The Jacksonville Jaguars took the field for the second evening practice of training camp sporting helmets and shells. The overall practice was somewhat sluggish as players start to feel the effects of training camp. The practice started sloppily, but ended with the team looking much sharper.
The most notable of players currently missing practice time remain the same. Aaron Kampmann, Terrence Knighton, and Maurice Jones-Drew spent the majority of practice working with the training staff.
A decent sized crowd turned out on a nice summer evening at the practice facility to watch a spirited practice that gave fans a healthy dose of Blaine Gabbert, both the good and the bad.
Let's get right to the drills.
11x11 (2 minute drill):
The offenses came out to run the two minute drill right out of the box. The first unit under the guidance of David Garrard was unable to effectively move the football. After starting out with a short completion to Zach Miller, RashadJennings was stuffed in the backfield by Austen Lane.
Garrard hit Jennings on the nextplay on the sideline. Jennings was quickly stopped by Daryl Smith. On the next play, Zach Miller continued a trend that had been noted on Thursday. Garrard hit him in the hands on a deep crossing route. It ricocheted off Miller's hands and was almost intercepted by Michael Hamlin off the tip.
Deji Karim was able to take a run up the middle showing strong cutting ability and good acceleration as he worked his way through the maze of humanity to turn out a decent gain on the play.
Gabbert started his portion of the drill going right to the air, trying to hit Armon Binnisalong the sideline. Binniswas unable to control the ball as he toed the sideline, and the ball fell incomplete.
Blaine tossed a dump pass to Montell Owens who was able to make a short gain on the play from the flat.
Gabbert continued to attack through the air, hitting Tommy Gallarda on a 10 yard pass in the seam.
He went back on the next two plays and targeted Cecil Shorts for short gains.
I wanted to make note of what was going on during the individual unit drills because there were a couple of points of interest during this session specific to the new quarterback, and to our cornerback unit.
First, Blaine Gabbert is getting a lot of attention from Dirk Koetter. In fact, Koetter basically follwed him from station to station to work on his techniques and to coach him up. Koetter had Gabbert working from under center to hand off to his running backs, alternating between left and right handoffs. Koetter was working with him on footwork and on how to get the ball to his backs quickly.
At every station, Koetter was right there with Gabbert offering insight and demonstrating techniques where necessary.
For the cornerbacks, Mel Tucker was very hands on last night, working with the group on shedding blocks and staying in tune with where the ball is. When I say hands on, I mean he was actually participating at times during the drills, and when the guys did not do it right, he let them hear about it.
One other thing to note was that none of the quarterbacks looked particularly accurate during this drill. This is typical for the second day of training camp as the guys are still trying to get their legs.
I do not normally even mention this drill, but Richard Murphy made an exceptional play worthy of being reported on here.
They were practicing sideline routes against a cornerback. On this particular play, Murphy was running down the sideline when Gabbert delivered a pass that was short and behind him. This almost always winds up being an incomplete pass, but Murphy made a terrific adjustment to get turned around enough to allow him to scoop the pass from his shoe tops with one hand. It was a nifty bit of acrobatics, and a spectacular play right in front of the fans.
11x11 (Part 2):
Zach Miller continued to struggle starting this drill with two consecutive drops on passes perfectly delivered by David Garrard.
Brock Bolan learned a lesson about callous disregard for the ball after making a nice catch on a crossing pattern only to have the ball immediately batted out of his hands by the defensive back.
Cecil Shorts took a dump off from Blaine Gabbert and turned it upfield for a significant gain before being forced out of bounds.
Jamar Newsome followed up with an almost identical play after hauling in a dump off from Luke McCown and turning it up the field for a decent gain.
David Garrard went back to Zach Miller on a deep corner pass that Miller was able to haul in despite the fact that Jacob Cutera almost knocked the ball loose.
Blaine Gabbert was particularly impressive on the mid range passes during practice. In oneinstance, he threw a 15 yard pass toward the sideline to Kassim Osgood. Slade Norris attempted to dive for the pass to at least tip it away, but Gabbert had put the ball far enough in front of Osgood to assure that he was the only guy who had any shot at making contact. Osgood was able to turn the ball upfield and get an additional 5 yards on the play.
Bolstered by that pass, Gabbert attempted to drop a 40 yard bomb on John Matthews. The pass was thrown into double coverage as the DB came over the top to defend. However, the ball was slightly overthrown and Matthews was unable to haul it in even with a diving effort.
Gabbert hit Tommy Gallarda on a deep pass down the seam, dropping the pass over the top of Terrell Whitehead for a big gain.
Blaine went deep again to John Matthews, hitting him in stride on a deep post route over the outstretched hands of Kevin Rutland.
Luke McCown hit Dontrelle Inman on a deep crossing route for a big gain in coverage.
McCown tried to go deep to Gallarda on the next pass, but Matt Estrada got the angle on the corner route and was able to get a hand on the ball, tipping it away.
David Garrard attempted to go deep on a post route intended for Jason Hill. The pass was short, and to the wrong side of the receiver, and fell incomplete by a couple of yards.
Garrard tried going deep again a couple of plays later targeting Nate Hughes down the far sideline. The pass was again thrown short and ended up hitting the trailing cornerback in the back, falling incomplete.
Garrard finally connected deep when Zach Miller hauled in a perfectly thrown pass on a deep crossing route with Chris Prosinski in tight coverage.
Matt Estrada made a great play diving in on a slant from Blaine Gabbert intended for John Matthews. He jumped the slant and got a hand on the ball to knock it down.
Gabbert tried to hit Dontrelle Inman on a deep corner fade, but missed the mark overthrowing the receiver by a couple of yards.
11x11 (Part 3):
Deji Karim showed uncharacteristically bad hands on a little dump off from Garrard. The pass was perfectly thrown, but Karim was already trying to turn upfield when the ball arrived, and did not take care to haul in the catch before making that turn.
Mike Thomas also victimized Garrard by bungling a perfectly thrown pass on a short dump off he was unable to haul in.
The rookie duo of Gabbert and Shorts connected on the play of the night when the quarterback hit his receiver in stride over the top of Michael Hamlin on a deep post that went for a 40+ yard touchdown pass.
Gabbert did it again a few plays later hitting an almost identical play with the same result. The only difference was the receiver was Jamar Newsome. The ball was perfectly delivered allowing the receiver to maintain his stride.
The practice ended with Deji Karim showing some fancy footwork as he pulled down a short post pass over the top of Kevin Rutland. He made a couple of moves and then burst away from coverage turning a short pass into a huge touchdown reception.
The practice was both spectacular and sloppy. It is exactly what you would expect at this point in camp, and it makes it very entertaining for the fans.
We did get a peek at Clint Sessions and Paul Posluszny spent the evening watching practice from the sideline. That is how they will have to spend the next few days until they can start participating on Thursday.