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Spotlight on RCB job


Their arrows are pointing up. Jaguars fans attending Friday night's scrimmage will get a chance to see whose arrow is pointing highest.

Veteran newcomer Kenny Wright and rookie third-round draft pick Scott Starks might be at the head of the competition for the starting right cornerback job. Wright will probably be the starter at right corner Friday night but the feeling is Starks is the future at the position and he will see considerable playing time in the scrimmage.

"Very fast start; very impressive through the first six days," defensive coordinator Mike Smith said of Starks. "He continues to show great speed and quickness and he has a very good understanding of the defense. He's a film rat. You can walk into the film room between practices and you'll see him in there."

Meanwhile, veteran cornerback Ty Law continues to shop his wares to any team interested, and the Jaguars are thought to be one of those teams. What happens if Law reaches the Jaguars' level of spending interest? Hmmm.

Well, here's another thought. What if Starks and the other cornerbacks with whom he is currently in competition continue to shine in training camp? Hmmm.

"That right cornerback position is wide open and he is definitely in the mix," Smith said of Starks' bid for the starting job. "Each day a different guy's arrow goes up. The true evaluation is to see what they do in game situations."

And that's the true value of Friday night's scrimmage: It will afford the Jaguars an opportunity to evaluate their cornerback talent against "real bullets." In fact, what happens Friday night could go a long way in determining whether or not the Jaguars remain interested in Law. Hmmm.

Starks' stock spiked on Tuesday in the Jaguars' first full-pads practice. His hit on Matt Jones was duly noted and so were a couple of other plays he made. Wright also had an impressive practice that day.

Then, on Wednesday, a new face joined the crowd. Rookie fifth-round pick Gerald Sensabaugh was moved from safety to cornerback. Coach Jack Del Rio likes Sensabaugh's athletic ability so much that Del Rio wants to explore the possibility Sensabaugh might be capable of a higher plane. Sensabaugh will move back to safety for the scrimmage but he'll continue to work at cornerback in practice.

Chris Thompson has had some high moments in practice and Terry Cousin, Kiwaukee Thomas and David Richardson are in the mix, too.

"It's the first time they'll be out there without 'Camp' (coach Dave Campo) positioned behind them. That's when you get a chance to see them react. This is the first opportunity where it's real football," Smith said of the scrimmage.

The only knock on Starks is his size; 5-9, 174. In fact, 5-9 is a bit of a stretch. At the scouting combine, Starks was measured at just over 5-8.

"At every level I've been the smallest guy. I've had to modify my game to be effective at my size," Starks said.

"Scott plays bigger than he is. He's a very aggressive and skilled player. He's got a good vertical jump so he plays taller than he is when the ball is in the air," Smith added.

All of this will be on display in Friday night's scrimmage. It's the summer's first important evaluation tool and it could go a long way toward deciding what the Jaguars do at right cornerback.

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