On Thursday the Jaguars wrapped up their seventh practice of training camp and their fourth straight day of padded practice.
The team clearly had an emphasis on the red zone during the practice, running many different situational red zone drills and practicing 11 on 11 in the red zone. Both sides of the ball traded punches in what was a high energy practice.
Blake Bortles was sharp, for the most part, on day seven. He did however throw three interceptions. The first was a pass that the receiver couldn't hold on to and safety Tashaun Gipson eagerly snatched the ball off the bobble. The second was a 4th down situation in which it was end zone or bust and Bortles just threw it up. The third was a short yardage ball that he threw up and it too got picked off easily. Aside from the interceptions, which you could say weren't entirely his fault, save the last one, Bortles was very impressive. He threw at least 6 TD passes and finished 11 on 11 going 13/18 (72%). He may surprise some people in 2017 if he keeps up his solid play and decision making.
Chad Henne was his usual self, for the most part. He did a lot of checking down and a lot of taking off and running, but he did make a few nice throws. The one that stands out the most was a deep sideline route that was placed just over the defenders head and landed right in the outstretched hands of rookie Dede Westbrook.
Brandon Allen was very, very sharp. He had a number of impressive throws including a dime deep down field to Arrelious Benn. He seems to have a legitimate shot at earning second string at some point in 2017. He seems to have an easier time finding receivers down field than does Chad Henne.
LEONARD FOURNETTE is the real deal. When he is on the field the offensive line looks decent, when he's not on the field they don't look well equipped to handle an NFL defensive front. He had two notable runs on the day. On the first Fournette bounced right, patiently waited on his blocks to develop (of course, that didn't happen), but he was able to find a massive whole after most of the defense over pursued and he cut back and found daylight for a big gain. On the second the team was working on goal line. Both TJ Yeldon, Chris Ivory, and Leonard Fournette had a shot to carry the ball on the 1 and try to get in the end zone. Fournette was the only back to accomplish scoring a TD from that set. He effortlessly leaped over the offensive line and into the end zone. We all know Fournette has speed, size, and power, but what he has been putting on display of late is vision and patience. Fournette may have a special rookie year.
As for the rest of the RBs, they looked pedestrian. The same can be said about the offensive line, at least during 11 on 11. In both pass protection and run blocking the offensive line wasn't very impressive. They gave up a number of would be sacks on the day and also let their RBs get crushed in the backfield far too often. When it came down to drills the O-line and the D-line traded punches, the defensive line landing a couple more than the O. Like I've said for some time, it seems like this offensive line will be average at best.
The WRs had an up and down day. Shane Wynn, Marqise Lee, and Arrelious Benn all had drops. All three also made some tremendous plays. Keelan Cole made his daily highlight reel catch. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns were consistent, as they have been. Rashad Greene flashed a bit today and made a beautiful TD grab on a fade route.
Marcedes Lewis continued to have a really solid camp. He caught everything throw his way on the day. Ben Koyack had his first notable drop of camp, but aside from that, he too has been impressive. Caleb Bluiett made a great one handed grab, but then later let a ball sail through his arms.
The defense looks like it's going to be something special, but it could take some time for them to gel. Even with out Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Colvin coverage was mostly tight. Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson were flying all over the place. When Fournette wasn't on the field the defense looked truly impressive. Malik Jackson, and Dante Fowler both got to the QB during practice. During one on one drills Fowler got the better of rookie Cam Robinson today. Sheldon Day flashed again today recording a would be tackle for loss.
There was much less special teams work today, however the team did practice blocking field goals in one drill.
The emphasis today was on the Red Zone. Bortles was sharp, despite his three INTs, and Fournette continued to shine. The defense is going to keep the team in games, will the offense respond?
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