The Jaguars practiced in front of the fans at Florida Blue Health & Wellness field on another gorgeous August morning in Northeast Florida.
Apparently, the rigors of training camp have begun to take their toll on the mentality of some of the players, as things got pretty heated from the start of practice. Beginning his first day of practice in full pads, following a brief stint on the PUP list to start camp, RG Uche Nwaneri wasted no time beating the rust off, as he got into a shoving match with DE Aaron Morgan. Morgan, who has been having a fantastic first week of camp, decided pushing wasn't enough "fun", as a few plays later he got into a short bout of fisticuffs with FB Will Ta'ufo'ou. The defensive end got a pretty good shot in on the helmet-less face of the UDFA, before being separated.
Though it has been good to see full contact the last few days, injuries have begun to take their toll on the team. This morning saw DE Austen Lane and LB Daryl Smith go down with ankle and groin injuries respectively. They add to the growing list of injured players, that as of Thursday included, OT Cam Bradfield, OT Eugene Monroe (knee), WR Lauren Robinson (concussion), OL Will Rackley (ankle), DE John Chick (knee), CB Kevin Rutland (concussion), and S Jeremiah Brown (concussion). Center Brad Meester sat out another practice, as the team tries to keep him "veteran fresh" for the regular season.
The team ran a much more physical practice this morning than the past few days, and the pads were popping early and often,
The team opened up the practice after their various stretches, with a live 11 v 11 drill that featured little to no passing for each unit. There was a lot of rotation along both lines throughout practice, but the starting offensive line looked like 68, 67, 62, 77, 73. With the defensive line starting out with 94, 96, 99, 92, with Pot Roast and Lane both alternating with D'Anthony Smith and Andre Branch, respectively.
11 v 11 Pt. 1:
- Rashad Jennings runs off right tackle for gain of 5.
- Jalen Parmele up the middle for a short gain, met by several defenders.
- Parmele runs between Estes and Nwaneri for about 2 yards before being popped by Russell Allen.
- Montell Owens up the middle for a short gain.
- Owens again on the run, tried to go off tackle and is met by George Selvie for a gain of about 2.
- Richard Murphy cuts out over the left tackle for a gain of about 4 yards.
- Murphy again up the middle this time, for little gain. End of drill.
The team then broke off to it's usual individual drills after a team event. Josh Scobee was off on the middle field working on field goals. He connected on 4 of the 6 I saw, with one of them blocked. Though, it was later reported by Vito Stellino, that the block was a planned action by the coaches.
Following that, the team gathered again for more full speed team drills.
11 v 11 Pt. 2:
- Jennings behind Spitz rushes for short gain, met by D'Anthony Smith.
- Rashad taked another hand off running behind Britton for a gain of about 10 yards, before being tackled by Aaron Ross.
- Parmele rushes over right guard, is stuffed at LoS by CJ Mosley.
- Parmele tries the other guard, and is again halted for limited yardage, this time by Daryl Smith.
- Gabbert play actions, rolls out and finds Brian Robiskie on a nice comeback for a 12 yard gain.
- Parmele tries stretch run outside but is caught at the LoS by Selvie.
- Murphy takes hand off outside of left tackle for nice run of about 15 yards.
- Murphy again tries to cut outside, but is leveled by LB Joshua Jones.
- DuJuan Harris runs into a pile, tries to cut back, but is met by for no gain by D'Anthony Smith.
- Marcedes Lewis motions into the fullback spot, sets up big hole for Jennings, who scampers up the middle untouched for a touchdown.
- Parmele tries stretch run outside, but is met by Lane for a short gain of 3.
- Harris takes hand off on draw play from shot gun, and runs through a big hole between the left tackle and guard, for a touchdown.
- Murphy takes a toss, and is stopped at the LoS by Rod Isaac.
- Owens runs similar play as Harris two plays earlier, and much like Harris, runs in nearly untouched for a would be score. End of drill.
At this point, the team broke off into position grouping drills. The lines worked on double team-type blocks and getting off of them, receivers and defensive backs worked on press coverage and getting separation, and the tight ends/running backs/linebackers worked with Cut Palmer and Nate Enderle on flat passes and screens. Gabbert and Henne worked alone with Coach Olson on perfecting the roll out pass.
After that, the team moved back into full team drills, this time working on their red zone efficiency.
11 v 11 Pt. 3 (Red Zone):
- Gabbert hands off to Greg Jones on a fullback dive play, that Jones takes for a gain of about 5 yards.
- Apparently the Bratkowski offense has numerous looks, as Gabbert bootlegs left and fakes the pitch to Parmele, then runs into the end zone untouched for a score.
- Gabbert play actions, rolls right, and throws a strike to Marcedes Lewis just short of the goal line.
- Henne tries his luck at the same option play ran by Gabbert earlier, this time, Henne pitches to Parmele who gets maybe 5-6 yards on the play.
- Gabbert play actions, throws a dart to Lewis who is about 5 yards away from anyone else in the end zone, for a touchdown.
- Parmele takes hand off, makes a cut up the middle, and scoots in for a touchdown.
- Another run by Parmele, this time with less success, as he's leveled by Joshua Jones.
- Murphy tries his luck, but is stuffed at the LoS by Corey Irvin for no gain.
- Hennes is "sacked" by Ryan Davis, then throws the ball away. Tight coverage on the play.
The team then switched up the drill from red zone, to the offense working off of their own 1 yard line.
- Gabbert completes pass over the middle to Lewis on a curl, for a gain of about 6.
- Jennings rushes up the middle for what would've been a first down on a gain of 10. Stopped by Dawan Landry.
- Gabbert throws complete to Mike Brown for 15 yards, with pocket collapsing.
- Henne pass incomplete to Taylor Price. Price dropped a perfect out from Henne on the play.
- Harris tries the middle, but is stopped by Irvin for little gain.
- Bad play all around for the offense, as Brown drops a well placed pass from Henne. Had the play been live, Henne wouldn't have had a chance, as Jeris Pendleton blew up the middle of the line and had an easy sack.
The team followed up by rather quickly moving into their first and only 7 v 7 drill of the day.
7 v 7:
- Gabbert throws a laser complete to Cecil Shorts on deep in route for about 20 yards, Derek Cox trailing in coverage.
- Pass in the flat from Gabbert to Greg Jones, goes for 10 yards.
- Mathis undercuts Shorts to pick off pass from Gabbert on an intended 10 yard curl. Gabbert tried to force it to Shorts as he flashed open for a moment, but Mathis read it the whole time and jumped the throw.
- Gabbert recovers quickly, with a beautiful strike to Shorts on a skinny post for 20 yards, with Ross trailing.
- Henne attempts a deep comeback on sideline to Lee Evans,but as has tended to be the case with Henne, the ball dies about a yard short of Evans and skirts the turf at his feet for an incompletion.
- Another bad throw from Henne, as he throws behind a wide open Zach Potter dragging over the middle. Potter tried to adjust but ball was too far behind him.
- Henne finally completes a pass to Colin Cloherty on a short out, with Antonio Dennard wrapping around him.
- Scramble by Henne, with tight coverage on receivers, who then tries a pass but sails it wide of Mike Brown.
- Gabbert completes a pass to Lewis on another short curl route in the middle. Cox attempts to tag Lewis, who arm bars him and throws the 6'1 corner away like a rag doll. (ALL THE MMA WORKOUTS!)
- Gabbert again throws complete to Shorts, coming across the field on a 10 yard drag route.
- Coverage begins to tighten up, as Gabbert dumps ball off to Jennings for a short gain, then scrambles on next play after waiting roughly 5 seconds for someone to come open.
- Enderle throws short out to Kevin Elliot, who drops his first pass that I've seen all camp.
- Nice one handed catch made by Cloherty coming across the middle, on throw from Enderle.
- Cut Palmer throws an actual nice mid range pass to Brown, who once again has it hit off his hands and fall incomplete. Newly acquired Trumaine McBride assisted a bit with a swat as the ball arrived.
- Gabbert completes another 15 yard gainer to Shorts on a deep out, Ross in coverage.
- Gabbert rolls out of the pocket after about a 3 count, then finds Shorts again who came open at the last second and makes a nice falling catch for a gain of 20. End of drill.
The Jaguars proceeded on to helmet-less walk through time, as has been par for the course this camp, before moving into the final full team drill. This time the team ran a regular 11 v 11, then the clocks on field were set for a running two minute drill to end practice.
11 v 11 (The Finale):
- Gabbert throws his first bad pass of the day, as he had Robiskie wide open on a deep out but threw about a yard short of the receiver as he made his cut to the sideline.
- Jennings takes hand off behind Britton and rushes for a nice gain of about 15 yards.
- Gabbert and Robiskie connect this time, for a gain of about 12 on a comeback route.
- Aaron Morgan deflects pass from Gabbert at LoS, that flutters backwards and into the hands of rookie Brandon Marshall, who runs into the end zone untouched for the defensive score.
- Henne follows with yet another batted pass at the LoS, this time by another rookie, UDFA Ryan Davis.
- Henne fumbles exchange with center Mike Brewster, falls on the ball to kill the play.
- Henne attempts pass to Shorts on a comeback, but ball is knocked away by Mike Harris.
- Shorts almost comes down with the play of the day, as he skies over Leigh Torrence after a slight push off, to grab a high sideline throw downfield from Henne. However, the ball pops out after Shorts lands on top of it, and falls incomplete. Shorts apparently has wind knocked out of him, and is slow to get up before eventually walking back on his own with trainers.
- Morgan knocks away another pass at the LoS, this time from Enderle.
The team began a two-minute, no huddle drill from their own 20 yard line, with a running clock.
- Gabbert completes pass to Chastin West for about 7 yards on a short curl.
- Gabbert is "sacked" by D'Anthony Smith, as no one comes open. (Price is given a tongue lashing by Jerry Sullivan that is audible to the crowd in attendance, which includes Sullivan saying, "Look at me when I'm talking to you."..I love Coach Sullivan)
- Andre Branch nearly collapses on Gabberts left knee, as he pushes Whimper down and into the QB. Gabbert escapes and "rushes" for a gain of what they marked as roughly 30 yards.
- Gabbert spikes ball to stop the clock. Follows up with a pass to Price for 15 yards, but well short of the end zone, to end first team's attempt.
- Henne completes pass to Cloherty for 15 yards.
- Two consecutive drops on nearly the same deep out route from Mike Brown, who punches the padded fence in disgust, following the second drop. It was not a good practice for the UDFA rookie.
- Morgan and Knighton combine to collapse the pocket and "sack" Henne, to end the drill and the practice.
All in all, with the exception of the final few minutes of practice, the offense seemed to really take another few small steps in the direction of a consistent passing attack.
After taking some unwarranted heat at the beginning of the week, Gabbert has steadily improved each day since the horrific Monday practice session that caused so much local and national ire. Frankly, and this is just my opinion, today marked the best play overall I've seen from the second year quarterback, since he's been a Jaguar. He was on time with throws, accurate, showed off some of his athleticism on the run, and for maybe the first time in his young career, he was most importantly consistent. This was coming without what is thought to be his "Top 3" receivers, ever being on the field. Hopefully, he'll bring the display from today into the scrimmage tomorrow night and going forward.
The defense continues to be dominant, though there were more open receivers than we've seen since practice began. The loss of Austen Lane and Daryl Smith will be tolling, but the positive news is that there appears to be several young players that are ready to get out under the lights and try to make a name for themselves. Particularly, defensive ends Aaron Morgan and Ryan Davis, as well as linebackers, Julian Stanford, Brandon Marshall, and Joshua Jones. All of whom have flashed more than a few times since practices began last weekend.
We'll continue to monitor their progress, and hope for the best for the injured.
See you guys tomorrow at The Bank, for the team's annual scrimmage!
UNOFFICIAL QB Tally in Team Drills (11v11) & (7v7):