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Wednesday morning primer: Broncos week

Posted Oct 9, 2013

Senior writer John Oehser primes Jaguars-Broncos week with five topics to watch during Jaguars media access Wednesday:

JACKSONVILLE – Here’s this week’s Wednesday primer.

Each Wednesday morning during the 2013 regular season, senior writer John Oehser will set the stage for the Jaguars’ Wednesday media access by previewing major topics facing the team that day. Each Wednesday afternoon/evening, he will break down what was learned from Jaguars players and coaches that day.

Here’s a look at five key Wednesday topics as the Jaguars prepare for the Denver Broncos . . .

1. Henne’s time again? The Jaguars are expected to change quarterbacks for a fifth time in 10 games this season, including the preseason. Blaine Gabbert started the first two preseason games, with Chad Henne starting the second two. Gabbert returned to the starting lineup for the regular-season opener, and then Henne started Weeks Two and Three with Gabbert starting Weeks Four and Five. Now, the Jaguars likely are going back to Henne with Gabbert expected to miss Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. Each time Henne has been inserted into the lineup, Jaguars players express confidence. He has, after all, started eight regular-season games the past two seasons. It’s a topic again this week.

2. How to stop Peyton? Jaguars players will get asked this again and again and again this week. With reason. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has thrown an NFL-record 20 touchdown passes in five games, and is on pace to easily break the record of 50 in a regular season. He has thrown just one interception and the Broncos have scored more points in five games than any team in NFL history. No one has stopped Manning this season, and how the Jaguars plan do to it will be one of the day’s major storylines.

3. Their time, full time. Rookies Johnathan Cyprien and Josh Evans have started at safety the last two games, with Cyprien starting all five games this season and Evans starting the last two with Dwight Lowery out with a concussion. At first, Lowery’s injury seemed to be giving the Jaguars an early look at their future at safety. With Lowery being placed on injured reserve Tuesday, the future is now. Permanently.

4. Their time, too – full time, too. Austin Pasztor and Cameron Bradfield aren’t the Jaguars’ offensive tackle tandem of the future, but they’re sure the guys for the present. Two weeks ago, the Jaguars started a pair of Top 10 draft selections at tackle, Eugene Monroe and Luke Joeckel. They traded Monroe to the Baltimore Ravens last week and Joeckel sustained a season-ending high ankle fracture Sunday. That means Pasztor and Bradfield – second- and third-year veterans, respectively – become the tackle tandems. Neither was drafted in the NFL. No matter. For now, at least, they’re starters.

5. Up against it. The Broncos are huge favorites against the Jaguars – as big a favorite as any NFL team has been over another in a long, long time. That’s understandable. The Jaguars have lost five games by double digits and the Broncos have scored more points through five games than any team in NFL history. Odds don’t matter come game day, and that will be the Jaguars’ stance this week, but the issue . . . well, it will be an issue.


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