Byron Leftwich knows he and the Jaguars offense will be under the "microscope" on Saturday night in Miami, but Leftwich's expectations remain preseason-like.
"I can't worry about the fans. They're either going to be behind us or not," the Jaguars quarterback said following Wednesday morning's practice.
Leftwich and the Jaguars offense, especially the passing game, will be closely scrutinized in Saturday's preseason opener against the Dolphins. The Jaguars are thought to have all of the other ingredients to a playoff run this season, but what about the offense?
"Out of 32 teams, does any team look great in their first preseason game? It doesn't happen. The Steelers won't look great. The Seahawks won't look great. We go out there to make plays but, when it doesn't happen, you understand. That's why you have all these practices in camp to make all of the mistakes you are going to make so when Dallas comes in here we are not making the same mistakes," Leftwich told reporters.
The passing game struggled in last Friday's scrimmage and in practice since then, but it did an about-face in Wednesday morning's practice.
"I thought it was sharp; a lot of crisp execution," coach Jack Del Rio said of his team's overall performance. "At this point in camp, you start to see guys separate a little bit. I'm starting to see that."
What on-lookers saw this morning was a pass-offense intent on getting the ball to the tight ends. First-round pick Marcedes Lewis made an impressive touchdown grab. George Wrighster may have been the pass-catching star of the practice.
"Those are the things we are going to be able to do this year when we get the matchups we like; get certain plays called and get things going for those guys. They are making plays so we will continue to go to those guys," Leftwich said of his tight ends.
Leftwich expects the tight ends to be a bigger part of the team's offense this season.
"I don't see why (they) wouldn't. I know any time you draft a tight end in the first round, they are going to try and get him the ball. It's too early right now to say what we are going to do in September," he said.
Leftwich's playing time in Miami is expected to be brief. Backup quarterback David Garrard could see more significant action.
"I expect him to compete and prepare as a starting quarterback and do that in a backup role," Del Rio said of Garrard. "I think it's important to approach this as a guy competing. I've challenged him to come into this camp and not settle into a role. I think he's handled it with a lot of style and class."
Leftwich's main goal on Saturday is to "go out and play the best football game I can play. I mean, go out and execute some plays. I don't know how long we are playing, but when we are out there, we should be competing and trying to execute and score some points," he said.
"I think it's going to be fun to compete against other teams. It's always great to go against our defense because they are one of the best in the league but, at the same time, you get to know each other so much that you just want to go out and play somebody else," Leftwich added. "The main thing we want to do is come out healthy."
Del Rio said four players are likely not to play: defensive back Gerald Sensabaugh (ankle), offensive linemen Dan Connolly (hand) and Mike Williams (back), and tight end Brian Jones (knee).