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First Off the Field: Intensity increases in pads

Posted Jul 27, 2014

The latest news as the Jaguars complete their final Training Camp practice of the weekend.


JACKSONVILLE – The pads went on, and the heat stayed …

Well, the heat stayed hot.

The result Sunday morning was an intense Day 3 of Jaguars 2014 Training Camp, with the team working in shoulder pads for the first time in what Head Coach Gus Bradley said so far has been a productive, energetic three days.

“It was great to get the pads on,” Bradley said Sunday afternoon after the Jaguars worked for about two hours and 15 minutes in 89 degree temperatures in the late morning and early afternoon at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields.

“I know our players were fired up about it, even though it was just shoulder pads. I think it just teaches pad level, even in nine-on-seven drills. You saw at times where our pad level was high on the defensive side. But on the other side, the offense really came off the ball well.

“They really established themselves. That part was good to see.”

How intense was Sunday? One example came midway through practice, when veteran tight end Clay Harbor caught a short pass from rookie quarterback Blake Bortles and turned the play into a first down on 3rd-and-4. Veteran defensive end Tyson Alualu pursued the play, made the stop and the two pushed afterward.

Alualu ended the skirmish ripping Harbor’s helmet off, and it slung into a small group of media.

The intensity eventually led to three skirmishes, with defensive tackle Deandre Coleman and offensive lineman Patrick Lewis also shoving later.

“That’s good,” Bradley said, adding with a smile, “When you love each other, there are going to be some battles, right? That’s the way to look at it. There is intensity. You saw (guard) Zane Beadles got a little fired up and (defensive tackle) Red (Bryant) got a little fired up.

“We’ve got intensity and those guys bring even more to it. We want to control it and keep our poise, but it’s a physical game and there are going to be times when those things occur.”

Linebacker Geno Hayes returned to practice Sunday after having a veteran’s day off Saturday, a pattern that’s expected to continue through camp as he returns from season-ending knee surgery last season. Defensive tackle Roy Miller had a veteran’s day off Sunday.

Also, wide receiver Cecil Shorts III missed a second consecutive day of practice with a hamstring strain. He is expected to miss at least two weeks. Shorts spent practice working with the wide receiver group, something he said he plans to do while out.

The Jaguars will hold a walkthrough practice later Sunday afternoon, and will hold a practice that is open to the public at Bartram Trail High School at 6 p.m. Monday. That practice will feature the Jaguars in shoulder pads.

“I know our guys are looking forward to it,” Bradley said. “We’ve been preaching to our guys and they’ve been embracing it, about the opportunity to connect with the following. We’re going to St. Johns County and our guys are excited about that. It’s almost like Monday Night Football, right?”

The team will begin working in full pads Wednesday, July 30.

 

INJURY WATCH

Cornerback Alan Ball (ankle) and linebacker Dekoda Watson (sports hernia) remain on the Physically Unable to Perform list, with cornerback Aaron Colvin (knee) opening camp on the non-football injury list. Safety Josh Evans (foot) practiced on a limited basis Sunday and linebacker John Lotulelei (hamstring) remained out to start camp. Shorts (hamstring) missed practice, as did linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring) …

PLAY OF THE DAY

This came early on Sunday, with running back Denard Robinson continuing to improve and impress in his second season. Robinson, who struggled at times in a receiving role and with ball security as a rookie, made one of the most impressive plays of the early days of training camp in an 11-on-11 situation in the middle of practice. Robinson ran a 15-to-20 yard route down the right sideline, then made a twisting, falling reception over his back shoulder for the first down. It’s another sign that Robinson’s hands may have improved since last season, giving the Jaguars the opportunity to utilize his big-play ability this season.

HIGHLIGHTS

*Rookie wide receiver Allen Robinson continued to impress, continuing to improve his route running and getting open on several plays early in an 11-on-11 drill. Rookie wide receiver Marqise Lee – like Robinson a second-round draft selection – caught a deep touchdown pass in 7-on-7 work from quarterback Chad Henne. …

*Cornerback Will Blackmon had an interception on a deep pass from Bortles. Linebacker Geno Hayes earlier in practice had a Pick Six interception off quarterback Ricky Stanzi.

*Bortles continued to look improved from the Jaguars’ on-field offseason work. He continues to work on footwork, but his poise in the pocket and accuracy for the most part have been impressive. …

*Rookie defensive end Chris Smith had a pass deflection at the line of scrimmage for a second consecutive day. …

*Veteran running back Toby Gerhart had a solid day on the team’s first day in shoulder pads. His day included a strong run up the middle in 11-on-11 work late in practice.

Live Blog 2014 Jaguars Training Camp Social Hub

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