Mark Brunell: Josh Allen looks like a star; offense needs more reps

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some thoughts from the Jaguars' Thursday night preseason game, a 22-7 loss to Miami.

• Our first-rounder was second to none.

Josh Allen was more than impressive against the Dolphins offensive line. Shockingly, the Dolphins made no adjustments to stop the pass rush from No. 41 and he was simply all over the place. Allen often forced Ryan Fitzpatrick to run for his life. 

First-round picks are brought in to make an immediate impact. That’s what they are supposed to do and that’s exactly what we can expect from Allen in 2019. As this preseason progresses, it’s hard to think of any NFL team that has a better defensive front than the Jaguars.

• Dede Westbrook is really good. Probably my favorite part of watching Thursday night was Nick Foles getting the ball to Dede early. Clearly, the quarterback has confidence in the young receiver.

At this point, there is no doubt that John DeFilippo has every intention of making Westbrook a big part of this offense. What was most impressive was Westbrook’s toughness on display when Foles led him right into a defender. He got popped.

Surprisingly, Westbrook popped right back up. The good ones are always tough. He must get that from his wide receiver coach. Keenan McCardell was one of the toughest players I ever played with.

• Nick Foles was not sharp. Other than the TD pass to Wesbrook and an easy swing pass to Leonard Fournette, the quarterback was off. 

An underthrown go-route on the outside. 

A ball thrown behind Westbrook.

A pass that about got Westbrook’s head knocked off.

A pass left short on a crossing route to the tight end. 

Listen, I know it might sound a little critical. I get it. But in all likelihood, this is all we’ll see from our quarterback this preseason. And that doesn’t leave me with a lot of confidence in where this offense is at. You can expect that, once again, none of the starters will play the final preseason game. Should we be concerned?

• In my opinion, the Jaguars looked just OK against the Dolphins. Let’s not forget that the Dolphins, with their first-time head coach, are not very good. To me, it looked like a team that just needs more game time. Again, you can get all the practice reps you want, but there is no substitution for actual time in a game. I truly believe that.

Listen, I like our head coach. I trust he knows what’s best for this team. And I certainly understand the need to keep his team healthy and not risk injuries in the preseason. I just hope he’s right.

And I hope, regardless of game reps, that the Jaguars will be ready Week 1 against the Chiefs.

Go Jaguars!

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