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Campservations: Day 11


JACKSONVILLE – Jaguars 2021 Training Camp continued Tuesday.

It was the 11th day of the team's first training camp under Head Coach Urban Meyer, featuring a padded practice at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex. Each day throughout camp, four members of Jaguars Media – senior writer John Oehser, senior correspondent Brian Sexton, team reporter Ashlyn Sullivan and senior reporter/editor J.P. Shadrick – will share an observation.

Here are Tuesday's "campservations:"


The defensive front is a major '21 camp storyline for the Jaguars – and the interior of that front is starting to get interesting. Veteran defensive tackle/big end Malcom Brown is expected to be the leader – and to improve the team's stoutness against the run – but watch second-year nose tackle DaVon Hamilton and rookie defensive lineman Jay Tufele closely. Hamilton flashed before a season-ending knee injury last season, and he has looked vastly improved – and like a potential impact player – early in camp. Tufele flashed multiple times Tuesday in one-on-one pass-rush work. This was a major offseason priority, and these two young players look like they could help the Jaguars at the very least be improved against the run in 2021.


These are the toughest days for a player in training camp, with Saturday's preseason opener against Cleveland looming. While coaches drove players hard on Tuesday – as if they weren't playing for another month – focus is required. The players appeared entirely locked in on what felt like the hottest day of the summer. You didn't notice guys looking for an opportunity to take a breather or walk instead of run – and after 27 years, I'm always looking for those guys. From the special-teams drills at the start of practice, to the 11-on-11 work at the end, there was a sense that you didn't want to miss a single rep because another opportunity might not come along soon. The closer we get to the start of the season, the more the coaches dial in their lineup to get more work with players who will be on the field on Sundays this fall. Every opportunity in practice becomes incredibly valuable to a player on the bubble. It's not just hot on the field; the heat is on a number of players whose careers are on the line. It looks as if Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer and his coaches have driven that point home.

Shadrick …

I enjoy watching Meyer throughout practice. It actually starts before practice with his long walk around the practice field alone – then as players make their way out, he stops many of them for some one-on-one interaction. Once practice starts, he's in the middle of the action. During winner-loser one-on-one drills between the offensive and defensive lines, he's next to the center – leaning in, hands on knees, whistle in mouth, grading it in real time. As much of a grind that everything off the field is for a head coach – the film review, meetings, studying, planning, overseeing of the staff – the on-field part with the whistle around his neck is where Meyer can let loose and get more intense with his message.

Sullivan …

Defensive end/outside linebacker Jihad Ward will be crucial to the success of the defense. The free-agent acquisition has impressed all throughout training camp and had an especially impressive day on Tuesday. He is getting great pressure on the quarterback, on Tuesday forcing quarterback Trevor Lawrence to overthrow wide receiver Collin Johnson in the end zone. He also on Monday shined in one-on-one pass-rush work against offensive tackle Will Richardson Jr. Ward looks explosive and quick off the line and has for sure stood out.

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