JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines the Wednesday that was around EverBank Field as the Jaguars began preparing to play host to the Oakland Raiders Sunday
ATTENTION ON THE RUN
The Jaguars want to run. They believe they need to run.
As for actually being able to run, Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said hope is not lost.
“There are enough good areas we can hang our hat on,” Bradley said Wednesday as the Jaguars (2-3) prepared to play the Oakland Raiders (4-2) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Jaguars through five games rank 31st in the NFL in rushing, and have rushed for less than 70 yards in four of five games. Their lone game with more than 100 yards rushing came in their best offensive game of the season when they rushed for 136 yards in a 30-27 Week 4 victory over Indianapolis.
T.J. Yeldon has rushed for 176 yards on 54 carries in five games with Chris Ivory rushing for 75 yards on 31 carries in three games. The Jaguars rushed for 54 yards on 20 carries in a 17-16 victory at Chicago Sunday.
Bradley said there were positives seen when studying the run game, including a 3.3-yards-per-attempt average. Bradley said the focus will be on “doing things we do well more often.”
“There are some things that have been showing up,” Bradley said.
Bradley said the discussions with the offense regarding the run game have focused on “painting a clear picture.”
“What’s the truth?” Bradley said. “There is a lot of attention drawn to the run game, and surely they feel that part of it. You want them to pay attention to it, but you don’t want them full of anxiety over it. I think it’s a fine line.”
BACK AT IT
Wide receiver Rashad Greene (Achilles), tight end Neal Sterling (foot) and running back Corey Grant (toe) returned to practice Wednesday. All three missed Sunday’s victory over the Bears. Greene and Grant worked full Wednesday and Sterling worked limited.
Defensive tackle Abry Jones (hamstring) and right tackle Jermey Parnell (hip) were the only two Jaguars players not practicing Wednesday.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring) practiced limited, as did strong safety Johnathan Cyprien (calf), center Brandon Linder (foot), left tackle Kelvin Beachum (knee), defensive end Jared Odrick (hip) and wide receiver Allen Hurns (shoulder). Free safety Tashaun Gipson (knee) worked full Wednesday.
Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash didn’t specify whether or not cornerback Jalen Ramsey will shadow Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper Sunday. But Wash made it clear Ramsey’s performance covering Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery one-on-one throughout this past Sunday’s Jaguars victory bolstered the team’s confidence in the high-performing rookie. Ramsey, the No. 5 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, allowed Jeffery six receptions for 90 yards in the first half before holding the Pro Bowl wide receiver to one reception for three yards in the second. Ramsey’s pass breakup on the Bears’ final play secured the victory. “When they have a marquee wide receiver, we’re going to challenge him each and every week,” Wash said. “We feel real comfortable with him right now matching up on people.”
Wash on Wednesday discussed cornerback Davon House, who played three plays Sunday after starting the first four games. With nickelback Aaron Colvin returning, Prince Amukamara and Ramsey started outside. “We felt Prince was playing well,” Wash said. “House did get in the game. … I wouldn’t consider him benched because he did play, but his reps were limited a little more. … We just felt like that was the decision we wanted to make at that point in time, to get Prince more and more reps. House is going to continue to play. We’re going to need him. For us to be successful, we’re going to need Davon House.”
“He [Myles Jack] is continuing to learn the [Otto linebacker] position. I think he’s going on his third week of it. Myles has some strengths and [Dan] Skuta has some strengths. We’re going to try to get them in in situations where those strengths can be exploited. [Jack]’s learning it; he’ll continue to be our starter out there. But we know we have another player there with Skuta who deserves to be on the grass, too. We feel we have two really good players at that position.”
“He’s extremely tough, one of the tougher guys I’ve ever been around and it’s awesome to see. It speaks volumes to the team when he’ll go across the middle and make a play, do everything in your power to hang on to it and kind of get crushed and then get up, walk off the field and be back in the next series. It’s not a guy that’s going to go say anything or complain or do anything. He just shows up and plays football and loves to do it.”
--QB Blake Bortles on Hurns