It was plenty warm during the Jaguars’ warm-up scrimmage as the team gets set to take on the Cleveland Browns next week in the first preseason game of the year.
Today would be the first time the players and coaches held a workout within the stadium, hosting it in front of 15,506 fans who showed up to the event on Sunday. For Meyer, the atmosphere was perfect.
“You don’t usually get wowed by a stadium, but the first time I walked through there I was like, ‘oh my gosh, this is beautiful.’” Meyer said of the atmosphere at TIAA Bank Field.
“Beautiful stadium, great fans, it gets your blood pumping. I heard our players were tired and then all of a sudden, this wakes you up. So, we appreciate our fans being here, and there’s no more excuses, we gotta win some games here.”
The Jaguars came out in spiders today, not full pads as they have been in years past, opting to go for a lighter day of work following a hard day of practice on Saturday.
“Yesterday was really the 40-45 play scrimmage, today was mock game, simulation of a game,” Meyer explained shortly after the scrimmage ended.
The mock game went as planned with kickoffs, punts and field goal attempts making their way throughout the day. The team split off into three different groups, first team, second and third as they worked their way into figuring out who the top competitors were.
While the expectations for the team to go at full speed weren’t quite met, there was still plenty to take away from what the team produced on the field earlier today at TIAA Bank Field.
Here are some of our observations from today’s scrimmage:
Lawrence shines with a mix of teammates
The Jaguars opted to split first-team reps with its quarterbacks yet again on Sunday, opting to send Gardner Minshew II out as the first quarterback off the sideline. It was Lawrence, however, who proved once again why he belongs as the starting quarterback, routinely hitting players in stride on Sunday.
On Lawrence’s best drive of the game, he drove the team 99 yards, completing 7/9 of his passes, with a touchdown to Laviska Shenault. The best throw of the game wouldn’t be his touchdown throw, however.
On one play, Lawrence would roll out to his right, squared his shoulders throwing across to the other side of the field, hitting receiver Laquan Treadwell.
Treadwell would make a diving grab, adding more fuel to the fire of him making the team’s opening day roster.
The rest of the day for Lawrence finished just fine with another thrown on the day during team drills while the defense remained competitive.
His second touchdown toss would be to tight end James O’Shaughnessy. The touchdown to O’Shaughnessy drew some ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the crowd, fitting the ball in a tight window where only the tight end could snag it.
On the day, Lawrence completed 16 out of 21 of his passes for two touchdowns.
Walker Little seeing time at right tackle
As camp continues through the summer, the Jaguars are looking at different ways to keep the best players on the team’s 53-man roster. Second-round selection, offensive tackle Walker Little has been one of the standout rookies from this year’s class, and now he’s begun to receive an increased workload.
Though it appears that Little will have to wait a bit longer to secure a starting gig from Cam Robinson at left tackle, he could be pushing swing tackle Will Richardson off of the roster, or at least lower on the depth chart. Richardson has been the team’s swing tackle over the past two seasons.
Over the past few days of practice, Little has been seen working at the right tackle position, giving coaches a closer look at how he would fit on either side of the formation.
“We’re cutting this roster down pretty soon,” Meyer said about Little taking reps at right tackle. “Usually, you’d have three tackles, three inside guys, and one flip guy. That’s been on purpose, why we’re trying to see if he can handle the right side.”
Little has impressed in both areas, although has looked more comfortable on the left side rather than right, which should be expected.
Laquon Treadwell showing why he should be on the 53-man roster
It’s not often a player can come off the street and immediately make plays for a team, but Treadwell has proven that it’s possible. Signed in the middle of June, Treadwell has made plenty of plays throughout training camp and has grown a connection with both Lawrence and Minshew.
“Yeah, it’s amazing to me. So what was this guy doing last week? He was at home. Next thing he’s playing for the Jaguars,” Meyer said of the relatively recent additions of Tavon Austin and Treadwell. “So I admire guys like that, and they’ve been really good. Treadwell came in, and I’ll tell you, he’s in the hunt for a spot.”
Treadwell would haul in at least four passes on the day, including the touchdown and the aforementioned diving reception from Lawrence. If he continues to play the way he has, he is a shoo-in to make the roster.
The Jaguars will have a tough decision on their hands come cut-down day. Three receivers, DJ Chark, Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault will make the team.
Jamal Agnew as a kick returner will also likely make the team. Beyond that, Jacksonville will have to choose from Treadwell, Johnson and likely Phillip Dorsett, picking two out of the three to make the roster. The rest of the receivers still have an opportunity, however, those are the most likely candidates.
CJ Henderson misses scrimmage
What appeared to be a good sign yesterday with Henderson practicing for the first time this training camp yesterday may have just been one brief moment. Henderson would miss today’s scrimmage due to “personal reasons,” Meyer said following the event.
When asked whether or not it would be tough for Henderson to make up for the lost time, the head coach simply stated, “I don’t know.”
It is unclear at this time how much Henderson will play this season, but missing more camp time can’t be good for his ability to earn significant playing time over the course of the season, preseason or otherwise.
Henderson was placed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list on July 23rd, just when camp began and while he is now active, he has had just one practice in front of Meyer since he became the team’s head coach in January. Henderson was recovering from labrum surgery throughout the offseason.
Tyson Campbell proving his worth at cornerback
Campbell has become one of the team’s key defensive backs over training camp. Without Henderson to push him, he’s played both outside and inside for the team’s first and second-team defense. Today, he made a couple of nice plays, including a pass breakup in team drills.
Meyer spoke about the young cornerback shortly following today’s scrimmage and has been impressed at how he’s performed defensively.
“Tyson Campbell is a very fast guy that plays — the reason we drafted him, he never panics because he's got elite speed, and he’s been really good,” said Meyer. “He had a tough day on special teams yesterday, but defensively he’s been doing very well. We’re glad we got him.”
Don’t be surprised to see Campbell inserted into the team’s starting lineup come Week 1, likely with Sidney Jones and Shaquill Griffin manning the outside position, with Campbell in the slot.
He’s shown the quickness and explosiveness you’d want to see out of a cornerback thus far in camp.
- Marvin Jones Jr. returned to the practice field today but was held out after missing two days for personal reasons. He will likely return to full action the next time the team practices.
- DJ Chark underwent surgery on his finger and was seen sporting a heavy wrap on his hand. Meyer stated after practice the injury was a small fracture, and he should return to play for Week 1 against the Houston Texans.
- Taven Bryan was spotted for the first time since the first day of training camp. He has been on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list for five days.
- Andrew Norwell was held out of practice again today, second-year guard Ben Bartch took his place.
- Defensive end Josh Allen was not in attendance today, and Meyer stated after practice that it’s really good news for Allen.
“I’m going to not steal his thunder, so he’s got some really positive, cool things going on, but that’s between him and his wife,” Meyer said.