I wasn't able to attend the Jacksonville Jaguars practices in Flowery Branch with the Atlanta Falcons, but my good friend Charlie Bernstein of Jagnation.com and FOX Sports was. He was kind enough to give us a Good, Bad, and Ugly from today.
The Jaguars picked up their belongings and hit the road as they held their first of four practices with former Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith’s Atlanta Falcons. After lengthy stretching and individual and positional drills, the Jaguars and Falcons got together for some teamwork.
The Jaguars defensive line practiced well, despite being without rookies Tyson Alualu and Austen Lane. Rookie defensive end Larry Hart, third-year pro Derrick Harvey and veteran Aaron Kampman each proved to be too much for the Falcons offensive tackles during individual drills as their speed and explosion allowed them to get the edge rather easily.
Mike Thomas continues to push for a starting job at wide receiver as the ultra-quick, ultra-productive former Arizona Wildcat continues to find a way to get open and catch everything thrown his way. Thomas was the Jaguars most targeted wideout as he routinely beat his Falcons defenders (note: projected starting corners Dunta Robinson and Brian Williams did not practice).
The Jaguars offensive line channeled their inner Ephraim Salaam as projected backups Paul McQuistan and Kevin Haslam couldn’t handle the Falcons starting defensive ends. Atlanta’s defensive line made life difficult on the entire Jaguars offense in passing drills, as they took advantage of the absence of starters Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton.
The Jaguars quarterback situation is becoming worrisome as neither David Garrard nor Luke McCown have looked anything close to mediocre. The lack of the full compliment on the offensive line had something to do with the poor play, but both quarterbacks looked hesitant and were inaccurate throwing down the football field.
Aggressiveness is a good thing in the game of football, it always has been. This is a game of human confrontation. Unfortunately, things got out of hand on a few occasions as the Jaguars were involved in a pair of skirmishes during their first practice session. This drew the ire of head coach Jack Del Rio--
"I told our guys right away that’s not what we’re interested in," Jack Del Rio said following the practice. "You’re not going to show me that you’re tough by doing stuff like that. We want our guys to come in here and practice hard and be competitive, but we really are in a combined practice atmosphere."
It was difficult to tell who started the ruckus but sources say that safety Reggie Nelson and defensive end Larry Hart were involved.