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Jaguars Training Camp: Andre Branch Impressing Early

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JACKSONVILLE, FL - MAY 05: Andre Branch # 91 during Jacksonville Jaguars Minicamp at EverBank Field on May 5, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida (Photo by Rick Dole/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - MAY 05: Andre Branch # 91 during Jacksonville Jaguars Minicamp at EverBank Field on May 5, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida (Photo by Rick Dole/Getty Images)
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Highlighted in Alfie's Jaguars training camp preview for SB Nation, one of the top battles for a starting position will be between Austen Lane and 2012 second round pick, Andre Branch. While the common thought was that a healthy Lane would be the favorite for the position, considering Branch's expected weakness against the run.

However, four days into camp that weakness hasn't been very apparent and the young defensive end has earned nothing but compliments from coaches and those in attendance. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker told John Oehser of Jaguars.com that Branch has an opportunity to start and "He's going to get what he earns."

And those supposed run deficiencies that Branch was labeled with as a draft prospect? He's much more stout against the run than expected, according to defensive line coach Joe Cullen. A comment that led Gene Frenette to think Cullen was trying to contain his enthusiasm about Branch.

It's only four days into the 2012 training camp and the battle between Lane and Branch for the starting spot opposite Jeremy Mincey still has a long way until it's decided, but the second round pick for the Jaguars in the 2012 NFL Draft is off to a good start.