JACKSONVILLE – First things first, Gus Bradley said this was a good start.
And on an early August night that was in a very real sense his first on-field experience as the Jaguars’ head coach, Bradley said getting a start was a big part of the process.
Still, Bradley said he liked a lot about what he saw.
“Being out here, and seeing the crowd for this kind of scrimmage that we had today was awesome,” Bradley said shortly after an hour-and-half scrimmage Saturday night in front of about 19,000 fans at EverBank Field in Jacksonville.
“It’s only going to get better, and I appreciated all the fans.”
Gabbert, who sustained a right ankle sprain on Monday, started the scrimmage with the first-team unit, and said while he wasn’t yet 100 percent, he felt close.
“He felt pretty good,” Bradley said.
Gabbert started four for four in the scrimmage, finishing the night 7 of 15 for 40 yards and two touchdowns. His 20-yard touchdown to
“I’m getting back to it,” Gabbert said. “I felt great out here. We’ll look at the film, learn from it and move on.”
Henne completed 7 of 13 passes for 64 yards and a touchdown.
“We’re getting better,” Henne said. “We still have five weeks to go.”
Bradley said he liked how the Jaguars competed, and that he thought there was good communication. He also praised rookies
Bradley also said while there were few mental errors, there were some that caused sacks and incomplete passes.
“Overall, I was pleased with our overall effort,” he said. “It was all what we needed as a team.”
PLAY OF THE DAY
There might not be just one play that stood out from Sanders on Saturday.
But if there was a player who made consistent plays – and a player who excited the crowd at EverBank – it may have been the rookie receiver from South Carolina.
Sanders, who is expected to return punts and play receiver for the Jaguars, has been one of the standout players of training camp, and he continued that trend during the team’s scrimmage on Saturday.
“He’s really a competitor,” Bradley said. “He showcased that tonight. Ace showed some of his capabilities.”
Sanders caught two passes from Gabbert on the opening drive, and then caught an 18-yarder later from Henne. He also had a punt return of about 15 yards that he appeared close to breaking for a long return. There was no live tackling in the scrimmage.
“I was really pumped up,” Sanders said. “It felt awesome, I wanted to come out here, show I knew my stuff and do the best I can. This is valuable to me. I came out and tried to give it my all every play.”
Said Gabbert, “He’s a little guy who plays big. He’s getting better every day. That’s all you can ask from a rookie.”
1. Robinson broke free for a long kickoff return in a kickoff drill, a play that excited the crowd but that realistically might have been a short return had the action been live. Still, Robinson showed his impressive speed on the play.
2. Gabbert started the night looking accurate, completing 4 of 4 passes to start the scrimmage. Gabbert later threw two touchdown passes in goal line, one to Massaquoi and one to tight end
3. Henne had an impressive drive in two-minute offense, and also had a touchdown pass in goal line to Marcedes Lewis.
4. Defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks, running with the first team, made back-to-back plays against the first-team offense, sacking Gabbert and knocking down a pass.
6. Tight end
7. Defensive end
1. Bradley: “I thought there was some good pressure for the defense. Looking at the execution, some of the techniques we’re teaching, you see flashes.”
2. Running back
3. Bradley: “The special teams, I thought, did a nice job.”
4. Henne: “There were some things me miscued and there were some screw-ups, but overall, we did some good things.”
5. Gabbert (during post-game): “These fireworks are loud.”
LOOKING ON . . .
*The pass protection struggled at times Saturday, particularly the second team. Henne was under pressure throughout, and was sacked twice by defensive end
*The scrimmage not unexpectedly produced nothing definitive in the quarterback battle. Gabbert looked good on the Jaguars’ first series, and had an impressive touchdown to Massaquoi later. His touchdown to Brackett also showed impressive touch. Henne was under pressure a lot, and got the offense started in a two-minute drill. He also produced a touchdown with a jump-ball pass to Lewis in goal line.
*NFL officials met with media shortly before the scrimmage, reviewing new rules in place for the upcoming season. A key talking point was the new crown-of-the helmet rule, under which running backs and defenders will be penalized 15 yards for hitting with the crown of the helmet. Officials emphasized that the penalty will be called only if three criteria are in place: 1, the player must “line up” the other player; 2, the player must drop his head; 3, the player must lead with the crown of the helmet. Officials also said there may be situations in which a flag is dropped then picked up because someone saw something other than what the official saw who threw the flag.