JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines the day around EverBank Field – with an eye on the Jaguars' joint practices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday and Thursday…
"We don't need Part Two"
Tashaun Gipson figures the next few days will be fun and productive.
He also figures things could get intense, even … well, chippy … and it's the last part that the Jaguars' free safety said could need to be monitored in the coming days.
"Guys are doing whatever they have to do to make the team," Gipson said of the Jaguars' joint practices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday and Thursday at the practice fields adjacent to EverBank Field. "They have guys over there hungry. We have guys over here hungry. It's going to be a super-competitive atmosphere."
Such energy turned into scuffles between the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots at a similar joint session Monday, with roughly 70 players reportedly surrounding an estimated 20-player scuffle at one point. That was one of two altercations at the practice.
"We don't need a Part Two over here, but I think it's going to be fun," Gipson said.
Both practices are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., with none of the free tickets that were available by registering at jaguars.com remaining. The teams will play a Preseason Week 2 game at EverBank Field Saturday night.
"It's still practice," Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said. "We'll go into it with that mentality."
Bradley, who said he will speak to players Tuesday night about how to handle practice altercations, said he and Buccaneers Head Coach Dirk Koetter have talked extensively planning the sessions. While the schedule will vary slightly from a normal Jaguars practice, Bradley said he and Koetter share similar practice approaches and philosophies.
"There wasn't many things that we had to change," Bradley said, adding that while a minor adjustment such as moving a special teams period early in practice is possible, "The tempo and how we go about – and the style of – practice and what we expect and all that is very, very similar."
Bradley said the primary benefit of the next two days is a chance to get extended work against different players and different schemes than the Jaguars have faced in the first two-plus weeks of training camp.
"It is going to challenge us mentally," Bradley said. "We're going to see different looks than what we have seen all through training camp and in the game, which is good. Their defensive scheme is different than anything we have seen so I'm hoping it will add to our experiences. I'm hopeful that it's clean, guys compete their tails off, and that we get a lot out of it."
BACK AT IT
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey returned to practice Tuesday, as did linebacker Myles Jack, guard Chris Reed (ankle), cornerback Davon House (hamstring) and cornerback Nick Marshall (ankle). Ramsey and Jack had planned days off Sunday, with Ramsey having missed the preseason opener Thursday for precautionary reasons.
Take a look at some of the best images from Tuesday's practice.
Cornerback Aaron Colvin (ankle) was among eight players not practicing Tuesday. The others:
Safety James Sample (shoulder), running back Jonas Gray (quad), offensive tackle Josh Wells (thumb), offensive lineman Kadeem Edwards (ankle), wide receiver Shaq Evans (lower leg), defensive tackle Sheldon Day (back) and defensive tackle Michael Bennett (hip).
Offensive lineman Luke Bowanko (hip) and defensive end Jonathan Woodard (Achilles) remain on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Bradley said offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum worked in individual repetitions Tuesday with a few additional reps after that. The Jaguars continue to be cautious with Beachum as he returns from a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained in Week 6 with Pittsburgh last season. Beachum is expected to compete with Luke Joeckel at left tackle upon his return.
A specific area Bradley where this week's practices could benefit the Jaguars is a chance to see a different secondary scheme. Whereas the Jaguars play mostly single-high safety in the middle with the free safety back and a strong safety closer to the line of scrimmage, Tampa Bay plays what is known as a "split-safety" scheme. "For Blake [Bortles] and the quarterbacks and the offense [it's] a completely different look than they've seen all during training camp," Bradley said. "We're going to see that during the year, so that's what I think will be good looks from that."
"There is definitely a feeling across the board in the back end that they are really trusting and relying on each other. I have seen that."
---Bradley on the secondary since the offseason addition of Gipson
The right side of the Jaguars' offensive line looked strong in Thursday's preseason opener, with guard A.J. Cann and right tackle Jermey Parnell showing the benefits of starting alongside one another last season. "This whole offensive line – we have great chemistry," Cann said. "You can throw anybody in there and we can get that chemistry down and start to jell together. I feel like it is coming together for J.P. (Parnell) and myself, but I feel like any one of us five can get up there and do it."
"It will be a great few days. We practice every day and play against our same guys. We know their mannerisms and what they do and how they play. It will be a lot different. We played them one time last year, but it will be different for us. It will be more intense. It will be fun."
---Cann on the joint practice with the Buccaneers