Any euphoria over the Jaguars’ 31-24 preseason victory over the New England Patriots must be tempered by the fact the world champions played exclusively backups the entire game. Still, it sets a good tone for a franchise that desperately needs to experience winning.

 

As expected, rookie tailback Leonard Fournette was a physical presence with mostly the first-team offensive line blocking Patriots’ second-teamers. It would have been a massive disappointment for Fournette (9 carries, 31 yards, 1 TD) to not look effective with such a favorable matchup.

The biggest positive sign, besides the offense being turnover-free, was the Jaguars got big-play touchdowns from backups Dede Westbrook, Corey Grant and rookie Keelan Cole. That’s a nice change after years of questionable depth.

It can’t be discounted the Jaguars beat the Patriots’ backups and players who won’t be on the roster next month, which was largely ignored by electronic media. But the Jaguars second-teamers also deserve credit for making plays in the house of an NFL dynasty.

Coach Doug Marrone has repeatedly emphasized the top priority for this franchise is learning how to win. In that context, this was an encouraging start… .

When offensive tackle Branden Albert tried to come crawling back to the Jaguars after retiring and got rejected, that was a message to not only Mr. Six-practices-and-out, but all the players. Front-office boss Tom Coughlin, though he initiated bringing Albert to the organization, wasn’t going to put up with a quitter. Even if the Jaguars have a left tackle need this season and Albert is the best available, don’t expect Coughlin to dial his number… .

Memo to Dante Fowler: No matter how good you occasionally look rushing the passer, it doesn’t offset all those moments on and off the field of lacking discipline. Just admit you’ve got maturity issues, work on them, and maybe all that potential might come to fruition. Being the poster child for unaccountability is a quick ticket out of the NFL… .

I know he has a new snapper, but placekicker Jason Myers better stop offsetting that strong leg with field goal attempts outside the uprights… .

Moving golf’s fourth major from August to May in 2019 is a huge boost for the PGA Championship. It needs more separation from future Olympics and the national anticipation for football. We’ll see if the same advantage holds true for moving The Players Championship back to mid-March.

While the PGA Tour and commissioner Jay Monahan is spinning it positively (didn’t they do the same thing when it moved to May in 2006?), the Masters shadow and going up against the NCAA tournament in some years represent legitimate challenges… .

At the PGA Championship, calling the last three holes at Quail Hollow “The Green Mile” might work better if the yardage total (1,235 yards) wasn’t actually seven-tenths of a mile.

Gene.frenette@jacksonville.com: (904) 359-4540