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First Off the Field: 8/5

Posted Aug 5, 2013

The latest headlines as the Jaguars conclude their eighth day of 2013 training camp.

JACKSONVILLE – Gus Bradley likes what he’s seeing from Blaine Gabbert lately.

Gabbert, competing with Chad Henne for the Jaguars’ starting quarterback position, took all of the reps with the first-team in practice on Monday, a practice in which he appeared fully recovered from a sprained ankle sustained a week ago.

Bradley, the Jaguars’ first-year head coach, praised Gabbert afterward, and said he was impressive not only Monday, but in the team’s scrimmage Saturday.

“I thought he did a nice job going into the scrimmage,” Bradley said Monday after the Jaguars’ two-and-a-half-hour, full-padded practice in 88 degree temperatures at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields.

“We really watched to see how he would handle that atmosphere where it got heightened a little bit. We wanted to see if guys stayed true, and I thought he did a nice job.”

Gabbert got all of the repetitions with the first-team offense in 11 on 11 Monday, and Bradley said he was impressed with Gabbert on a late drive in practice. On that drive, Gabbert hit long passes down the middle to rookie Ace Sanders and first-year veteran Mike Brown.

The drive ended with an incomplete pass as Gabbert threw the ball away under pressure on 4th-and-goal from the 6.

“I thought Blaine did really well,” Bradley said.

Henne appeared to have an equally solid practice, leading the team’s lone touchdown drive in a live portion of 11-on-11. He capped that drive with a 26-yard touchdown to tight end Brett Brackett.

At the same time, Bradley said there are still areas Gabbert must improve.

Cornerback Alan Ball intercepted Gabbert on the second drive of red-zone work, and appeared to have a chance to return it for a touchdown. Gabbert also was nearly intercepted on another play.

“You’d like to have execution,” Bradley said. “I’m with you on that. We have to capture. That’s the challenge. That’s what (Offensive Coordinator) Jedd (Fisch) and I have talked about. You challenge your red-zone offense and you look at that.”

Bradley said he has yet to decide who will start at quarterback in the team’s preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins Friday.

“We’re going to let this week play out, then decide how we want to do the rotation,” he said.

Tight end Marcedes Lewis said overall the offense has progressed in recent days.

“We understand if we want to get to where we want to get to, we have to ride out – every day,” Lewis said. “We have to ride out. We can’t get too low if something’s bad or get too high if something’s good. We have to have a workman’s attitude and handle our business.”

Also Monday, Cecil Shorts III – perhaps the Jaguars’ best offensive player early in training camp – left practice early with strained left calf.

“I believe it was nothing major,” Bradley said.

The Jaguars waived wide receiver Taylor Price (foot) and offensive guard Stephane Milhim (knee) from the Physically Unable to Perform list. The two had been on the list throughout camp.

The Jaguars are scheduled to hold a walkthrough at the Florida Blue practice fields this afternoon. They will practice again at 9:55 Tuesday.

PHOTO GALLERY OF DAY EIGHT OF JAGUARS TRAINING CAMP

INJURY WATCH

Safety Johnathan Cyprien (hamstring) remained on the reserve Non-Football Injury List. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon (groin) is still on the Physically Unable to Perform List, with Price and Milhim being waived.

Running back Justin Forsett missed practice with a sprained toe, and cornerback Lionel Smith missed practice. Each missed Saturday’s scrimmage.

Defensive end Jeremy Mincey missed practice while undergoing tests on a head contusion sustained last week.

 

PLAY OF THE DAY

The play of the day was very nearly a play to really, really remember.

On the play late in practice in red-zone drills, Gabbert rolled to his right, and threw a high pass to a well-covered Lewis. The tight end reached high, and nearly pulled in a pass for a one-handed touchdown on the sideline.

After the ball caromed from Lewis’ hands, linebacker Russell Allen caught the ball as he stepped out of bounds. Officials appeared to rule the interception out of bounds.

“That’s a pick,” defensive coordinator Bob Babich yelled, pursuing the play.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

1. Penalties plagued practice early Monday, with officials calling at least seven early in practice, with five defensive offsides.

2 Rookie Ace Sanders caught a 15-yard pass from Gabbert in the early 11-on-11 work.

3. Lewis caught a pair of passes from Gabbert, including a 20-yarder down the left sideline.

4. Henne threw two nice deep balls early in 11 on 11, with Toney Clemons catching one and Mohamed Massaquoi called for offensive pass interference on theother.

5. A wide open rookie Tobais Palmer caught a long touchdown pass on an underthrown ball from Gabbert in 11-on-11.

6. Bradley said middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, nickel cornerback Mike Harris, defensive end Jason Babin and safety Dwight Lowery stood out in Saturday’s scrimmage.

7. Cornerback Marcus Bailey defensed a pass from Mike Kafka in red-zone drills.

8. Wide receiver Jeremy Ebert had one of the day’s best catches, holding on to a pass over the middle while being leveled by rookie safety Josh Evans.

9. Safty Ray Polk defensed a pass in live 11-on-11 late in practice.

 

QUOTABLE

1. Lewis: “We approach it the same way every day. That’s what coach (Bradley) tries to preach to us, that if you play hard in practice, you don’t have to change it in the game. We’re going to practice hard, give what we’ve got and live with the results. You shouldn’t have to change who you are.”

 

LOOKING ON . . .

*Rookie Denard Robinson continues to improve as camp goes on. After struggling with ball security early, he has settled into a backup running back and Wildcat quarterback. He had two nice cutback runs in early team drills, and continues to look more comfortable taking snaps from center.

*Linebacker LaRoy Reynolds has become one of the most intriguing players in Jaguars 2013 Training Camp. The rookie free agent from Virginia has consistently made plays since camp began, and he was impressive again in Saturday’s scrimmage. The Jaguars are relatively thin at linebacker, and with multiple rookie free agents expected to make the team, Reynolds is a favorite to be on the roster.

 

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