Sunday was a busy one for the Jaguars. The team hosted fans and took to the field at "The Bank" for the first time in the Urban Meyer-Trevor Lawrence era. The team held a glorified "scrimmage" without pads and saw minimal contact from down to down. The real scrimmage took place on Saturday, and you can read more about that here. Still, over 15,000 fans cheered on their Jaguars Sunday morning at TIAA Bank Field.
Trevor Lawrence was crisp, showing accuracy and big-play potential with regularity. The first half and some change of Sunday's practice was competitive — defenders were fighting to get their hands on the ball. But during the last few drives, the Jaguars' coaching staff called off the dogs, and the practice essentially became a walk-through. Lawrence completed 24-29 passes throughout the entirety of the day. He threw three touchdown passes, one each to Laviska Shenault, James O'Shaughnessy, and Jeff Cotton. An impressive debut on his home turf, to be sure. Lawrence continues to look like the generational talent he was believed to be when the Jaguars selected him with the number one overall pick in April.
Lawrence's competition for the starting quarterback job wasn't as impressive. Garnder Minshew struggled to see the middle of the field, per usual, and often opted to check down or hit receivers short. When he did attempt to push the ball down the field, Minshew was often unsuccessful.
Some other players of note:
Rookie first-rounder Travis Etienne shined as a receiver. On one drive, in particular, Etienne caught two sideline targets that were heavily contested by defenders. He showed the concentration, body control, and strong hands required to make the play.
Laquon Treadwell has been one of the stars of training camp for the Jaguars. Sunday was no different. The 26-year old receiver caught everything thrown to him, including a diving catch deep down the field for a massive gain on a cross-body dime from Trevor Lawrence. The way the former first-round pick is playing, it's going to be hard for the Jaguars to let him go. He's gone from a forgotten man to one of the most impressive players in training camp for the Jaguars. He's not going to threaten Marvin Jones, DJ Chark, or Laviska Shenault for one of the top three spots on the roster, but Treadwell has been the clear-cut next best option so far.
Speaking of DJ Chark, Urban Meyer confirmed after practice that the fourth-year wideout suffered a small fracture in one of his fingers. Chark underwent minor surgery to fix the issue, but Meyer expects him to be ready to go for week one of the regular season.
Marvin Jones was in attendance but was held out of practice after missing some time with a personal matter. Meyer said, "Marvin Jones had to go back for a family issue, all positive, and he came back late last night, so we held him out today, but he's good to go."
Another no-show, pass rusher Josh Allen, was away from the team for personal reasons. Meyer shared, "Yeah, I'm not going to steal his thunder, so he's got some really positive, cool things going on, but that's between him and his wife."
After participating in practice for the first time this training camp on Saturday, 2020 first-round pick CJ Henderson was not in attendance for personal reasons, and Meyer wouldn't really comment on the situation after practice. When asked if it was going to be difficult for CJ Henderson — who has missed time with injuries and COVID-19 — Meyer only offered, "I don't know." Later on, a report surfaced from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler that suggested the Jaguars were open to trading CJ Henderson. We'll keep you updated on this storyline as things progress.
Back to what happened on the field Sunday ...
Rookie second-round cornerback Tyson Campbell had himself a day, breaking up a Gardner Minshew pass with some physical play on a slant route and looking sticky in coverage overall. There was no questioning Tyson Campbell's speed, length, and ability to stay with receivers coming out of Georgia. No, the question was whether or not he could disrupt plays and get his hands on the ball at the catch point. Over the last several practices, Campbell has been very active when it comes to breaking up passes, and he appears ready for the next step: the preseason.
Collin Johnson, a 2020 sixth-round pick by the Jaguars, has also been highly consistent. His massive frame and strong hands allow him to catch almost everything thrown his way. His route running ability and speed catch defenders off guard as well. He appears to be locked in to a roster spot.
On the tight end front, Chris Manhertz is precisely who we thought he was, an excellent blocking tight end. And not much more. He's not a natural catcher of the ball and dropped an easy one on Sunday. On the other hand, some of the other tight ends showed off capable hands on Sunday, specifically James O'Shaughnessy. He is the best route runner and perhaps the most athletic of the bunch. He's also the most natural pass catcher. During a drive in the first half, O'Shag caught three straight passes on consecutive plays from Trevor Lawrence. On each, he showed the ability to create separation and ball skills. He and Lawrence capped off the drive with a touchdown over the middle. Ben Ellefson and Tim Tebow both caught several passes on the day as well. Neither looks very athletic, but at least they've been sure-handed. Still, it looks like O'Shaughnessy should be in the line for the bulk of the receiving work, while Manhertz should be the key blocker of the bunch.
This being an unpadded practice, it was difficult for the defensive line to show off. Still, free agent signing Malcom Brown took advantage of quarterback Jake Luton dropping the ball; he scooped up the fumble before it even hit the ground and raced towards the endzone for a score.
Speaking of showing off, K'Lavon Chaisson had two would-be sacks on the day. He's now stacked multiple impressive practices together and appears to be earning more trust from the coaching staff.
The three most critical special teamers for the Jaguars, kicker Josh Lambo, punter Logan Cooke, and return man Jamal Agnew performed at a high level. Lambo was automatic, hitting 4/4 field goal attempts. Cooke's leg looked strong as ever, and he had some success pinning the ball inside the 20. Jamal Agnew was one of the true stars of the day and has been since returning to the field. He is incredibly tough to get hands on as a returner and would have had several long returns as a kick returner and punt returner on Sunday. Agnew also shined as a receiver, catching all of his targets and even breaking Tre Herndon's ankles after making one of his grabs.
One player that has caught my eye for the wrong reasons this camp is safety Andrew Wingard. He plays through the whistle, even in non-contact work, which makes him a liability. He's also generally not looked good in coverage. He was part of a coverage bust that led to the first touchdown of the day on Sunday and later was holding a receiver down the field. I wouldn't be surprised if he's among the roster cuts during the first two trim-down phases during the preseason.
After practice, Trevor Lawrence stuck around to meet and greet fans, giving away his headband and various other pieces of apparel to some passionate fans. He continues to not only show off his ability as a quarterback but his character off the field.
The Jaguars claimed cornerback Lorenzo Burns off waivers from Arizona. An undrafted rookie, Burns picked off nine passes and tallied 35 PBUs in college. At 5'10" and 183-pounds, he's on the smaller side, but he'll get a shot to make an impact here in Duval.
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