JACKSONVILLE -- Senior writer John Oehser's five takeaways from Day 10 of Jaguars 2015 Training Camp Tuesday at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields …
1)High intensity, concentration.We begin Day 10 takeaways with Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley, who remains pleased with the team's approach during his third training camp. Intensity and focus have been high, with few lulls in execution – even as Florida temperatures and humidity returned in a big way this week. "I haven't had any talks with them about that – maybe just reminders to keep them focused in what we're trying to do here," Bradley said, adding that the low number of mental errors that marked the offseason program has remained the norm in camp. "Even in our walk-throughs, we've been very pleased as a staff," he said. "Those mental errors that take place during the day, which have been few, have been (even less) with new install at night. It shows me they're really locked in."
2)Time for caution.To listen to Bradley, caution is the watchword for Friday's preseason opener against Pittsburgh. That could mean a short stint or no stint for players such as running back T.J. Yeldon, defensive end Jared Odrick and defensive tackle Roy Miller. Yeldon told Bradley he felt better Tuesday and it appears the finger injury sustained in Saturday's scrimmage is very minor, but the Jaguars may not risk the rookie in Preseason Week 1. The same is true of Odrick (knee) and Miller (knee), veterans who will benefit little from the first preseason game. Wide receiver Marqise Lee (hamstring) almost certainly won't play and cornerback Dwayne Gratz (calf) and Peyton Thompson (hamstring) remain out of practice. The latter three are more significant situations, but when it comes to Odrick, Miller and Yeldon, the reality is in the NFL keeping front-line players healthy takes precedence over playing in the preseason.
As the first preseason game approaches, here are the 10 best images from Tuesdays practice.
3)Sorting out the depth.The competition at reserve receiver could be one of the best of the preseason. Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and Lee likely will be Nos. 1, 2 and 3 with the unknown being Lee's health/availability. After that, it's more open. Rookie Rashad Greene is a candidate at slot receiver, but he's behind veteran Arrelious Benn on the depth chart and Benn has been productive in practice. "Injuries have set my career back, but that's just adversity," said Benn, a 2010 second-round selection by Tampa Bay who has dealt with knee and back injuries during stints with Tampa Bay and Philadelphia. "It's all about how you bounce back from it. I'm actually thankful for it, for having the adversities, because they've helped out in my life, on and off the field." The Jaguars likely will keep at least five receivers and possibly six, with Tandon Doss and Bryan Walters possibilities as receivers/punt returners and Tony Washington also continuing to look impressive in practice. "He worked himself up the depth chart in OTAs and minicamp," Bradley said of Washington. "Now, with some injuries and guys out, it's great to see him take care of his opportunities. He's got some speed and that's what he's showing out there." Bradley said Washington has gained consistency in the last week.
4)Showing up again and again.At the risk of repeating ourselves, Telvin Smith continues to look like one of the best draft selections of the David Caldwell era. Smith emerged as a starter late last season, erasing concerns over his size at outside linebacker by consistently making impact plays. That trend has continued in camp, and continued at Saturday's scrimmage. Add Smith to a linebacker corps that now includes a healthy Paul Posluszny in the middle and respected veteran Dan Skuta at the Otto position and you have easily the best starting linebacker corps of the last three seasons. Depth at the position remains a concern, though the team likes players such as LaRoy Reynolds, Khairi Fortt and Jeremiah George there. But in terms of front-line talent, this has gone from a concern entering last season to a likely strength.
5)Keep an eye on … A.J. Cann.If you have any interest in the interior of the offensive line – and it's a major area of interest for Jaguars observers these days – then you have had your eye on Cann since May 1. That's when the Jaguars selected Cann in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and since then he has pretty much been penciled in as a future starter at left guard. When will the penciling become the real thing? The Jaguars have been working last season's starter, Zane Beadles, with the first team at left guard throughout camp. There's no indication that will change immediately, but Bradley spoke highly of Cann Monday and coaches were very pleased with his performance in Saturday's scrimmage. Considering Cann appears an ideal fit for the aggressive, gap-style of run-blocking toward which the team is moving, a move to Cann sooner rather than later wouldn't be a shock.