The preseason finale against the Jets will be critical for players in a couple of different ways. Some guys are fighting for starting jobs. Other players are simply trying to earn a roster spot. The game might be "meaningless" in the standings, but it can make or break careers.
I know some fans are concerned with a couple of positions still being unsettled. Free safety is an open competition. It sure sounds like Quintin Demps is the leader right now, but rookie Macho Harris or veteran Sean Jones could change that with a strong showing tonight. Demps has had a solid summer, but he hasn't made the decision a no-brainer. No one is given a starting job. It has to be earned. Harris is one of those players who coaches love. He is versatile, instinctive and has a knack for being around the ball a lot. This is not your typical rookie.
Sean Jones is the X-factor in all of this. He's a proven NFL starter and that can't be dismissed. Jones has 44 starts and 14 career interceptions. He's big, fast and hits like a ton of bricks. He'll start at strong safety against the Jets. I expected more out of Jones. He's been good, but he hasn't stood out nearly like I expected. I wonder if getting to start and play an extended amount will bring out the best in him. Jones needs to really play well in order to push Demps, but it is possible. He's had good games in the regular season so a strong showing in the preseason finale isn't out of the question.
For more of Lawlor's analysis on the position battles, including the latest at middle linebacker, click here.
-- Posted by Tommy Lawlor, 10:09 a.m., September 3