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Thomas, Considine return to Philly

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Tra Thomas didn't take offense to the question when he was asked if he could play right tackle.

"I could do it, if that's what's needed. It would take a little time. I've been in a left-handed stance all my career," Thomas said.

The inference was obvious. Eugene Monroe, whose contract includes the highest guarantee in Jaguars history, is the future at left tackle and it's expected that Monroe will move into that future sooner than later.

"He's definitely the future of this team," Thomas agreed. "I don't think it's a situation that I'm holding him off. I can share with him stuff that'll cut out that learning curve and will help him be a great player faster."

Thomas played impressively through training camp and it's expected he'll be in the starting lineup this Thursday for Thomas' homecoming game in Philadelphia, where Thomas starred for 11 years.

"I enjoyed it. I had a great time there. I took my rookie visit there and I knew it was the right fit for me," he said, looking back on a career that produced three Pro-Bowl selections. "It's going to be a little awkward coming out of the visitors' locker room."

His return to Philadelphia will offer him perspective. He'll look across the line at the helmet he wore and think of where he was. He'll look at Monroe and know where he is.

Simply put, Thomas is a mentor who can still play the game. How much he'll be asked to play will likely be determined by the Jaguars' decision on when to flip the switch on Monroe.

"I understand where he's going to be. I'm just playing, just helping him out. I want him to be successful. I want to do my part to help him along," Thomas said. "Whatever role they want me to be, I'll accept it. If they want me to back him up, no problem with that."

This will also be a return game for safety Sean Considine, who played for the Eagles for four years before signing with the Jaguars in free agency last winter. Considine now appears to have a bead on the starting strong safety job with the Jaguars.

"That's my goal. That's what I came down here to do," Considine said of attempting to win a starting job. With the Eagles, Considine was primarily a special teams player and backup safety.

"I don't need to go up there and prove anything. I have nothing but respect for them," Considine said of the Eagles, referencing a congratulatory phone call he got from Eagles coach Andy Reid when Considine signed on with the Jaguars.

"I'd like to see my play a little better. I'd like to step up and get my hands on a ball," he said of his performance in this preseason.

The third game of the preseason is generally regarded as the most intense and most telling of a team's prospects for the regular season. Though the focus of attention on Thursday will be on Michael Vick's return to the game, the Jaguars will take a hard look at themselves.

"Put it all together, a total performance," Thomas said of the goal on Thursday.

"See how guys respond and if they're correcting mistakes," Considine said.

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