JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines the Tuesday that was as the Jaguars began preparations for Sunday's Preseason Week 3 game against the Cincinnati Bengals at EverBank Field …
Beachum progressing nicely
Kelvin Beachum this week thus far is progressing nicely.
And while it's unclear what exactly Beachum must to do to be ready for the September 11 regular-season opener, Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said Tuesday it remains possible the veteran offensive lineman will play against Cincinnati Sunday.
That would be a positive for Beachum, and it's something Bradley very much wants to see.
"It's important for him, and we'd love to see him play," Bradley said Tuesday after the Jaguars' first practice in preparation for their Week 3 Preseason game against the Bengals at EverBank Field Sunday.
Beachum, who signed as an unrestricted free agent in March, missed the Jaguars' first two preseason games as the team remained cautious in his return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained with Pittsburgh in Week 6 last season.
Beachum is expected to compete with Luke Joeckel for the starting left tackle position – with the loser of the battle likely playing left guard. Joeckel, the starter at left tackle the past two seasons, turned in one of his better performances Saturday against Tampa Bay.
Bradley said Beachum practiced Tuesday.
"It went very well," Bradley said. "He felt good. We'll see now. Am I hopeful? Yes. I'd love to see that he comes back after today's practice and we practice him again tomorrow and he continues. We're ready for anything, but our hopes are that he's ready to go for Sunday."
Bradley said Beachum has been working every three plays with "run-game-specific plays to see how he handles it."
"I think it's just, 'How does he feel after taking more reps?''' Bradley said. "'How does he feel in the pass game, in the protections?' His knee has been good. It's just gaining the confidence in it."
BACK AT IT
Defensive tackle Michael Bennett returned to practice Tuesday after missing Saturday's Preseason Week 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a hip injury.
Images from Tuesday's practice as the Jaguars returned to the field to prepare for the Bengals.
Defensive tackles Roy Miller (quad) and Abry Jones (quad contusion) were among 10 Jaguars players not practicing Tuesday. The others:
Cornerback Prince Amukamara (personal), safety James Sample (shoulder), offensive tackle Jeff Linkenbach (concussion protocol), offensive tackle Josh Wells (thumb), defensive tackle Sheldon Day (back). Safety Peyton Thompson worked limited in non-contact work and remained in the concussion protocol.
Offensive lineman Luke Bowanko (hip) and defensive end Jonathan Woodard (Achilles) remain on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Amukamara missed practice following the birth of his son late Monday evening.
"When we need those tough yards – third and short and if we go for it on fourth and short – he's a back that you can leave in the game. He can leave it all out there on the field."
---Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis on RB Chris Ivory
"Sometimes we had plays last year where you felt like the free safety had the chance to make the play and we didn't. With him back there we don't have those conversations.''
---Bradley on FS Tashaun Gipson
The Jaguars' run game has been impressive early in each of the first two preseason games, setting the tone for productive games from the first-team offense. Bradley on Tuesday said a big reason has been third-year veteran Brandon Linder, who moved this offseason from guard to center. "I think the communication that's taking place up front – they really have to work well as a unit and communicate well," Bradley said. "Linder's really on it. I think it starts there and spreads throughout." Bradley said Linder's work ethic has impressed throughout the offseason and training camp. "He tries to take it to another level," Bradley said, adding that Linder sits on quarterbacks meetings and calls extra meetings with the offensive linemen. "As far as leadership, he's a guy we really targeted and it just comes naturally to him."
… NOTABLE II …
With Preseason Week 3 widely considered the NFL's last dress rehearsal game, Bradley said the Jaguars indeed will game plan for the Bengals far more than was the case in the first two weeks of the regular season. "This will be as close as we can to replicate an in-season week," Bradley said. "We'll run reports making sure we get all the information we need. We'll go through the process part of it and make sure if there's anything we need to get worked out prior to our first game we will. It's a good week for our players to get an understanding of how the meetings are going to be handled as well."
… AND STILL NOTABLE
With Miller doubtful for Sunday's game because of the quad issue, and with Jones also not practicing Tuesday, Bradley said first-year veteran Richard Ash could get a long look at nose tackle Sunday. "Ash has been playing pretty good, so it gives us a chance to see him with the ones," Bradley said. "That's a great evaluation tool for us. We want to make sure we take advantage of that." Bradley also said defensive end Tyson Alualu can move inside to play the position. "We have a lot of flexibility with him," Bradley said of Alualu.