The hotly anticipated first practice between the Jaguars and Buccaneers delivered plenty of excitement and some impressive individual performances.
Offensive stars Leonard Fournette, Marqise Lee, and Chris Ivory all missed practice, while Jalen Ramsey didn't participate in team drills.
The Jaguars waived the injured Josh Johnson and added TE David Grinnage in his place.
The team also released CB Ezra Robinson in favor of CB Dwayne Thomas.
Let's get into what we saw at practice!
The Jaguars offense was . . . . okay. The receivers had another strong day. That part's getting redundant, isn't it? All of the usual suspects at receiver made nice plays. The Allens, Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, and Shane Wynn all stood out. Arrelious Benn, who is listed at WR but is more a special teamer, made a nice toe dragging catch early in position drills.
The QBs were up and down. Sound familiar? Blake Bortles was picked off on his first pass of team work. Chad Henne almost suffered the same fate on his first throw as well, but fortunately for him the tipped ball fell harmlessly to the ground. Brandon Allen wasn't particularly sharpe on the day, but all three of the Jaguars QBs made some nice plays later on in practice, including a TD pass from Bortles to Allen Hurns. The Jaguars don't have the best group of QBs in the league . . . in reality they aren't even close to the top. The same question persists: Can Bortles find a way to manage games consistently?
As I stated prior, the Jaguars two lead backs were out today, so TJ Yeldon, Corey Grant, and Tim Cook all got bigger workloads than usual. None of them truly stood out, although Grant's rare speed is seemingly always apparent.
The offensive line had it's moment today. Cam Robinson got in some good work against veteran pass rusher Robert Ayers, and was able to hold his own against one of the best players he'll face this preseason. On the other end of the spectrum the offensive line was pushed back so quickly, that back up QB Chad Henne was knocked to the ground for a second straight practice.
On the defensive side of the ball there was a lot to like. The star of the day was CB Tyler Patmon, who has been a training camp standout thus far. Patmon recorded a couple of pass break ups against Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick and the icing on the cake was his interception of Jameis Winston in 11 on 11 drills. Patmon continues to present a strong case to make the final 53 man roster.
Dante Fowler, who played very well against New England in the Jaguars first preseason game of 2017, faced an old foe. Fowler matched up with Demar Dotson, who was partially responsible for Dante Fowler's dip in confidence and productivity last preseason. This time though, Fowler looked ready and held his own against Dotson, and even beat him in one one one drills.
Myles Jack continued to improve as the team's vocal leader on defense. He hasn't been perfect, but he continues to play faster and get the defense lined up quicker than he did early in camp. The Jaguars did, however, play Paul Posluszny some today at MLB and Jack at SLB. That's certainly a story to keep an eye on.
Special teams had a bit of a rough outing today. In particular the team's starting kicker Jason Myers struggled. In team drills Myers missed 2 of his 6 field goal attempts. Myers has struggled quite a bit lately and even missed two field goals in the preseason opener. Back returning punts today were Dede Westbrook, Shane Wynn, and Keelan Cole. While Westbrook continues to look the best with the ball in his hands, he wasn't able to secure one of the punts he went back for. His reliability will be something to monitor the rest of the preseason.
PS: The Hard Knocks film crew was on the field for the practice, so Jags fans will likely get a good bit of Jaguars coverage on the third episode (airs Tuesday 8/22) of the hit documentary series by HBO.
Like what you see? Hate it? Let us know in the comments below!
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