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Saturday Morning Camp Recap:

Saturday Morning Camp Recap:

First off, all credit for the observations quoted here goes to Tim at Jaguars Journal  Tim produces professional grade reports on every aspect of training camp, and deserves far more publicity than he gets in the Jaguar fan community.  I wouldn't claim to know him well, but you can't participate on the Jaguars.com Message Boards without coming across FBT.

Now without further adu, here's the re-cap.

Injuries and Recoveries: First thing on everyone's mind is injuries, seeing who's healthy and who's recovered.  First on my mind is Reggie Hayward's recovery from an Achilles' tendon rupture.  FBT says:

Reggie Hayward was on the field and did participate in the individual drills with the defensive line unit.  He does appear to be moving well and shows no signs of problems with his Achilles.  He has decent push and mobility.  The real test will come when he has to start working on rushing the passer.

Now, many out there are wondering if Reggie can have the confidence to turn and plant on his ankle after the surgery, that it'll be a confidence issue, rather than a recovery issue.  In an interview, Reggie said:

(are there concerns that you could reinjure or damage the surgical repair?) "It's one of those deals where it's fixed and there is no risk.  The surgeon told me that I had about a one percent chance of damaging it again."
(does that make you more confident?) "Yeah, it's just the confidence and knowing that some time you have to train your mind to get back to where it was after a major injury like that.  You can tell someone that it is repaired one hundred percent but mentally they might not think that.  Right now it's just the fact I'm getting out there I'm getting used to playing football."

So, Reggie know's what he's got to do to return to form.  Always a good thing.

The next recovery on my mind is the worlds most criticized ankle, that of Byron Leftwich.  FBT says:

Byron Leftwich, returning from his ankle surgery, showed no signs of problems with mobility or footwork during practice, appearing to be fully recovered.  There was a real emphasis during this practice on his footwork as new quarterbacks coach, Mike Shula, was working with the unit on improving their drops and roll outs.
 When asked about the Ankle during an opening day press conference, Byron had this to say:
"I have a perfect ankle right now.  I'm really trying not to go back to the past.  I knew this was going to be a question.   I have a healthy ankle right now.  It isn't like it's a different part.  Now that I have it fixed then hopefully I won't have that problem anymore."

Finally, the status of Middle Linebacker Mike Peterson: FBT says:

Mike Peterson was participating in drills throughout practice, so the assumption is that he is back 100% from the torn pectoral.

First Drills and Practices: From the start it sounds like a big emphasis is on Quarterback footwork under new coach Mike Shula.  He likes roll outs and movement out of his quarterbacks without expecting them to become Michael Vick (minus the dog fighting, of course).  FBT said that Byron looks:

ine with the footwork.  He appears to be more sure-footed this year which is hopefully a byproduct of the ankle being healthy for the first time.

It sounds like Reggie Williams is starting camp as inconsistent as always, making circus catches and careless drops, but it's sounding like he's become a better route runner than last year.  If this is true, then I'm optimistic that he'll become the "in traffic" receiver that he's meant to be.  

Charles Sharon made a fantastic "deep sideline catch" that was the best of the first session.

Mike Walker is looking awesome, more to come on this later.

Rise of the Tight End: One thing that was to be expected with Dirk Koetter as Offensive Coordinator is the rising role of the pass-catching tight end.  FBT confirms this, reporting:

One thing is absolutely certain about the new offense right out of the box; the Tight End is going to get a lot of action with Dirk Koetter calling the plays.  At least a third of all the passes thrown today during practice were directed at one of the Tight Ends on the field.
 I'm very excited about this, especially with our running game.  A two TE set can force opposing defenses to "pick their poison", with Wiggins and Lewis catching passes on the play action or MJD and Taylor getting solid blocking in the ground game.  

Most telling from this session, I think, is this:

The quarterbacks were employing a lot of rollouts, particularly to the right side.  Byron looked good moving to his right and delivering a pass to Jermaine Wiggins in the seam.  It appears that the Koetter offense is going to push quarterbacks to move the pocket at times, and Leftwich is being prodded by his coordinator and position coach on ways to improve in this area.
I'm a sucker for a good roll-out, and nobody expects it from a quarterback like Byron.  If we can make this a legitimate threat, a Byron roll-out combined with a well executed route from a tight end or slot receiver can be a consistent threat.

Conclusions: I'm terribly frustrated to have to report on this without having seen any of this on my own.  It's hard being in Springfield Missouri and following the Jaguars sometimes.  Once again, thanks to Tim/FBT for the amazing reports.  We'll be relying on his eyes here at Big Cat Country!  

Notably absent from this report is Ernest Wilford.  I'd say that with all the upgrades at WR, he'll be the odd man out at wide receiver.

Also, until we get into serious contact, it's hard to report on the defense and running game.  

DON'T FORGET!  If you are in Jacksonville, go to training camp on Monday, it'll be the Oklahoma Drill!

-Chris