JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars could get their first look at what they envision to be their starting offensive line for the 2016 season.
Left tackle Kelvin Beachum is expected to make his first start of the preseason after missing a good portion of training camp while he still recovers from last year's ACL surgery. Beachum was a free-agent acquisition during the offseason who the Jaguars felt would be ready to go by training camp.
Beachum took part in the first couple of days of camp but has been limited as what he's allowed to do since. He didn't appear in either of the Jaguars' first two preseason games.
Beachum was expected to battle incumbent Luke Joeckel for starting honors at left tackle, with the loser slated to move a spot over to the guard position. That's still the game plan, though Joeckel has openly said he prefers playing tackle. But as of Friday, the lineup calls for Beachum to be at tackle and Joeckel to open at guard for Sunday's game with Cincinnati.
"I told the coaches, 'Let's do it this way,'" Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said. "To us, it's fact-finding. Let's find out some facts here. Let's see how Luke does, let's see how Beachum does. We just need to have this look."
All 35 of Joeckel's starts in the NFL in his first three seasons have been at tackle. He has never played an NFL snap, preseason or regular season, at guard. But he has vowed to play hard with no resentment no matter where he plays.
"There's no disappointment," Joeckel said. "They've communicated with me the whole time what's been going on. Kelvin has come in and is getting healthy. I'm just trying to do whatever the team needs. My mindset is to be the best guard I can be or the best tackle I can be."
There's no such drama for Jacksonville at the other offensive tackle spot. Right tackle Jermey Parnell has rarely been heard from and, for an offensive lineman, that is as good as you want.
Parnell is starting his second season as starter on the right side. He's been dependable, starting all but one game a year ago and playing 982 out of 1,058 offensive snaps. He's formed a solid foundation with right guard A.J. Cann. Bradley had special praise for what Parnell has done in his two seasons with the Jaguars.
"We've had so many conversations about other guys, that we don't look back and really see what he has accomplished," Bradley said. "He has really been very good. He is not a guy that we talk much about because he just really does his job pretty well."
That's what Parnell is looking for. The less notoriety, the better.
"Offensive linemen are supposed to be seen and not heard," Parnell said. When we're doing our job and the guys are making plays, that's a reflection on all of us.
Added Bradley, "He is really hard on himself. I think as long as that does not affect his play, but he just expects so much. If he does things not quite up to his standard, he kind of wears it on his sleeve."