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"Iron Sharpens Iron..." Jaguars Rookie Right Tackle, Anton Harrison, Is Ready for His NFL Debut

JACKSONVILLE – He's healthy and ready.

Mostly, when Jaguars rookie right tackle Anton Harrison thinks about making his preseason debut Saturday, he's excited. Really, really excited.

"I was sitting at home yesterday just thinking about it," Harrison said Wednesday. "I couldn't wait. It kind of hit me yesterday that it's a couple days away.

"I'm just excited to go out there and ball."

Harrison, the No. 27 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, spoke Wednesday as the Jaguars continued 2023 Training Camp at the Miller Electric Center and began early preparations to play the Dallas Cowboys in their ’23 preseason opener at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday.

It will mark the first NFL game of any kind for Harrison, who is the lone Jaguars rookie listed with the starters and who is moving into a starting role filled last season by veteran Jawaan Taylor – who signed as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason with the Kansas City Chiefs.

"He's done a nice job," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said of Harrison. "He's continuing to improve and grow. The college game to the NFL game is different, so he's learning a few different techniques that Phil [offensive line coach Phil Rauscher] is teaching him.

"He's just going to get better with time and more reps on the grass, going against guys like [outside linebackers Travon [Walker] and Josh [Allen] and K'Lavon [Chaisson]. He's getting some quality work out there. He's done a nice job, he's improving, and [I'm] looking forward to watching him play."

Harrison agreed that the work against the three first-round pass rushers has helped.

"Iron sharpens iron, so that's a big thing I carry every day," he said, adding that the biggest difference from the NFL has been the daily intensity of professional players compared to college.

"Just coming in since Day One, you knew you were going to come in and work," he said. "There are no letups, just getting to the goal we all want to get to. Just coming in everyday and ready to work. I'd say it was a pretty easy transition getting the playbook down, repping it every day, repping it with the guys and the O-line.

"If I have questions asking anybody like [offensive line] Coach Phil [Rauscher], [assistant offensive line coach] Todd [Washington], any of the players. They're all open to help anytime so that's been big for me."


  • Preseason is a big opportunity for most young NFL players. For Blake Hance, Saturday is really big because he is expected to be working with the Jaguars' first-team offensive line. Hance, a third-year veteran who joined the Jaguars off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers last November, has worked extensively with the team's first-and-second-team lines throughout training camp. He is listed as the first team-left guard this week with 2022 Week 1 starter Ben Bartch on the Physically Unable to Perform list and veteran swing guard/center Tyler Shatley working on the side after having an atrial fibrillation last Wednesday.
  • "It's just making the most of every opportunity," Hance said. "I've learned many times throughout my career that you never know when the next day is your last in a spot. Anytime you're on the field you have to make the most of that opportunity, whether that's with the first group or the third group, you just go out and play." Pederson on Wednesday lauded Hance's versatility, saying: "He can play a few roles on the offensive line. He can play tackle, both guard spots and he's a swing guy. Tyler would be the guy, but with Blake, he has earned the right to go in there and compete, get the start and see how that unfolds. He's embraced his opportunity. From a coach's perspective, having a guy that can move around just a little bit gives you that versatility."


  • Pederson on the Jaguars’ depth in 2023 compared to 2022: "I think we're in a better spot. We're encouraged by the young guys we've brought on the team, and even the young guys from last year. That's encouraging and it gives you depth on special teams. I think we're in a better position than we were a year ago and it will be difficult at the end to make some challenging decisions. I do like where we are as a team, the guys that are competing for positions."

Game week 🏈 Work hard. Play hard. Swipe through for an inside look from Day 12 of 2023 training camp.

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