It started out as a practice full of expectation with the new free agent acquisitions taking the field for the first time, and ended with concerns about the severity of an injury to the Jaguars first string quarterback, David Garrard. Fortunately, the team got good news on one front, and a hopeful prognosis on the other.
The injury list to start practice remains the same. John Estes, Terrence Knighton, Aaron Kampman, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Derek Cox all worked with the training staff. Kampman did participate in unit drills but was not involved in any of the larger team drills.
Chris Prosinski was the latest addition, but he looked okay out there. They had him running and working on his mobility. There was no visible limp or obvious problem with the leg injury he suffered at practice on Wednesday night.
David Garrard did suffer a minor injury during practice. He went down during 11 x 11 drills when he was attempting to avoid the pass rush and got tangled up with a lineman. It did not look like much, but he was slow to get up afterward, and immediately sought treatment from the training staff before being escorted off the field in one fo the Ring Power sponsored carts.
Another potential minor injury was Matt Turk. He was working on his directional punts and suddenly just stopped. It was very subtle, but it was clear he was dealign with some sort of tightening or other issues. He did not punt again the rest of practice, but did work with Brian Saunders on his technique, and with Josh Scobee holding for his field goals. It did not look significant, and he did his best to look like he was not limping. It seemed to improve as practice progressed, but he never kicked the ball again, so it will be interesting to see if it turns out to be anything.
Now, let's get to the drills.
The units broke off into groups to start practice, as is normally the case. A slight change was the way the linebackers started practice. After moving to the far practice field, they pulled their pads off and started running wind sprints to start the session.
Prior to shutting it down, Matt Turk was showing some really impressive hang time on his punts. He was getting decent distance for the most part, but for every three or four good punts, there would be one that was not quite as impressive. The guy can really get some air on his punts though.
11 x 11 (Part 1):
The defense had the advantage in the early portion of this drill. After Rashad Jennings hit on a first down run off the left side, David Garrard missed missed Jason Hill open down the deep sideline. The ball was overthrown, and Hill made a good effort to try to bring it down, but was unable to do so with Dawan Landry covering him tightly.
Austen Lane got into the backfield and disrupted the next play, forcing David to throw the ball away.
After Deji Karim squeezed a five yard run off the right guard side, Garrard was forced to go to his outlet when Tyson Alualu pushed into the backfield and was on the verge of logging a sack.
Blaine Gabbert hit Greg Ellingson and Deji Karim on consecutive short outs, then hit Cecil Shorts on a wheel route to the left side. Shorts got the angle and managed to turn a short pass into a 20 yard reception before he was forced out of bounds.
2 x 1:
All three quarterbacks were spotty on their accuracy working on these timing routes. Gabbert was almost picked off a cople of times as he worked on quick slants and outs. Garrard also had issues with his passes being a little off target, giving the defenders opportunity to tip the ball away.
When Gabbert was on, he looked great. In one instance, he hit Tommy Gallarda deep down the sideline over the top of Dawan Landry. Landry had good coverage on the tight end, but the ball was thrown over the top very nicely.
Clint Sessions got caught on his heels a bit facing Deji Karim, who made a nice cut to the inside giving him separation on a slant. Gabbert delivered a strike, and Sessions was able to make the tackle quickly, but not before the reception was made.
Karim did almost the same thing to Paul Posluszny during the drill.
Luke McCown went deep to John Matthews on a deep corner route that hit the receiver on the goal line. McCown showed nice touch dropping the pass over the top of Rashean Mathis, who was on Matthews back on the play. The receiver showed great hands hauling the pass in for the touchdown.
11 x 11 (Part 2):
Rashad Jennings opened the drill with a run up the middle. Unfortunately, he was greeted at the line by D'Anthony Smith and C.J. Mosely and planted at the line of scrimmage.
Jennings redeemed himself on the next play blowing through the line untouched. He had ten yards in on the play when Jacob Cutera finally got a hand on him, but Jennings shed the tackle and went another five yards before being stopped.
Deji Karim followed that run up with a nice run rolling right and getting first down yardage on the play.
Garrard hit Jason Hill deep down the sideline putting a pass over the top of David Jones. Had Hill completed the run, it would have ended up an 80 yard pass play.
D'Anthony Smith jammed up Brock Bolen behind the line of scrimmage for a loss.
Rashad Jennings ripped off a big run to the left side. He was chased by Kevin Rutland, but Jennings found his second wind 60 yards down field and ran by Rutland for the TD.
We saw a little razzle dazzle tonight with a couple of reverses. Dontrelle Inman came around from the left side to take the hand off on the first play, and turned it up the field for a 15 yard gain.
DuJuan Harris showed some nice power running as he punched and juked his way through traffic on a run up the middle.
11 x 11 (Part 3):
After some individual drills, they went back to the 11 x 11s. David Garrard started it off hitting Jason Hill deep over the middle in coverage in front of Dawan Landry. Hill made a great falling catch on the pass to prevent an interception.
Blaine Gabbert hit Dontrelle Inman on a deep sideline pass squarely in the hands. Inman had the angle in front of Rashean Mathis, but failed to haul the pass in for a big completion.
Gabbert came back on the next play to target Cecil Shorts on a deep cross. Uncharacteristically, Shorts let the ball get into his numbers, and the pass fell incomplete.
The rookie quarterback went back to the air on the next play hitting Dontrelle Inmanin the seam in double coverage. Gabbert put the ball where he was the only guy with a shot, and unlike his previous opportunity, he held on for the completion.
11 x 11 (Part 4 - 2 Minute Drill):
Trey started the drill off with a little bit of trickery running another reverse. This time, Cecil Shorts was the ball carrier, and he quickly turned the corner and got first down yardage.
Luke McCown dropped a perfectly delivered fade into the corner of the end zone over Cole Brodie. giving Greg Ellingson a touchdown reception and the play of the night. The only down side of the play was that it probably would have been a sack as Aaron Morgan had chased McCown out of the backfield.
Morgan came back later in the drill and got a clean sack on Gabbert, who was unable to even get the ball out because he had been trapped in the pocket.
David Garrard could not identify an open receiver (none were actually open), so he pulled the ball down and ran for a short gain, stopping the clock by running it out of bounds. On the next play, he hit Mike Thomas over the middle on a littlecrossing route. It was this play where one of the linemen inadvertently knocked him down and the injury occurred.
Gabbert came back on successive plays and hit Brock Bolen and Dontrelle Inman for touchdowns. The first was over the middle on a cross, and the other on a quick slant Inman took into the end zone.
11 x 11 (Part 5 - Field Goal Drill):
They ran the offense out there to make a play, then get off the field so Josh Scobeecould come in and attempt to kick a field goal. They ran two plays giving Scobeethree shots after each play to kick field goals. Josh nailed all six attempts from 37, 39, 40, 43, and 45 yards twice.
7 x 7 (Red Zone Drill):
Gabberttried to hit Jason Hill along the sideline in the end zone. The pass fell incomplete as David Jones muffed the interception.
Blaine tried to hit Mike Thomas in the end zone on a slant route and the ball bounced off his chest incomplete.
Luke McCown popped one in for a touchdown to John Matthews who made a nice falling grab on the play.
After throwing a couple of incomplete passes, McCown hit Tommy Gallarda for a touchdown in the corner of the end zone over the top of Don Carey.
McCownthen connected with Cecil Shorts on a crossing route. Shorts made the grab, then dove into the end zone for a touchdown.
They shifted to a full field drill from the red zone, and Gabbert went deep to Inman and then to Zach Miller on sideline passes.
McCown connected with Greg Ellingson on a deep sideline pass that went 35 yards. Rod Isaac was in coverage, and Ellingson had a step on him. He was able to close the gap and force Ellingson out of bounds.
11 x 11 (Part 6):
After having Dontrelle Inman drop a perfectly delivered pass on a deep crossing route, Gabbert was forced to dump the ball off to Deji Karim for a short gain. The reason for the dump off was because Paul Posluszny had blow up the play and would have had a sack if contact was allowed.
Gabbert hit John Matthews on a deep post route. Matthews made a terrific effort falling down to pull the ball in for a big reception.
Blaine Gabbert connected on a deep cross in triple coverage with Cecil Shorts. The window he was throwing into was tiny, but he got the pass into his receiver for a big reception.
The drill ended with McCown connecting on a deep cross with John Matthews, who once again made a falling down effort in making the play. That seemed to be his trademark tonight, although I am not sure if it was necessary in this instance.
The Garrard injury did not seem to serious. Neither did the potential injury to Matt Turk. The session was sloppy at times, but we are starting to see some shuffling among the rookie receivers. Binns had a relatively quiet practice while the others were more involved in the plays this time around.
The new free agents were somewhat limited for their first practice, but all participated in a variety of drills. They were clearly working on their timing and getting back into football mode, but I suspect any early jitters they may have had will be long gone by the scrimmage on Saturday.