JAGUARS TRAINING CAMP DAY FIVE RECAP
The Jaguars took to the practice field Tuesday for their fifth practice of training camp. On a sunny North Florida day, the team worked heavily on red zone installation.
AJ Bouye and Thomas Rawls will be rested this week with hamstring soreness. Both players missed Sunday's practice with the same ailment. Bouye is locked in as the starting cornerback opposite Jalen Ramsey, but Rawls is fighting for a roster spot at running back and this missed time isn't helping his chances.
Nick Foles had an efficient day, connecting with DJ Chark (we'll talk more about him later) on two touchdown passes in the red zone. He found several more receivers for would-be touchdown passes throughout the day. Overall he completed 19/30 attempts in team drills. But if you took away the two dropped passes and the attempts where Foles targeted receivers covered by Jalen Ramsey, you'd see just how well the Jaguars' QB actually performed. Adjusting for Ramsey in coverage and dropped passes Foles finished the day completing 19/24 passes.
Both Garnder Minshew and Alex McGough had solid days, but the same could not be said for Tanner Lee. Lee threw two interceptions, one of which was a terrible decision on a flat route that was well covered by Picasso Nelson. Tae Hayes also picked off a Tanner Lee pass.
Remember how I said we'd talk about DJ Chark? Here we are. Chark had a great day in team drills. His first touchdown snag was one of the best catches I've ever seen at a Jaguars' practice. Chark showed off his freakish athleticism, jumping impossibly high to snag the ball in the back of the end zone. His other touchdown catch came in a highly contested situation, where Foles threaded the needle to the pass to Chark. Chark needed a day like this. He struggled to make flashy plays over the last couple of practices and hasn't really looked like an uber-talented guy. Today, there was no questioning his ability on the field.
Dede Westbrook continued his strong camp. He hauled in a touchdown pass and later on broke open deep down the field to reel in a huge chunk play for the Jaguars' offense. Chris Conley hasn't been perfect in contested catch situations, but he continues to be a reliable target for Nick Foles, who looks his way with regularity.
At running back, Leonard Fournette continues to be the star. He's been excellent catching the ball out of the backfield. But Alfred Blue and RyQuell Armstead both let an easy catch slip through their grasp today. It's not a significant concern, but they need to prove that they can be trusted as receivers out of the backfield in this offense. Rookie undrafted free agent Taj McGowan limped off the field late in 11-on-11. I haven't heard what his injury is or how significant it is yet, but it didn't look good.
Cedric Ogbuehi and Josh Wells got the starts at left tackle and right tackle respectively. But Jawaan Taylor did get some reps with the ones later on in practice. Doug Marrone doesn't want rookies to feel like they've made it, so we're likely to see Jawaan Taylor moving in and out of the starting lineup for a while as we get closer to the regular season. But I expect he'll be the starting right tackle when the Chiefs come to town in September.
The Jaguars' defensive line may be the most dominant group in camp so far. The quarterbacks are regularly under duress and would have been sacked several times in practice today. Datone Jones, a vet that's fighting for a roster spot, has made an impact thus far. He got a would-be sack today and got pressure on several occasions. Josh Allen also would have gotten a sack on Nick Foles. Allen has been a bright spot when given the opportunity to compete in team drills. Lerentee McCray has done well for himself too. It's scary to think about the fact that the Jaguars' best pass rusher isn't even here yet.
At linebacker, Quincy Williams continues to flash. He made another play today where he darted into the backfield for a would-be tackle. He's as fast as they come at linebacker. Head coach Doug Marrone said he might be the fastest player on the team. Marrone also commended William's ability to correct mistakes.
Jalen Ramsey probably had the most impact of any one defensive player today. Nick Foles tested him four times, and four times Foles' came away empty-handed. Ramsey is in top form.
Josh Lambo had a spectacular run in team drills. He converted on 9/9 field goal attempts, including three from 50-plus yards.
This was another solid foundational practice that allowed the Jaguars' to hone in on their red zone installations. If there's one concern right now, it might running back depth. With Thomas Rawls and potentially Taj McGowan on the mend, the Jags may have to sign a runner just to have the number they need at this point in camp.
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