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Inside the Jaguars: Brown continues to impress

Posted Aug 2, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts III on first-year WR Mike Brown: "He got better. He’s more confident. We saw this last year. It’s not new to the players."

JACKSONVILLE – Mike Brown’s approach for a year and a half has been about consistency.

He focused on that last year, earning a spot on the Jaguars’ practice squad as a rookie free agent, and that has been his goal in an offseason and training camp of transition.

Now is no time to change. So, with Brown not only receiving attention and praise during most of Jaguars 2013 Training Camp, but also on Friday getting a chance to work with the first team, he hasn’t altered his approach: Not too high, not too low . . .

Not yet, anyway.

“I just do the best I can on the reps that I get,” Brown said Friday following a two-and-half-hour practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields adjacent to EverBank Field.

“I just want to continue to get better. I try not to get too caught up in the ones, twos, threes, all that. When I get opportunities, I try to make the most of them.”

Since he joined the Jaguars in the 2012 offseason as a rookie free agent from Liberty, he has done just that.

He earned his way onto the practice squad last season, first making the 90-man roster after signing as an offseason tryout player in early May 2012, then earning a practice squad spot in training camp. He moved to the active roster late in the season.

This offseason began with more uncertainty.

PHOTO GALLERY OF DAY SEVEN OF TRAINING CAMP

With a change at both head coach and general manager, Brown wasn’t assured of being re-signed. The team invited him to return, and after impressing coaches and personnel officials in the offseason, he has been one of the surprise stories of camp.

He has gotten open consistently in the first seven practices of camp, and on Friday, he worked extensively in the first-team receiver rotation with Cecil Shorts III and rookie Ace Sanders – and ahead of veteran Mohamed Massaquoi, who signed as a free agent in the offseason.

Bradley on Thursday said he was “very pleased” with both Sanders and Brown, and Shorts on Friday said Brown’s play in camp hardly is a surprise.

“We saw it last year when he was on the practice squad,” Shorts said. “He was killing our defense, so when he plays like this, it’s nothing new to us. Him coming in and making plays – we saw the same stuff last year. He got better. He’s more confident. But we saw this last year. It’s not new to the players.”

Brown said despite hearing such praise a lot this offseason – and even more since camp began – he can’t listen. Not much, anyway.

“It’s like Coach Gus preaches all the time, ‘The most three dangerous words are, I got it,’” Brown said. “I don’t want to get close to that mindset. Even if you are a starter, there’s always somebody pushing to come get your spot. The focus I take is the same I took last year - - making myself the best I can make myself and letting the rest play out.”

Also around the Jaguars Friday:

*Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said rookie Denard Robinson had one of his better practices. The Jaguars worked Robinson extensively at the Wildcat formation, and though he went 1-for-2 passing from the formation, he handled snaps well and the Jaguars ran effectively from the scheme. . . .

*Fisch on Robinson: “We treat this a little like a driving range right now. We’re playing with our different clubs, and seeing which one works. We’re not going to ask him to do everything. We’re asking him to do the things he does well. We’ll limit his package when it comes down to it, but in training camp our philosophy is to test all the different things out and see what we can do.” . . .

*Rookie Luke Joeckel took his first extensive work at left tackle in the NFL on Friday. Joeckel, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, has been working at right tackle since being drafted, but worked on the left side as starter Eugene Monroe got a veteran day off Friday. “I felt pretty good,” Joeckel said. “It’s always good. I have to be ready to play both sides. Eugene was a big help. He was watching me, giving me tips.” . . .

*Joeckel, who played on the left side all three seasons at Texas A&M, said the side still feels natural. “I did it for all three years, so it’s still similar sets,” he said. . . .

*Bradley said there will be a live period in Saturday’s scrimmage at EverBank Field Saturday, but that a goal of the scrimmage also is to go through the pregame routine and work on specific situations.

*Bradley said while each side of the ball continues to have spurts when it controls practice, he likes what he sees in recent days defensively. “I am seeing some of the things tighten up,” he said. “You’re starting to see it.” Bradley said the safeties and corners are starting to get a better idea how he wants the defense to play.

*Jordan Todman took additional reps with the first- and second-team offense with running back Justin Forsett out with a sprained toe Friday.  “His speed is something that’s jumped out and he’s had some explosive plays,” Bradley said. “He’s gotten more carries and more attempts than maybe in days past. He’s a guy that we’re really taking a look at.”

*Bradley also said while running back Maurice Jones-Drew’s repetitions have increased he is not quite ready to practice full. Jones-Drew has worked all but one day of practice, working with the starters early in drills before letting the reserves take most of the reps thereafter. Jones-Drew spent the offseason rehabilitating a sprained foot. “We’ll reevaluate where he is (on Sunday) and make a decision if we need to take the next step with him,” Bradley said.

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