clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Offense vs. defense: Training camp battles to watch

New, comments

The receivers against the corners, Julius Thomas against whichever poor soul is covering him, and more.

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Whenever we talk about Jacksonville Jaguars training camp battles, we always talk about the battles within position groups.

Who is going to win the battle at left tackle? Who is going to be the starting corner? Who is going to be the fourth-string running back that everybody is going to overrate?

But rarely do we give enough attention to the actual battles that are ongoing during an NFL training camp practice. The iron sharpening iron. The offensive vs. the defense.

With the new additions to the Jaguars roster on both sides of the ball, there will be a number of offense vs. defense battles this training camp that will be worth monitoring.

Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson, and Marqise Lee vs. Davon House, Jalen Ramsey and Prince Amukamara

Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson are arguably one of the best wide receiver duos in the entire NFL. It is an obstacle for any team to cover them both, let alone the defenders on their own team.

On the bright side for the Jaguars defense, Davon House and Prince Amukamara are both established NFL talents. Throw in blue chip cornerback prospect and fifth-overall pick Jalen Ramsey and this will be the most exciting battle of training camp.

If Marqise Lee can build on his mini-camp momentum, and stay healthy, then that will add even more fuel to the fire.

Julius Thomas vs. Myles Jack

Julius Thomas was the Jaguars biggest offseason addition one year ago. He had established himself as one of the NFL's elite Tight Ends during his time with the Denver Broncos.

He was brought to the Jaguars for two reasons: to provide more explosiveness and red zone ability to the Jaguars offense.

He suffered a hand injury during his first preseason game as a Jaguar so any chemistry and momentum he had with Blake Bortles was put to a halt. He finished the season strong, but it was still a bit of a wasted season of sorts. That should change this year as he has spent more time getting on the same page as Blake Bortles. He has even been touted as being "unstoppable" in the Jaguars early practices.

The only player that can act as the kryptonite to the unstoppable force of Thomas? Myles Jack.

It is a tall order to ask a rookie to step in and handle the assignment of Julius Thomas from Day 1, but Jack was touted as a linebacker with elite cover ability at UCLA. If he is half as good in coverage as he was in college, he can step up to the challenge.

Malik Jackson vs. A.J. Cann

Following in his former teammate Julius Thomas' footsteps, Malik Jackson comes to Jacksonville from Denver with the hope that he will help transform his side of the ball.

Jackson is going to line up as the starter at the 3-technique, and his job is going to be simple: Get in the backfield. Be it against the run or the pass, the Jaguars need Jackson to create havoc.

And the Jaguars lineman whose main job it will be to stop Jackson? Second-year offensive guard A.J. Cann.

Cann had a very encouraging rookie season after Brandon Linder went down early on with a season-ending injury. He went through the trials and tribulations of a rookie season and is better for it. And there is no better way for Cann to keep improving then for him to go against Jackson in practice each day.