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Day that was: Happy return for Smith

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JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines Day Nine of Jaguars 2016 Training Camp, with an eye on former WR Jimmy Smith's return to EverBank Field as part of 2016 Training Camp Alumni Day

Happy return

Jimmy Smith returned to EverBank Field Sunday.

That's not the first time that has happened, but it was the former Jaguars wide receiver's first appearance around the facility since the recent announcement that he will be inducted into the Pride of the Jaguars. That made this day special.

Smith, who played for the Jaguars from 1995-2005, will be inducted into the Pride at halftime of the Jaguars' game against the Minnesota Vikings at EverBank Field December 11.

"It hasn't set in just yet," Smith said after attending the Jaguars' practice Sunday with about 15 other alumni players. "I'm just glad to be back here with these fans. It's great to be out here."

Former quarterback Mark Brunell, punter Bryan Barker, guard Rick Tylski, linebacker Kyle Bosworth, left tackle Tony Boselli, defensive end Jeff Lageman, tight end Damon Jones, center Dave Widell, defensive lineman Renaldo Wynn, wide receiver Micah Ross, defensive end Jammie Kirlew, running back Deji Karim, linebacker Ed Thomas and safety Donovin Darius were among the alumni present.

"We still have that camaraderie," Smith said. "Once you retire from the NFL … that structure and camaraderie – trying to replace that is what's tough. It was good to be out there seeing Mark (Brunell) and Tony (Boselli) and a lot of the guys. It was great."

Smith spoke to fans throughout practice and signed autographs afterward.

"A lot of the people out there were probably 10 or 12 when I was playing," Smith said, adding with a smile, "I feel old a little. I've got to make sure I don't have many grays (facial hair) here. But just to reconnect with the fan base here in Jacksonville, and with a lot of these kids who didn't see me play – it's an awesome feeling."

 

Notable …

Wide receiver Allen Hurns spoke to the media Sunday, and said he continues to get extensive work both in the slot and on the outside. The slot work is in anticipation of him playing there this season in packages that utilize Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee on the outside. "I'm comfortable playing either position," Hurns said. "I'm moving back and forth, wherever they need me."

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… also notable

Hurns also told the media this year's training-camp work has been important because he didn't practice extensively last season during the season. Hurns sustained a sports-hernia injury in a Week 3 loss to New England, playing 12 of the final 13 games of the season with the only missed game because of a concussion. "I wasn't getting reps, so this is a chance to work on my technique," Hurns said. "I'm focusing on route-running, just getting in and out of my breaks and being open for the quarterback – that's the main thing for me."

Quotable

"I would say I owe a lot of credit to him for being a mentor, for being a father away from home. We didn't understand it at the time as players, but now if you look back you realize how great a man Coach Coughlin was – not just for players, but for the city."

--- Former Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith on former Head Coach Tom Coughlin

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Take a look at some of the best images from Sunday's practice.

Takeaways

*The two touchdowns receiving by tight end Marcedes Lewis in Friday's scrimmage were no fluke. The 11-year veteran continues to have one of the better training camps of his career, and he's being worked into the passing offense more this season. He started camp with big plays on multiple days, and he has been effective in practice thus far more often than not. Lewis said he feels closer physically to a Year Five player than a Year 11 player. So far in camp, he's playing like it.

*Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny's two-interception day Sunday was no fluke, either. Posluszny intercepted quarterback Blake Bortles twice in a tight red-zone drill late in practice, returning one of the interceptions for what would have been a length-of-the-field touchdown. "It's still practice, but you want to have an impact," Posluszny said. "You want to make plays that have an impact." Posluszny has worked with the starters on all downs throughout camp, and while rookie Myles Jack may be the Jaguars' future of the position, Posluszny is playing very well in the present.

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