No matter how many times I hear from fans that preseason games are pointless and boring, I can’t respond enough that they’re not purely for our own entertainment.

Now, if you’re complaining about full-price game tickets, I can’t blame you. They should be discounted, no doubt.

But I’m on board with NFL coaches that they need these key games to evaluate the young players on their team and those on the roster bubble. Win or lose, the result of the game doesn’t matter. What matters is the progress of these players from the first day of training camp until the last day before final cutdown.

I’ve learned to embrace roster battles and to focus more on individual success and progress rather than team success.

Some of the key battles to pay attention to include, but are not limited to: Jimmy Clausen vs. Jordan Palmer for the backup quarterback job; Shaun Draughn vs. Michael Ford vs. Ka’Deem Carey for the second-string running back duties; the entire receiving corps (aside from starters Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery) for the No. 3 wideout spot; D.J. Williams vs. Jon Bostic for the middle linebacker job; and basically everybody at safety.

Hopefully Thursday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as the remaining preseason action, can help clear up these clouded pictures.