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Items of observation


Hopefully, Bonnie and Charley will have cleared out of the area before Saturday's preseason opener in Miami, allowing for field conditions that will permit a legitimate evaluation of where the Jaguars stand in their quest to be a division title contender this season.

This is what this reporter wants to see:

• A couple of solid series by Byron Leftwich and the first-team offense.

Other than for this past Monday's practices, Leftwich and the passing game haven't been real sharp in this training camp. Camp veterans will tell you that's standard fare early in camp. OK, but we're in the second half of camp now, and it would be nice to know things are progressing.

• The talent that made Reggie Williams the ninth pick of the draft.

The Jaguars' first-round pick has gotten off to a slow start. No problem, but, again, it would be nice to know the kid is progressing because he is a player of major importance to this team's success. That admission was made when the Jaguars drafted him.

• Indications Greg Jones might be effective in the Mike Alstott-type role the Jaguars envision Jones in.

Jones is adapting to his new position, fullback, which is distinctly different from being the I-don't-block feature back he always was at Florida State. While Jones has been adapting, however, Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala has been the second-most impressive back in camp.

• Hugh Douglas is back and there's enough talent at defensive end overall to fix the other spot.

We're talking about defensive end, a position of desperation for the Jaguars. One preseason game isn't going to tell us everything we need to know, but any information would be welcome. Douglas is the key. He's the Jaguars' only true every-downs defensive end. It's absolutely a must that he play better than he did a year ago, which turned out to be a throwaway season for Douglas. And what about Paul Spicer at left end? Bobby McCray? Unfortunately, we probably won't see rookie pass-rush specialist Jorge Cordova, who continues to nurse a quad muscle injury.

• Dewayne Washington or Juran Bolden will fill the void at right cornerback.

It's a position of scrutiny. Washington is a veteran coming off a bad season. Can he make a comeback? Bolden is a super-talented guy who has shown flashes of greatness, followed by busted coverages that have left him trailing Washington in the battle for the starting job.

• The Jaguars have a kicker worthy of the team's efforts.

Josh Scobee is said to have a lead over journeyman Jeff Chandler, but Scobee is a rookie and the Jaguars experienced disastrous results with rookie kickers in each of the previous two seasons. Do they dare keep a rookie again? If Scobee is to answer that question affirmatively, he'll have to do so in the preseason games, and there will be no allowance for a bad night. To gain the coach's confidence, Scobee will probably have to be real good four times, and that begins in Miami.

Let's start with those items of observation. We'll make a new list next week.

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