The Jacksonville Jaguars have completed Day 6 of training camp and with one practice left before before the team scrimmage on Friday night, how is the team looking so far?
I was out at camp again today to take notes and observations. Let’s get to them.
Day 6 was focused on the run
According to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, the Jaguars focused on the run game during practice today. On 54 team drill snaps, 30 plays were carries by the running backs.
There isn’t much to take away from a running back’s practice, as plays never run full-length unless it’s in the red zone — You never know just how far a back would run free on a flashy carry. Defenders aren’t supposed to tackle to the ground during practice, so it’s also hard to tell if a back is capable of breaking tackles with defenders only tapping him off.
However, when given the opportunity to flash, Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette has taken advantage. The only recording of a run play I got from today was Fournette breaking through a small gap on the right side of the line and making a slight cut on the second level into the open field:
FOURNETTE SZN! Broke free through what looked like the 3 hole, made a nice little cut when he hit the second level. Crowd cheers after. pic.twitter.com/eqdReenOom— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) August 2, 2017
Fournette has had at least one “break-away” carry per practice from what I’ve been able to observe, and that’s really the best you can get from any running back at this point until the team starts playing games.
Bortles, despite not throwing much, had a very good day
After an up and down Tuesday practice, quarterack Blake Bortles looked accurate in every drill today. Per O’Halloran, Bortles went 8-12, with no interceptions for the third straight day, in team drills. Team drills all ran to the end zone opposite of where I was located, so I didn’t get as much footage of the 11v11’s as I did 1v1’s and 5v5’s, but his accuracy was on point during the lighter drills.
This first play dragged out a bit, and he likely would have been pressured at this point, but Bortles placed this ball very well to Allen Hurns in the back corner of the end zone:
Bortles followed this pass up with a nice fade pass to Jamal Robinson, who dropped the ball while fighting for it in the end zone. Robinson’s landing looked a little painful:
Sooooo close. Good ball from Bortles. pic.twitter.com/MH9xBsD7v1— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) August 2, 2017
On his next pass, Bortles targeted Allen Robinson on a short slant near the goal line. The pass was ever so slightly behind Robinson, as seen by Robinson’s slight upper body turn, but in no way was it a bad pass either. Robinson still caught the pass with no issue:
Next up — Marqise Lee dropped a well placed ball from Bortles on what should have been a touchdown. The ball had a bit of wobble to it, but it was put right where it needed to be. Two defenders were within range of making a play on the ball, but didn’t tip the pass — Lee should have come down with this:
Lee drops a nice pass from Bortles. Church mad he missed an INT and punted the ball into the air after. Marrone went and talked to him. pic.twitter.com/pu2zRHldGI— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) August 2, 2017
On the final throw of red zone drills, Bortles completed a slant to Allen Hurns on a second read. Like on a couple throws from day five, Bortles noticeably had a longer windup on this toss. However, his shoulder didn’t dip like it often did in 2016, and this pass was very accurate:
I was able to record one pass from Bortles on the opposite end of the field during 5v7’s, Bortles connected with Lee perfectly on a drag. Lee made an acrobatic catch in stride, and Bortles placed this ball right where he needed to:
All around nice play. Good checkdown and throw from Bortles. Real nice catch from Lee. pic.twitter.com/gDrBEPHTil— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) August 2, 2017
Of course, this is only practice and I’ll wait to make final judgement on Bortles until the team begins to play games, but today was a very impressive day from the quarterback, and he was efficient in a run-heavy practice.
The first team offensive line is starting to take shape
After Branden Albert’s sudden retirement two days ago, it seems as if Cam Robinson is the sure-fire starter at left tackle. Sure, head coach Doug Marrone stated he doesn’t want to hand Robinson the job, but it would be foolish to start a career back up in Josh Wells over the second round “steal” of a pick.
Considering the team made no other moves this offseason (other than the Albert trade) to mend the starting offensive line, and that the first team offensive line has mostly looked like this ever since Albert’s retirement...
First team OL:— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) August 2, 2017
... I’d assume this will be the team’s starting offensive line going forward. If that’s the case, the Jaguars only made one change to the line that ranked 27th in adjusted line yards and allowed run plays to be stuffed at the line 20% of the time in 2016: They replaced the starting left tackle with a rookie. The only possible change I could see happening to the above group is backup Jeremiah Poutasi getting the right tackle job after receiving a decent amount of first team reps at the position yesterday, and even that’s unlikely.
It was an incredibly questionable move by the front office to rely on an older veteran and a rookie to mend a bad run-blocking offensive line this offseason. Now, they look even worse for not prioritizing finding a better guard in free agency or the draft with Albert retiring and the possibility of him or Robinson sliding to guard being thrown out the window.
- Per Michael DiRocco of ESPN, Chad Henne is firmly entrenched as the team’s No. 2 QB, ahead of second year QB Brandon Allen. Another questionable decision, as Allen has had himself an impressive camp so far, while Henne has looked the worst of all three quarterbacks.
- After five months of being a free agent, former Jaguars nose tackle finally has a home — He signed a one year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs today.
- Long snapper Carson Tinker was injured today during drills. His injury hasn’t been disclosed, but he was helped off the field midway through practice.
Play of the day
In red zone drills, quarterback Brandon Allen connected with receiver Rashad Greene on a beautiful fade route in the end zone. Not only was the ball thrown and placed very well, but Greene displayed a nice jab step to shake off cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste:
Brandon Allen to Rashad Greene with newly signed CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste in coverage pic.twitter.com/y2pV5j70j3— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) August 2, 2017
Follow my Twitter handle @zach_goodall for updates from Day 7 of Jaguars training camp tomorrow.