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2014 minicamp: Work remains

Posted Jun 18, 2014

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley on Day Two of 2014 minicamp: “We’ve got some work to do. It’s a challenge to see how we come back tomorrow.”

JACKSONVILLE – Day Two wasn’t quite Day One.

That was Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley’s message to players Wednesday following the second of three 2014 mandatory minicamp practices.

The Jaguars worked for about two hours, twenty minutes Wednesday morning and afternoon, with all 90 roster players in attendance, but whereas Bradley largely praised Tuesday’s practice, he said Wednesday’s work wasn’t ideal.

Bradley while he was pleased overall with minicamp, Wednesday wasn’t “as sharp as we need to be.”

Bradley said two-minute drills weren’t sharp, and there were issues with receivers lining up offside and false starts on the offensive line.

“We’ve got to capture those things and that’s what we talked about at the end,” Bradley said following Wednesday’s session at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields. “We talk in terms of what getting better looks like and what it doesn’t look like, and when we do those things it comes back to haunt us.

“We’ve got some work to do and we’ve got to clean that out of our game, but we will. I think it’s a challenge to see how we come back tomorrow.”

The Jaguars announced that 1,243 fans attended Wednesday’s open practice, the last of five open practice sessions of the offseason. Thursday’s final minicamp practice is closed to the public.

The team had two open rookie camp practices, an open practice during organized team activities and two open minicamp practices. Nearly 6,300 fans attended the second open rookie camp session, the only one of the five open sessions held on a weekend.

“I want to thank all the fans for showing up at the open practices we had,” Bradley said. “It creates a lot more energy, our players love it, we love it and it’s been our motto all the time, to connect with the following and have our fans go along the journey with us. It’s been great.”…

Also on Wednesday:

*Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles spoke to the media following Wednesday’s practice, and while he spent part of the session addressing the contract he signed that morning, he also discussed his progress after three weeks of organized team activities and two minicamp practices. He said he has been “average” throwing thus far, saying he has been working on a lot of basics, specifically footwork. “There are things that I’m not doing well right now, but I’m not worrying about it because I’m trying to fix something else,” he said. “It is a process. It’s something that me and (quarterbacks coach) Frank (Scelfo) are working on that’s going to take a while, so I’ll continue to improve and work hard.” …

*Bortles, the No. 3 overall selection in the NFL Draft, said shortly after the draft he had been making changes in his mechanics and footwork during the pre-draft process. He said Scelfo has encouraged him to work on mechanics and fundamentals during individual drills, and then to focus on executing the play during team and 11-on-11 work. “You have to make this stuff muscle memory because what I’ve been doing for 22 years isn’t the right way,” Bortles said. “But that’s what I’m used to doing, so I have to fix it. It’s going to take time.” Bortles added that most of his focus in on footwork. “It’s a process, but we’re working on it.”…

*Bortles also spoke specifically of his day Wednesday, calling it “all right,” and adding, “I thought there were things that I didn’t do very well, but that’s part of it. It’s not a two- or three- or four-week process; it’s a long process, a long journey. I need to keep learning and getting better – asking (starter) Chad (Henne) questions. I definitely have a lot to improve and work on.”…

*Bortles, who has struggled at times with accuracy on deep passes during OTAs, said that hasn’t been a focus this offseason. “It’s definitely something that will be worked on in the future, something that will be addressed in July and going into camp,” he said. …

*Center Mike Brewster said he likes where he is physically coming out of the on-field portion of the offseason. The third-year veteran, who is working with the starters following the offseason retirement of Brad Meester, missed the last two games of the 2013 season with an ankle injury and spent the early part of the offseason rehabilitating. He was unsure how much he would participate in OTAs and minicamp, but has worked with the starters throughout and said he has gained confidence in the ankle. “I feel blessed that it bounced back,” he said. “There’s soreness and there probably will be soreness for the first year.” Brewster said he had enough work during the offseason to have confidence that he can handle a bull rush and that his ankle can support pass rushing sets. “I’m not 100 percent, but I feel confident it’s not going to hinder me at all,” he said. “I’ve anchored on some stuff and it’s no problem.” …

*Bradley said overall Bortles has improved during OTAs and minicamp and is becoming more consistent. “He’s feeling more comfortable back there with the play calls and things,” Bradley said, adding, “Sometimes there’s anxiety and sometimes he’s pressing and trying to do too many things. We’re just watching that and he’ll work through that. Some of the things he has to work through and he will.” …

*Bradley said he expects veteran Jacques McClendon and rookie Brandon Linder to be a significant battle at right guard during training camp. McClendon is working with the starters, but Linder has begun to work with the ones for close to the same time. “That is something to keep an eye on going into training camp,” Bradley said. “That’s a battle right there.”…

*Bradley also said rookie wide receiver Allen Hurns, an undrafted player from Miami, has stood out with his versatility and consistency, and that fullback Will Ta’ufo’ou “has done an outstanding job.” …

*Fourth-year veteran Cameron Bradfield has shown versatility, according to Bradley. He also said that rookie defensive end Chris Smith has done a good job in two-minute and third-down situations. “We saw a little pressure from him today,” Bradley said of Smith.


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