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Final tune-up: Jaguars prepare for scrimmage, observations from training camp

The Jaguars will be treating Saturday’s scrimmage like week three and four of the preseason.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars-Training Camp Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars do not have much more time to prepare, but they’ll put their best efforts together for the final scrimmage of training camp tomorrow at TIAA Bank Field, the first time the team will play in the stadium since week 17 of the 2019 NFL season.

While fans will not be allowed in the building, the team will be hosting training camp coverage live starting at 9:40 a.m.

With Saturday’s scrimmage just a day away, many of the team’s veterans took the day off in order to protect their bodies from the grueling season set to play out in just over two weeks. With that, the Jaguars were able to get another good look at the rookies on the team for when the roster is cut down in just seven days, Sept. 5.

This morning, Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden spoke about what he and the team want to get out of the scrimmage, specifically the evaluation of the tempo and execution.

“We’re still in the process of evaluating players. So, we want to try to get players in different spots to see what they can do, young players, veteran players. I’m still getting to know these guys and trying to figure out their strengths and weaknesses—and make sure we correct their weaknesses and adhere to their strengths,” Gruden said via video conference call.

“Basically, it’s still a feel-out period, but I think we can go a lot faster, give these guys some plays that they know, see how they execute and then handle our evaluation process, which is most important right now.”

The Jaguars will use this scrimmage as the final tune up in preparation for the regular season practice schedule and an overall evaluation in anticipation for week one.

K’Lavon Chaisson has had his moments

He hasn’t always shined throughout camp as he is still just over a week off of a hamstring injury, but the bright spots have shined through at times for the Jaguars second-first-round selection of this year. Chaisson has had his battles with left tackle Will Richardson and both have won repetitions against one another.

Chaisson has continued to receive one-on-one attention with defensive line coach Jason Rebrovich prior to practice, which will certainly have an impact on the young defender as he continues to grow accustomed to his new position.

Terry Godwin continues to impress

The Jaguars are going to have some tough cuts to make this year, specifically at the receiver position. Several times on Friday, Godwin seemingly beat his guys with ease, mainly due to his route-running ability. Getting in and out of your breaks as a receiver is half the battle, and Godwin does an impressive job of keeping cornerbacks on their toes.

It should be noted, however, that Godwin, along with many of the receivers during training camp, are going up against an incredibly young and inexperienced unit, and without contact it’s tough to tell what would or would not be a catch in live action.

However, for now, it appears Godwin has made his case, if not on the Jaguars, for all the other teams seeking a receiver this year.

Rookie CB CJ Henderson rebounds

Much was made of the rookie cornerback’s play after coming back from an undisclosed illness for several days last week. Since he’s returned, Henderson has seemingly turned a corner, playing with a bit more tenacity as he was at the start of camp.

Today, Henderson made a few plays on the ball in one on ones against his fellow rookie receivers, one time on second-round pick Laviska Shenault, and another going up against fifth-round rookie receiver Collin Johnson.

In the first play, Henderson does a great job of staying with the receiver, causing disruption at the start of the route, never losing his patience. This allows Henderson to be in a perfect position to break up the pass, and could have had an interception on the play.

Against Johnson, Henderson does well in catching up after losing at the very start of the route, and wasn’t tricked by the attempted double move by the 6-foot-6 receiver. Instead, Henderson stays with Johnson and is able to make a play on an under thrown football by second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew II.

The Jaguars will be depending on Henderson as the ninth-overall selection in this year’s draft, and thus far, it looks as if his talent is starting to show just in time.

Cassius Marsh, Leon Jacobs continue to battle

While neither player has set themselves apart during training camp thus far, both Marsh and Jacobs look to play a role in Todd Wash’s defense this season. During camp, the two strong-side linebackers can be seen working together in hoop drills and bags, working to get each other better.

Marsh has been used as a down lineman along with a stand-up rusher over the past month, and today he showcased his speed and athleticism during a one-on-one rep with offensive lineman Garrett Mcghin during practice.

Time will tell whether or not Marsh can unseat the incumbent starter in Jacobs, however, it is clear he will have a role of some sort during this season, something the Jaguars can use in light of the defensive front four injuries.

Notes:

  • The Jaguars need this tune-up. The Jaguars desperately need the scrimmage tune-up. Without any preseason games to play, the team needs to have as many plays with their projected starting units in order to be in shape to play the Indianapolis Colts in a little over two weeks.
  • Injuries remain contained. While the Jaguars have not been completely completely healthy, they’ve held their own in that department, something the team and head coach Doug Marrone are certain to be happy about. Currently, Taven Bryan (knee, bone bruise), Dede Westbrook (shoulder) are week-to-week along with linebacker Quincy Williams. Linebacker Dakota Allen (hip) and Rookie safety Daniel Thomas (hamstring) have also not participated in camp the past couple of days.
  • Collin Johnson has had plenty of moments in camp. Today, Johnson had an up-and-down performance, but his ability to drop his hips, especially at 6-foot-6, continues to be impressive.
  • Secondary needs to take shape. The Jaguars’ defensive line group has taken the beating in terms of negatives during training camp, primarily due to the lack of depth at the position group, but the same can be said about its secondary. While the safety group has solid enough depth, the cornerbacks are far too spread out.