The team didn't wear pads and withheld from tackling to prevent injuries before the game, but that didn't stop member of the team from hitting -- the first notable fights at Jaguars training camp broke out today, and I'll give you the details below.
Here are my observations.
As I said before, the team wasn't wearing pads today and limited contact during practice. However, Dante Fowler Jr.started slapping at left guard Chris Reed on a run play, causing the fight to break out. Malik Jackson and Jermey Parnell tried to break it up but ended up going at each other.
Fowler Jr. then went after Jeff Linkenbach, while Luke Joeckel and Yannick Ngakoue began going after each other, but this fight ended quickly. All in all, there were three fights at one time between all of these players.
*Note - Thanks to Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union for the details on this story.
If it isn't clear already, tensions are high and the players are antsy -- they're ready for some game action.
The safeties look better and better
The addition of free safety Tashaun Gipson to this secondary has not only improved the free safety position itself, but has also benefited strong safety Johnathan Cyprien.
While Gipson is thriving in the single-high (Cover 3) safety role, Cyprien looks much improved while making the transition the position he was drafted to play: the box safety, where he covers the flats and sets the edge against the run.
Both guys made great plays today, starting with Cyprien's pass breakup on a flat route thrown from Blake Bortles to Julius Thomas:
Cyp breaks up a flat route pass from Bortles to Thomas. Pass rush got to Bortles quick https://t.co/TXhNWogl5N— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) August 9, 2016
Although it's not exactly easy to see, Cyprien makes an early read that Thomas is breaking to the flats here. Cyprien jumps in front of Thomas, causing Thomas to trip up (it was legal, however -- no pass interference), and getys a hand on the ball before Thomas can grab it as he falls.
Plays like this are what we look for in a box safety, so it's nice to see Cyprien adjusting well. All in all, this was a really good play on his part.
Tashuan Gispon has also looked great in camp so far and is adjusting to the Jaguars' defensive scheme very well. He made a great pass breakup in redzone 11 v 11 drills in the Cover 4 base defense on a pass from Bortles to Bryan Walters:
Tashaun Gipson with the beautiful pass break up in the red zone. Bortles was targeting Walters https://t.co/KkMbV3cykK— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) August 9, 2016
Overall, both safety positions look drastically improved, and no one is as excited as I am to see how both of these players perform in a game.
The lightning package
The defense was sure too install their "lightning" speed rush package during redzone drills and during defensive line drills today, and the lineup is what we all expected, for the most part.
As we predicted, Dante Fowler Jr. and Yannick Ngakoue line up opposite of each other from the defensive end positions, and Malik Jackson lines up in the gap between the guard and tackle at 3-tech to open holes for the defensive end.
However, although most people expected Sen'Derrick Marks to fill in for Roy Miller at the 1-tech position (although it isn't considered 1-tech in this package, rather resembling a second 3-tech), the second defensive tackle was Jared Odrick. Odrick experimented at 3-tech in his time with the Miami Dolphins and totaled 11.5 sacks from the position, so he fits in opposite of Jackson in the "lightning" package.
I'm sure Marks, as well as Sheldon Day, will get time next to Jackson at times this year in the speed rush package, but right now it looks like Odrick will stay on the field on third downs and rotate from 5-tech to the defensive tackle position.
Play of the day
Wide receiver Allen Robinson embarrassed cornerback Prince Amukamara yet again, this time on a dig route during 7 v 7's. Amukamara bit on Robinson's move inside, allowing Robinson to move upfield with ease -- blowing by Amukamara and making a cut outside with tons of room to make a catch on a pass from Blake Bortles:
A-Rob is just playing games out here. Prince gets lost in coverage, easy play for A-Rob on corner route https://t.co/hzeA9GyiJd— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) August 9, 2016
If you've kept up with Jaguars training camp, you are probably aware that Robinson and Amukamara have been a delight to watch when they'e put against each other in drills. If not, you can read up on their highlights here.
To carry on the tradition of the Hanxed it award, started by HankJoness of BCC before he said "See ya later", today I'm installing a special Hanxed it award, and giving it to one of Hank's favorite Jaguars -- Jalen Ramsey.
Ramsey was on the field as a first teamer during redzone drills. On a run play during the drills, running back Chris ivory ran to the opposite side of the field, away from Ramsey. When the play ended, Ramsey dropped an F-bomb at the top of his lungs, without reasoning, as he really didn't do anything wrong on the play.
All Ramsey could have done was run from his side of the field to where Ivory was, but the play was blown dead before he could get close.
*Note - Audio is explicit in video.
End of the play when Ivory is stopped, you can hear Jalen Ramsey yell "F--K" https://t.co/VI0bVq8Fi5— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) August 9, 2016
Quote of the day
Head coach Gus Bradley: (On the passing of former offensive line coach George Yarno) "He’s [Yarno] touched so many people’s lives, so many players’ lives, and coaches’ lives in the NFL and college, wherever he coached. He left a legacy and I know he inspired a lot of people and people really appreciate him. It’s still—we got that lingering around a little bit, but so much respect goes out to George and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."