The Jaguars played host to thousands of fans and the Mothership (ESPN) earlier this morning. In a practice where the players wore shells (shorts, shoulder pads and helmets) there were several key Jaguars that sat out including Paul Posluszny, Jalen Ramsey, Allen Robinson, Chris Ivory, and Marcedes Lewis.
There was some special teams work early on this day, not a whole lot to report on there.
Braeden Bowman, the undrafted tight end who has impressed all camp, did drop an easy pass in route drills, perhaps his first big mistake all summer. Undrafted rookies can't afford to make costly mistakes, but he'll likely rebound from the drop quickly.
In one on one (wide receiver vs cornerback) drills Marqise Lee was impressive recording a nice reception against Brent Grimes after he was able to get inside position on Grimes. To Brent Grimes credit he did respond later with some aggressive play and a nice pass break up on Allen Hurns. One the opposite end, the Jaguars cornerbacks were able to compete at a high level with the talented wide receivers from Tampa including this (below and to the right) stellar coverage from Davon House on Mike Evans.
In team drills Blake Bortles threw what should have been an interception. Luckily for Bortles, Kwon Alexander wasn't able to hang on to the pass that was intended for Julius Thomas. A point of emphasis for Bortles this year has to be to cut down on turnovers. Clearly, this is still a work in progress.
In two minute drills the Jaguars offense couldn't find the end zone as a Blake Bortles pass went incomplete on 4th down. With out Allen Robinson and Chris Ivory on the field it was clear that the Jaguars offense just wasn't quite where it needed to be.
Bortles did respond to his slow start later on in practice in 7 on 7 red zone and no huddle drills. He was also able to find several open receivers including Julius Thomas for this sweet TD.
When the Jaguars D-Line and the Bucs O-Line squared off in one on one drills it was clear that the Jaguars top edge rushers, Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue, have a long way to go, as they were both shut down. While the top two edge rushers for the Jags struggled in one on ones, their backup, rookie Tyron Holmes, showed off some impressive speed rushes. Another thing that was abundantly clear, as it has been all camp, is that Malik Jackson is a physical freak that will cause matchup problems for interior offensive lineman all year.
When the Jaguars O-Line faced off against the Bucs D-Line it was a show. Noah Spence vs Luke Joeckel highlighted the matchups. Spence was easily able to beat Joeckel with a nice inside move that looked exactly the move he pulled on Joeckel yesterday. Joeckel looked good in the Jaguars first preseason game against the Jets, but in practice this week he has struggled. He will need to be much better in the real game on Saturday.
Fowler did the leave the field during team drills, but apparently he just had the wind knocked out of him and needed an adjustment to the new, smaller, knee brace that he is rocking this week.
In terms of excitement there were a couple of fun moments. The first fight of the joint practices broke out when Yannick Ngakoue went after a Bucs player. More excitement came about when Gus Bradley said to Nick Jakobs, "Get your ass off the field" following a poorly run route. More fireworks came from Dante Fowler when he was kicked out of practice for an apparent fight. He'll need to keep that temper under control come Saturday.
This was a pretty even practice. Neither team really looked much better than the other. There are certainly areas where the Jaguars are better than the Buccaneers and vice versa. In what was the final practice of the week the Jaguars offense appeared a little flat in terms of energy. Look for that to change as the two teams face-off Saturday night under the lights at EverBank Field. The Jaguars are favored in the matchup and probably should be as they seem to have a more complete roster than the Bucs at this point.
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