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Defense shines, as Brunell watches


The Jaguars practiced once today, this afternoon, and the defense was judged to have gotten the better of the offense in a red-zone drill that featured a post-play wrestling match between first-round defensive tackle Marcus Stroud and second-year offensive tackle Mark Baniewicz.

"We looked at some different things from the defensive front. We got singled up and got some pressure," coach Tom Coughlin said.

The Jaguars offense was without quarterback Mark Brunell, who was forced to take the day off due to a sore left elbow. Coughlin expressed mild concern for Brunell's sore arm, but could offer nothing in the way of a prognosis.

"I'm always concerned when a guy can't work," Coughlin said.

Defensive lineman Larry Smith missed his second consecutive day of practice due to a sore hamstring, as did veteran safety Carnell Lake.

The Jaguars will be on the field tomorrow morning at 8:40 and again at 3:20 p.m. They'll practice once Thursday, in the afternoon, then will host the New Orleans Saints in combined practices Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Coughlin used today's post-practice press conference to offer some capsule evaluations on Stroud, undrafted rookie wide receiver Randal Williams, veteran cornerback Fernando Bryant, and rookie safeties James Boyd and Marlon McCree.

"He's been impressive. He's working like heck to stay low. He's got some quickness," Coughlin said of Stroud.

Williams, 6-3, 214, from New Hampshire, flashed his talent in mini-camp, and he's picked this summer where he left off in the spring.

"He's flashing, again," Coughlin said. "He had a good spring. He's a kid who gains your attention. He's a good, young prospect."

Bryant is off to a fast start in training camp, after a sophomore season that was far beneath the standards he set in his rookie season, 1999.

"Let's say we hope he has a better year this year. He had some injuries (last year). He looks like the guy we saw in '99, up to this point," Coughlin said of Bryant.

Boyd and McCree each worked with veteran safety Donovin Darius in this afternoon's pass-defense drills. Coughlin was complimentary of each rookie.

"They stay in the meetings longer. They're always in the coach's ear. I've been impressed with both of them," Coughlin said.

Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.

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