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Saturday primer: Jaguars-Chiefs

Posted Sep 7, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars HC Gus Bradley has nervous excitement for first regular-season game as NFL head coach.

JACKSONVILLE – There will be butterflies. Absolutely.

As Gus Bradley sees it, there likely won’t be any avoiding that Sunday, nor should there be.

His first game as an NFL head coach. A chance to see his players play.

For real. At last.

It’s natural to be excited, and Bradley – the Jaguars’ first-year head coach – said without question when the Jaguars play host to the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2013 regular-season opener at EverBank Field Sunday, he will have the expected nerves and energy . . .

He and everyone else around the Jaguars.

“We try to calm it down the best we can, but yeah, I think it’s a nervous excitement,” he said late this past week.

The Jaguars, who finished 2-14 in 2012, enter 2012 not only with a new head coach, but a new general manager (David Caldwell), a new helmet, new logo, new uniforms and a roster that includes 26 new players from last season.

As of Saturday, the team also doesn’t know for certain who will start at quarterback, with Blaine Gabbert being limited all week with a thumb injury. He is listed as questionable, as are guard Will Rackley (ankle) and running back Justin Forsett (toe).

If Gabbert can’t play, backup Chad Henne – a starter in the final six games of last season – will start in his place. If Rackley can’t play, look for second-year veteran Mike Brewster to start.

The only active Jaguars player ruled out Sunday is tight end Marcedes Lewis, who aggravated a calf injury Wednesday and was ruled out Friday. Allen Reisner will start in his place, with Clay Harbor and D.J. Williams – claimed off waivers Sunday from Philadelphia and Green Bay, respectively – also expected to possibly play a role.

Aside from Lewis, Gabbert and Rackley, the Jaguars are healthy, and although wide receiver Justin Blackmon will miss the game while serving a four-game season-opening suspension, Bradley’s mind was more on who would be playing Sunday than who might not.

“Here’s the reason why I am excited,” Bradley said. “I’m excited to see them play. That’s what I’m excited for – not for me but for them. Here’s guys . . .  (Rookie) Johnathan Cyprien going out there for his first NFL game, (first-year running back Jordan) Todman going out there and I can’t wait to see (veteran middle linebacker) Paul Posluszny go out there in a new defensive scheme for him, Mojo (running back Maurice Jones-Drew) and all the things he’s gone through.

“How can’t you be excited to watch these guys? So that’s where my excitement comes from.”

Here’s a look at this week’s coverage of Chiefs-Jaguars on jaguars.com:

 

ARTICLES
Setting the Table: See which players and matchups to watch and so much more.
Wednesday Wrap: Get the answers to Senior Writer John Oehser's five questions before media availability.
Fabulous Four: The four storylines to watch heading into Chiefs vs Jaguars.
10 Things: The 10 things the Jaguars must do to beat the Chiefs, according to Oehser.
Bradley Encouraged by Gabbert's Progress: The latest update on quarterback Blaine Gabbert's thumb injury.

 

VIDEOS
Jaguars All Access: Jaguars rookie right tackle Luke Joeckel joins Jaguars Analyst Jeff Lageman and Action News Sports Director Brent Martineau .
O-Zone Mailbag: Oehser recaps the busy offseason and answers questions as he gets you ready for the season opener.
Open Locker Room: Hear from quarterback Blaine Gabber and running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
Kickin' It With Scobee: Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee asks his teammates about their pregame rituals.
Gus Bradley Press Conference 9/6: Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley's final press conference of the week.
Inside the Jaguars driven by Tom Bush Mazda 9/6: The last in-depth look at the Jaguars before their home opener.
Preview of KC vs JAX: An exciting breakdown of the key players on each team, to get fans hyped for the matchup.

 

PHOTOS
STAND UNITED Kickoff Pep Rally: Fans filed in to EverBank Field to show off their Jaguars pride.

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