Jaguars, Bucs kickoff preseason Friday night
Jags and Bucs kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on The Local Station
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Are you ready for some preseason football?
It's year two of the Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley regime and over half the roster has changed in that time. This offseason saw an emphasis on the defensive line and the draft was heavy on offense. The game vs. the Bucs will be the first step in determining if the moves are going to help improve the win total.
Bradley doesn't want the players to put that kind of pressure on themselves.
"So many times these guys go into a game saying either, 'I played great' or 'I didn't play great,'" Bradley said. "Lot of the young guys that's their mindset. We're trying to get them out of that. Instead it's you might make a mistake just learn from it and keep going. Enjoy it and compete your tail off and then at the end let's see where we're at."
Much of the focus will be on rookie quarterback Blake Bortles. The Jaguars said that Bortles will play with the second team and enter most likely in the second quarter.
Bortles hasn't taken a single snap with the first team in camp and seems ready to embrace the back-up role for now.
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"You obviously want to show what you can do," Bortles said. "You want to show them you can move the ball and be successful. But don't force things. Don't take shots that aren't there. Take the check down. Move the ball, move the chains and don't try and be a hero."
It will also be the professional debut of the Jaguars' fifth-round draft picks Telvin Smith and Chris Smith.
Chris Smith told News4Jax Sports Director Sam Kouvaris it will be the first NFL game he has ever been to.
"I never been to an NFL game," Chris Smith said. "My first one is playing in one. But I'll be in one tomorrow night. That will be my first time seeing one and playing in one."
Telvin Smith, a rookie linebacker out of FSU, says he hopes the moment doesn't overwhelm him.
"I try and stay calm," Telvin Smith said. "And then when I get on the field it all comes out of me. That's when I erupt. I try and keep it cool but it just comes out. I'm kind of another person on the field."
Kickoff for the Buccaneers and Jaguars is set for 7:30 p.m. You can watch the game on The Local Station, starting with our pregame show at 7 p.m.
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