JACKSONVILLE – Gus Bradley liked a lot about what he saw.
That was true of the player generating the most postgame buzz – rookie quarterback
The Jaguars beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 16-10, in front of an announced crowd of 59,100 on Friday, establishing the tone early with an aggressive, pressuring defense.
And that tone was something Bradley said afterward he liked. A lot.
“It was a good day,” Bradley said after the Jaguars clinched the victory with a 26-yard run by running back
“That’s one thing I talked to our whole team about, ‘Let’s go out and play this game and see what kind of mindset are we building?’”
The Jaguars’ defense held the Buccaneers to 47 first-half rushing yards, which enabled a revitalized pass rush to pressure Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown. Defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks registered a quarterback hurry, and defensive end
The first-team defense played three series, holding the Buccaneers to a first down and giving the Jaguars a 7-0 lead when safety
The Jaguars never trailed, leading 7-0 and 10-3. They clinched the game when Robinson – a second-year veteran from Michigan – got free around the left side and tiptoed into the end zone to continue the positive feeling that built within the team throughout the offseason and training camp.
“The main thing is we’re all excited to be here,” Jaguars middle linebacker
“The more we practice together, the more we’re on the field together, the easier it will become. We just need to stick to our process and continue to work and improve.”
The Jaguars’ first-team offense, quarterbacked by veteran
“Overall, there were some good plays out there that were made,” Henne said. “So we will have to check the film and re-evaluate.”
For the game, the Jaguars had 91 yards rushing and 264 total yards.
“Sometimes in the first preseason game, it feels like the defense might be ahead of the offense,” Bradley said. “We know that will take some time. We have a starting point. We have a bar, and now the challenge is to raise the bar.”
And while the offense managed just one field goal with Bortles in the game, the rookie looked impressive in his first NFL action.
“Blake did a nice job in the second half,” Bradley said.
Bortles, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, completed 7 of 11 passes for 117 yards, and though he did not lead a touchdown drive, he appeared confident and poised, throwing downfield with accuracy. He also had three passes dropped.
“I thought it was alright,” Bortles said. “It’s a process. It’s not going to happen overnight. There were some good reads and some bad reads.”
A POISED PERFORMANCE
Bradley said the performance from Bortles wasn’t unexpected.
Bradley said not only had Bortles had shown good poise in training camp, the second-team offensive line also had played well in practice.
“We felt like we could protect him, and I thought he did some good things,” Bradley said.
Bortles played exclusively with the second team on Friday. That has been the case throughout the offseason and training camp. Bradley also said while Bortles could conceivably get work with the first team before the end of the preseason, the plan is to play several rookies with the first team in an effort to get the players experience.
Bradley mentioned the fourth preseason game as a time Bortles could work with the first team.
“Somewhere, you’re going to see it,” Bradley said. “We do that with all of our guys and I’m sure we’ll do it with Blake as well. … We’ll see how it progresses.”
Bradley added, “He’s progressing nice.”
Bortles received an ovation upon entering the game with 9:51 remaining in the second quarter.
“It was cool,” he said. “Especially being down there near our own end zone and having a very energetic crowd cheering us on. That fired us up.”
CENTER OF ATTENTION
His debut didn’t go as he might have hoped, with two shotgun snaps from Brewster twice leading to losses in the first half, but Bradley said “we still have faith” in the third-year veteran.
Brewster, who has worked with the first team throughout most of training camp, started on Friday. He worked alongside
“They came a little high and faster than normal,” Henne said of the snaps. “We’ll have to look at it on film and correct it. We’ll talk to Mike (Brewster) about it and we’ll get it fixed. We’ll be fine.”
Said Bradley, “We’re going to continue to grow with him and challenge him, but just like with all of our guys, we need to see improvement.”
Jaguars wide receiver
That was the only significant injury for the Jaguars on Friday, with cornerback
2.Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny: “There is definitely a noticeable difference with our defensive-line play. You saw them get after the quarterback right from the start. We’re really excited about that group because we know that’s something they can do all year long.”
3.Denard Robinson: “It’s always a good feeling to get in the end zone, but I have to give credit to the receivers and the offensive line. They did a great job. When I see the end zone, you always think you’re getting in. But the receivers got me in there.”
The Jaguars will visit the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois, Thursday at 8 p.m.