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First Off the Field: 8/7

Posted Aug 7, 2013

The latest headlines as the Jaguars conclude their 10th day of 2013 training camp.

JACKSONVILLE – Gus Bradley liked what he saw on Wednesday.

That was true of the Jaguars’ practice overall, and the first-year head coach said it was particularly true of the offense and the two quarterbacks competing for a starting position.

Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne, competing throughout 2013 Training Camp for the starting quarterback position, split repetitions with the first- and second-team offense throughout most of Wednesday’s drills.

Bradley said he was impressed with the quarterbacks’ poise and demeanor.

“We’re making progress there – I’m really pleased with the progress,” Bradley said Wednesday after the Jaguars’ two-and-a-half-hour, full-padded practice in 88 degree temperatures at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields.

Bradley said he was generally pleased with how the quarterbacks are “handling themselves.”

“They just appear to be more poised, and that’s good,” Bradley said.

Henne and Gabbert have been splitting repetitions throughout training camp, with Gabbert getting all of the first-team repetitions in practice Monday and Henne working with the first team throughout Tuesday’s practice.

Wednesday marked a return to the first week of training camp, when – as was the case in Saturday’s scrimmage at EverBank Field – the two split repetitions with the first and second team.

Bradley said he has yet to decide who will start in the preseason opener against Miami Friday, and that he had yet to decide on a rotation at positions for that game. He said the coaches will discuss that Wednesday night.

He said the team will study Miami a bit Thursday, but that the focus mostly will remain on the Jaguars’ roster.

“We wanted to have another practice,” Bradley said. “You saw it today: the offense and defense went against each other again today for the majority of practice. We feel like we have to take advantage of those reps. We want to keep this competition going.”

Wide receiver Cecil Shorts III missed practice a second consecutive day with a strained left calf, and Bradley said it appears likely he won’t play Friday.

“Right now, it looks that way,” Bradley said.

Defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick missed practice with a groin injury, while rookie cornerback Jeremy Harris missed with a lower back issue. Defensive tackle Kyle Love received a “veterans” days off.

The Jaguars are scheduled to hold a walkthrough at the Florida Blue Practice Fields Wednesday afternoon. They will practice again at 9:55 a.m. Thursday.

 

INJURY WATCH

Safety Johnathan Cyprien (hamstring) remained on the reserve non-football injury list, and Bradley said early this week Cyprien could return next week. Blackmon (groin) remained on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Running back Justin Forsett remained out with a sprained toe, with cornerback Lionel Smith also remaining out with a quadriceps injury. Defensive end Jeremy Mincey attended practice, but did not participate because he is in the NFL’s concussion program.

 

PHOTO GALLERY OF DAY 10 OF JAGUARS TRAINING CAMP

PLAY OF THE DAY

There maybe wasn’t one play that stood out from the rest, but the quarterbacks had a good stretch early in 11-on-11 work in the middle of practice.

Gabbert started accurately, throwing intermediate completions to wide receiver Mike Brown and tight end Marcedes Lewis and Henne had a nice completion downfield to veteran wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. Henne followed that with a completion to Lewis.

Gabbert then followed that series with his best series of practice, completing intermediate passes on consecutive throws to Denard Robinson, wide receiver Toney Clemons and Massaquoi.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

1.Early in 11-on-11 work, running back Maurice Jones-Drew had a hard, slicing run up the middle that Robinson followed with a long touchdown run down the right side. It was the duo’s best back-to-back stretch of camp.

2.Cornerback Marcus Trufant intercepted an errant pass from rookie quarterback Matt Scott in team drills late in practice.

3.Scott has several of his best throws of camp, completing a long pass to Jamal Miles and completing passes to tight end Isaiah Stanback, wide receiver Jeremy Ebert, tight end Ryan Otten and wide receiver Tobais Palmer in an 11-on-11 drill.

4.Ebert made a diving reception on a sideline throw from Henne.

5.Miles closed 7-on-7 with a long pass from veteran quarterback Mike Kafka.

 

QUOTABLE

1.Bradley: “I thought it was a good energy practice. The offense had a very good day.”

2.Bradley: “As a coaching staff, we demand excellence. We demand excellence on the practice field and when we don’t see it, it’s all of our responsibilities. It’s the coaches’ responsibilities and the players’ responsibilities to push one another. We do that by adding pressure. They should challenge each other in that fashion. If we do that, and we do our job, we like our chances to get better.”

3.Bradley on Kafka: “He’s been a couple of installations behind, but he’s picking it up pretty quick. He’s got good arm strength and he’s accurate. The challenge will be to see how he can throw the long ball, too.”

 

LOOKING ON . . .

*Jones-Drew appears to be playing his way into shape by the day. Jones-Drew, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who spent the offseason rehabilitating a sprained foot, entered camp working full, but being brought along slowly. He also said he wanted to lose a few final pounds by playing his way into shape. On Wednesday, nearly two weeks into camp, he had several one of his better runs of camp and his workload appears to be gradually increasing. If he’s not in full regular-season shape, he’s close.

*The Jaguars’ reserve quarterbacks, Kafka and Scott, got more work on Wednesday than they had in any previous training camp practice, with Scott working particularly extensively. He had a 15-play drive in a mid-practice team drill, and also closed a 7-on-7 drill with a deep pass to Palmer. “We made an emphasis on that,” Bradley said. “We know they’re going to get opportunities Friday, so we wanted to get them more reps to get them a comfort level. We amped it up for them today.”

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