onto his pro football career. For Claiborne, this final-cuts week is every bit as nerve-racking as it is for Sharon and Broussard.

"I'm back on my grind. I'm not on the team. I'm back to being a free agent. I have to prove myself to the coaches," Claiborne said.

The Jaguars signed Claiborne off the "street" this week to help ease the sting of injuries at linebacker. Claiborne is excited that he has a chance to be a role-player on what he calls a "great defense."

"My thing is just being on the team. They're looking for some more depth. The thing is to make it hard for them to let you go," Claiborne said.

Del Rio confirmed on Tuesday that there are a "few" players on the bubble who can win roster spots with impressive performances on Thursday.

"We're going to try to isolate them and give them a chance to compete. Guys who have jobs to secure are going to get a lot of time and a chance to make a last impression," Del Rio said.

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