Camping with FBT: 7/27 pm camp report
The Jags took the field tonight under somewhat humid, but cooler conditions than during the early sessions. Still, the humidity claimed a couple of victims on the field in the night session. The boys were in shells tonight as they prepare for the next step as the pads go on tomorrow night beginning the portion of training camp where the defense can finally be heard from.
The players that did not participate in practice included Jerry Porter, Dennis Northcutt, George Wrighster, Chad Nkang, Jeremy Mincey, and Reggie Williams. The good news on Williams is that he did not appear to be limping, and while his knee was wrapped and iced early in practice, he took off all of the wrappings later on and was walking around looking fine.
The team is clearly tinkering with the rotations both on the offensive line at left tackle, and again with the linebacker corps. On the line, Barnes and Collier both spent about the same amount of time with the first and second team lines. And on the linebacker corps, Clint Ingram was in the rotation with Mike Peterson and Daryl Smith this evening.
Let’s get right into the drills because there was plenty of action this evening to talk about.
2 x 1:
On the very first play of the drill, there was a slight scare as the unit that was on the field turf started their portion. As Mike Walker took the field, he slipped on his first cut when running a simple curl route. He appeared to come up somewhat gimpy on the play, walking off to the sideline and looking to be somewhat in distress. However, a few plays later, he was back on the field, and did not show any effects from the incident for the remainder of practice.
The field turf was chewing up the receivers at a nice clip early in the session. Not only did Mike Walker slip and fall, but so did John Broussard and Ryan Hogue. Even Matt Jones slipped, but he was able to keep his footing on the cut.
During the drill, Mike Walker was able to return and show the same crispness in his route running and ball skills that made him such a popular player during camp last season. He also showed great deep speed. Unfortunately, on the one play where he had Rashean Mathis beaten by a full step on a go route, David Garrard delivered the pass a bit short of the mark. The ball wound up bouncing off of Mathis’ helmet. He almost intercepted the pass off the carom.
Walker also went toe-to-toe with Drayton Florence, and on another deep pass from Garrard on the deep sideline route, Florence was able to prevent the ball from being brought in for what would have been a touchdown.
John Broussard is quickly getting his stride in camp. He had a couple of very nicely executed plays during the session, including one route in which he made such a precise cut that when Trae Williams went to cut to stick with his coverage, he lost a shoe. On another play, Broussard had Reggie Nelson beaten by two full steps on a deep pass, but the ball was thrown short by David Garrard, and Neslon was able to knock the ball away.
Troy Williamson showed some nice route running and ball skill as he was able to shake Drayton Florence on a quick curl route that caught the DB off guard. Williamson came back later in the drill and pulled the same move on Gerald Sensabaugh finding similar success on the play.
Clyde Edwards, who has been relatively quiet thus far in training camp, made what had to be the play of the drill. On a deep seam route with Brian Witherspoon in coverage, David Garrard came up a bit short on the pass. That wound up helping the play as Edwards was able to stop his route and come back for the ball, shaking Witherspoon in the process and scoring a touchdown.
Edwards came back later in the drill and showed that he can make the plays over the middle as well, victimizing Trae Williams as he got position on him in traffic. Todd Bowman put the ball right in the spot that it needed to be, and Edwards was able to wrest the ball away from Williams who had the play covered as well as could be expected.
D’Juan Woods showed some nice route running skils as well, faking a corner route, and then going for the post. When he made the fake and then the cut, he got Isaiah Gardner tangled up in his own feet, causing him to fall down on the play, leaving the receiver wide open on the play.
Todd Bowman struggled considerably with his accuracy this evening. On at least a couple of occasions, he missed his receivers badly on simple plays. In one particular instance, he had Ryan Hogue wide open on a sideline route where Hogue had shaken Michael Grant in coverage. The pass was delivered late, and fell short of the mark landing on the field turf.
Later in practice, he was almost intercepted by Grant again when he completely missed Clyde Edwards on a mid-range sideline pass. He was fortunate that the ball fell incomplete.
11 x 11 (Part I):
The session started off with a little bit of Fred Taylor coming out of the backfield and taking a short dump off pass from David Garrard. Fred threw it into high gear and showed that those 32 year old legs have plenty of steam left in them.
Reggie Hayward is quietly starting to step up his game. During the 11 x 11 drills, he was constantly in Garrard’s face on plays. On one particular play, he could have sacked David twice on the play. Garrard was able to run out of the backfield for a short gain, but if there was contact, he would have been done. Hayward showed nice quickness in getting to the quarterback, and then chased him to the far sideline until Garrard was safely out of bounds.
From that point in the first 11 x 11, it became clear that the defense, in shells, was going to step up their game. After completing a pass to D’Juan Woods for a short gain, David Garrard had his next pass intended for Matt Jones over the middle batted down by John Henderson. On the next play, Garrard was chased out of the pocket by James Wyche and Paul Spicer who flushed him out and followed him to the sideline.
Cleo Lemon continues to look fairly solid. He has nice touch on his deeper passes, although he clearly does not possess the same velocity on his fastball that Garrard does. However, he has a feel for putting the pass over the top particularly on the deeper sideline routes. He connected with Ryan Hogue on a deep sideline pass, going over Jamaal Fudge on the play to make a big gain.
Lemon was almost picked off on the next play when he tried to go deep again to John Broussard. Fudge could not get a handle on the ball or it would have been intercepted.
Field Goal Drills:
The team ran a few plays to let Josh Scobee stretch the leg. On 6 attempts, Scobee nailed it from 30 yards twice, 34, 35, 36, and 44 yards consecutively.
7 x 7:
Mike Walker continued to show nice things during the drill, making three strong catches, two of which are worth noting. On one of the plays, Walker was able to haul in a deep corner pass from David Garrard making a nice falling catch. He came back later in the session and pulled in a terrific catch over Rashod Moulton and in front of Gerald Sensabaugh on a pass from Cleo Lemon. The deep pass was dropped perfectly in the gap, and Walker made a great effort at the goal line to get the ball into the end zone. He came up short, but it was still a valiant effort on his part.
Montell Owens found himself in Kennedy Pola’s dog house for a bit this evening. After dropping a routine pass from Cleo Lemon on a short crossing route, Pola had the running back drop and give him 20 right there on the field. The last guy that wound up on Kennedy Pola’s list was cut this spring, so Montell needs to be more attentive to the ball. The message must have gotten through. He went back out three plays later and hauled in the same pass without any trouble, and did not miss anything else for the remainder of practice.
Paul Smith connected with Ryan Hogue on a deep out pattern over the top of Rashod Moulton. Hogue has shown solid ball skills through the first two days of training camp, catching almost everything thrown in his zip code.
Matt Jones showed a little tenacity on a crossing route with Reggie Nelson in coverage. Garrard put the ball in Jones’ hands, and Nelson immediately went for the ball. Jones fought him off and held on to the pass after getting hit twice by Nelson to shake the ball loose.
Marcedes Lewis had an opportunity to make a great play in triple coverage on a deep post pattern from David Garrard. The bullet hit Marcedes squarely in the chest, but he was unable to hold on to the ball. The ball was perfectly delivered into coverage, but it appeared that Lewis had his concentration broken on the play.
Greg Jones showed uncharacteristically bad hands on a little crossing route. Garrard put the ball out in front of him in traffic and Jones simply muffed the catch.
Charles Davis continues to make his case, making another nice grab along the sideline on a deep pass from Cleo Lemon. For a big guy, he runs solid routes and shows some decent ball skill.
Paul Smith once again found a teal jersey when he was intercepted by Brian Witherspoon on a play. Witherspoon showed some nice speed on the return.
Another player trying to make an impression is Anthony Cotrone. He showed strong concentration in double coverage going over the middle on a crossing route. The pass from Todd Bowman was threaded into coverage, and the catch Cotrone made was worthy enough for him to get a congratulatory pat by Kennedy Pola when he returned to the sideline.
Pierson Prioleau made a nice play to bat away a sure touchdown pass delivered by David Garrard and intended for Clyde Edwards.
11 x 11 (Part II):
Reggie Hayward continued to have a solid night, getting what would have been a sack on David Garrard if there was contact allowed. As it was, Hayward was practically dancing with David on the play.
On the next play, Garrard threw behind Matt Jones on a crossing pattern. The ball was low, and Jones tried to adjust to go back after the pass, but momentum would have none of that. Instead, Brian Williams graciously took the ball the other way, intercepting the errant pass.
Before the next play started, the Jaguars had two players that appeared to be overcome by heat and humidity. It must have been awfully funny to Reggie Hayward because he fell down laughing at the line, and when he did, the training staff thought he was hurt. They came running to his aide, but discovered quickly that he was fine. However, the lineman that went down in a heap at the line was none other than the infamous phantom camp injury guy, John Henderson. While that was going on, on the other side of the line, D’Juan Woods was truly overcome by the heat and had to be assisted to the training shed by two members of the training staff. His situation appeared to be more serious as the trainers immediately pulled off his shells, and shirts. He was looking awfully wobbly out there when they were helping him off the field. He was clearly in distress.
When play resumed, Charles Davis took a pass from Cleo Lemon on a slant pattern and turned it into a long gain. He once again showed some nice moves to get to the ball in traffic, and then went through a couple of defensive backs on the play.
Mike Walker made a great move on a deep pass from Cleo Lemon on the sideline. Walker had to turn to try to catch the ball on his back shoulder while trying to shed Gerald Sensabaugh who was blanketing him in coverage. At the last second, Sensabaugh won the battle, and the ball fell incomplete.
Richard Angulo made a nice play on a deep corner route, pulling down a high pass from Todd Bowman on the sideline, keeping his feet in bounds until he had control.
James Wyche has started to step up his game, becoming a fixture in the back field reminiscent of training camp 2007 where he was an absolute terror. On one play in particular, he had a line on David Garrard that would have resulted in a sack. He showed nice speed getting into the backfield and disrupting the play. Garrard was able to get the pass off and Troy Williamson made a terrific diving catch, but the pass never would have happened if the defender was allowed to engage.
Garrard came back on the very next play and threw the same pass to Mike Walker, who also made a very nice grab, staying upright and getting decent yards after the catch to pad the play a bit.
Fred Taylor shows that he still has the ability to shift the entire defense. On his final carry of the night, Taylor went left behind Maurice Williams, but the defense had collapsed that side of the line. Taylor quickly cut to the right, and broke off on a big run the other way as the defense was trying to regain their footing. It was vintage Freddie.
The final play of the night was another nice grab by Troy Williamson. Cleo Lemon launched a deep pass down the sideline, and Williamson made a terrific diving grab in front of Drayton Florence. The coaching staff was clearly pleased enough to call it a night after that play.
The defense obviously is ready to assert itself. There were several blitz packages being teased out there tonight, and Reggie Nelson was involved in quite a few of them. They are clearly going to be more aggressive in going after the quarterback, and they are going to be coming after the signal caller from all angles. This approach is different from years past. Seeing it in action when the team goes live with contact should be fun to watch.
The receiving battle is heating up quite nicely. With Northcutt now on the sideline, joining Reggie Williams and Jerry Porter, the top three receivers are down with injuries, but the passing game has not really missed a beat. Thankfully, none of the injuries are serious. But, it is encouraging that we are starting to see Mike Walker and John Broussard emerging along with Troy Williamson. Matt Jones is also having a solid training camp. The added repetitions also help bubble guys like Ryan Hogue to try to impress the coaches enough to possibly find their way on to the practice squad at the very worst.