Monthly Archives: August 2018

Jaguars 2018 53-man Roster Prediction

I thought it would be fun to see if I could do a better job predicting the Jaguars’ initial 53-man roster. I probably won’t, because there are probably reasons why he’s a professional sportswriter and I am not. His take on the roster is here.

Quarterback (2, 2)

MD: Blake Bortles, Cody Kessler

Me: Blake Bortles, Cody Kessler

Running Back (4, 4)

MD: Leonard Fournette, T.J. Yeldon, Corey Grant, Tim Cook

Me: Leonard Fournette, T.J. Yeldon, Corey Grant, Brandon Wilds

I keep hearing about Tim Cook, but I haven’t seen it on the field. They may try and stash Cook on the practice squad.

Fullback (1, 1)

MD: Tommy Bohanon

Me: Tommy Bohanon

Wide Receiver (6, 6)

MD: Keelan Cole, Donte Moncrief, Dede Westbrook, D.J. Chark, Jaydon Mickens, Rashad Greene

Me: Keelan Cole, Donte Moncrief, Dede Westbrook, D.J. Chark, Jaydon Mickens, Shane Wynn

Rashad Greene has caught 4 of 6 balls thrown his way, for 21 yards this preseason.He did not play in 2017, but in his first two seasons he averaged 5.2 yards per reception, had a long of 18 yards, and only managed 24 catches (the Jaguars offense was pretty desperate in 2015 and there were a lot of passing yards in 2016, so this stands out).  It would not shock me if Shane Wynn got a shot. Wynn is generously listed at 5ʹ6ʺ tall, but Darren Sproles played at that height successfully. The Jaguars have several other players who can return punts in Wesbrook and Mickens. Greene has been a disappointed since he was drafted. I know the Jaguars like him because can play in the slot or outside, and the truth is they are probably more likely to keep him over the diminutive Wynn, but I’m calling my shot here.

Note: Zero chance they sign Dez Bryant.

Fullback (1, 1)

MD: Tommy Bohanon

Me: Tommy Bohanon

Tight End (4, 3)

MD: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, James O’Shaughnessy, Ben Koyack, Niles Paul

Me: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, James O’Shaughnessy, Niles Paul

This is an underwhelming group. Koyack has never lived up to his potential and O’Shaughnessy has never consistently performed–missing some big opportunities as well as making some good catches last year. It would not shock me to see some action at this position after cut-down day. And, if Goolsby has a productive 4th preseason game I could see him making the roster and the Jaguars making a cut somewhere else.

Offensive Line (9, 9)

MD: Cam Robinson, Andrew Norwell, Brandon Linder, A.J. Cann, Jermey Parnell, Tyler Shatley, Will Richardson, Chris Reed, Josh Wells

Me: Cam Robinson, Andrew Norwell, Brandon Linder, A.J. Cann, Jermey Parnell, Tyler Shatley, Will Richardson, Chris Reed, Josh Wells.

The Jaguars seem to really like Will Poehls and have had along look at him in a few games this preseason, but it’s hard to see them letting Wells, who has played a lot for them the last few years, go.

Defensive Line (9, 9)

MD: Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, Marcell Dareus, Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler, Michael Bennett, Abry Jones, Lerentee McCray, Taven Bryan

Me: Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, Marcell Dareus, Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler, Michael Bennett, Abry Jones, Lerentee McCray, Taven Bryan (edit: Dawuane Smoot until Fowler comes off suspended list?)

Linebacker (5, 5)

MD: Telvin Smith, Myles Jack, Leon Jacobs, Blair Brown, Donald Payne

Me: Telvin Smith, Myles Jack, Leon Jacobs, Blair Brown, Donald Payne

The Jaguars say they like the young talent they have, but it wouldn’t be a shocker if there were some moves here in September. This would be a rookie, two 2nd-year players, a 3rd-year player, and a 5th-year player as it stands. Young.

Cornerback (6, 5)

MD: Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Tyler Patmon, D.J. Hayden, Tre Herndon, Quenton Meeks

Me: Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Tyler Patmon, D.J. Hayden, Tre Herndon

It’s hard for me to see two undrafted free agents making the roster at cornerback.

Safety (4, 5)

MD: Barry Church, Tashaun Gipson, Ronnie Harrison, Cody Davis

Me: Barry Church, Tashaun Gipson, Ronnie Harrison, Cody Davis, Jarrod Wilson

Wilson seems to have played well this preseason, and he played well last year.

Specialists (3, 3)

MD: Logan Cooke (P), Josh Lambo (K), Carson Tinker (LS)

Me: Logan Cooke (P), Josh Lambo (K), Carson Tinker (LS)

“Received Him Joyfully”

Two bits of narrative have been really stuck in my head recently. First, a few days ago I read the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19. There are many remarkable parts to that story, but I cannot seem to shake this bit: Zacchaeus “received [Jesus] joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled.” Of course just a little bit before that in Luke we read of the father exuberantly receiving back his lost son. Now it is the wayward son of Israel receiving the savior who has come to him.

Zacchaeus is a mess, and everybody knows he is a mess. Still, something about Jesus’ reputation has compelled him to draw close. In Jesus, he finds “salvation” and receives it joyfully. Given the care Luke takes in his research, I think we can take his inclusion of this story as a testimony to a genuine and lasting change—a conversion—in wee Zacchaeus. The joy with which this man receives his Lord must be evidence of true faith and trust. He had no doubt heard for ages how sinful he was as a tax-collecting collaborator and how angry God must certainly be with him.  Nonetheless,  he “received him joyfully.”

* * *

Elise and I have been watching the Great British Baking Show (or for the legion of UK viewers out there, the Great British Bake Off) thanks to my parents. In the season we are currently watching there is a young woman named Ruby who had a very rough start to the season. No matter how good her bakes actually are, she seems unable to gain any confidence. She hears only the criticism of what she has produced. She approaches the judges with a downtrodden countenance, blurts out every flaw she can think of (sometimes even inventing problems which do not actually exist), and speaks in such a self-effacing way that one has no doubt that she does not believe she deserves to be in the tent with the other contestants. She is desperate for approval, but even when receives validation for what she has done she seems to receive it only with a sense of relief, not with joy.

I can only describe Ruby the Contestant, because I do not know Ruby the Person. TV producers have a way of showing us a story they want us to see, and it is likely that they have helped to create a character. It’s entertainment after all!

How many of us, though, receive Jesus with only a sense of relief? How many of us continue to worry that what we produce isn’t good enough? How many of us worry that we haven’t attended enough church events, haven’t volunteered for enough things, haven’t given enough money,  haven’t done enough random acts of kindness, haven’t built up a big enough church? How many of us approach God with so much trembling that it excludes the profound joy exemplified by Zacchaeus? How many of us, anticipating that sort of dread, simply do not approach our Heavenly Father at all? How many of us grumble at what God is doing in the lives of others because we do not recognize our own salvation looking upon us?

How can we manifest the power of God in a broken world if we do not believe what he spoken to us and over us? May we recognize not only the offer of forgiveness presented to us in Jesus and our need for us, but the trustworthiness of God’s “fatherly goodness towards us,” so that we may show others whatever it was Zacchaeus saw in the Son of God that caused him to “receive him joyfully.”