Jack Del Rio stopped this morning's practice to address his team.
"Offensively we struggled a little bit. I pulled the group together and had two messages: Work with a purpose and focus on your techniques and do it with urgency," Del Rio told reporters following what was a sluggish start to the Jaguars' final full week of training camp.
Defense has dominated this training camp. This morning, following Saturday's 16-5 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Del Rio let it be known that he has tired of that trend.
"It's not going to happen overnight. We're doing some good things but we're doing some things that are not up to snuff," Del Rio said. "Success breeds confidence and I don't think we've had enough success to be confident right now."
The Jaguars head coach remains complimentary of quarterback Byron Leftwich's performance, and Del Rio praised the play of Akin Ayodele and Hugh Douglas, but he wasn't soft on everyone. Rookie kicker Josh Scobee's performance was indefensible, and more is expected of veteran tight end Kyle Brady, too.
"Scobee got all of the kicks. He needs to get better," Del Rio said. Scobee missed on field goal tries of 42 and 24 yards, and his kickoffs dropped at the nine and 15-yard lines. He was good from 34 yards on his third field goal try.
Brady had a pass glance off his hands in Saturday's preseason opener, and dropped passes have occurred too often in this training camp for the Jaguars' starting tight end.
"I would like him to catch the ball better," Del Rio said.
Punter Jesse Stein, who was signed late last week to help ease the practice burden on Chris Hanson, was released today. Kicker Jeff Chandler remains with the team and Del Rio suggested Chandler might be awarded some kicking opportunities this Friday against Tampa Bay. Chandler did not play in Miami.
The pass-offense and the kicking game are the Jaguars' areas of greatest focus, while the defense continues to perform at a dominant level, even when the opposition isn't the Jaguars offense.
Defensive end is the problem area on defense, but even at that vulnerable position the Jaguars seem to be finding success. Hugh Douglas has returned for this season with a rejuvenated spirit, and even though Tony Brackens has been lost to a muscle tear behind his right knee, second-year man Brandon Green and rookie Bobby McCray have stepped forward as players of potential.
Even linebacker Akin Ayodele has joined the mix. Ayodele was used at defensive end on two pass-rush downs against the Dolphins and he got pressure on the quarterback both times.
"I think he's poised to have a good year. His mental makeup right now is outstanding. We'll look to utilize him in both areas," Del Rio said.
"Hugh played well. Hugh played with a lot of energy. If he approaches the game like he did Saturday night, I think he'll have a big impact for us," the coach added.
Meanwhile, rookie linebacker and designated pass-rusher Jorge Cordova returned to practice this morning after having been sidelined since week one with a quad muscle strain. Offensive tackle Ephraim Salaam is experiencing some swelling in his knee after leaving Saturday's game following a hyperextension. Offensive guard Mike Compton broke a thumb and will see a hand specialist.
"The one pleasing aspect was the physical nature of our football team. One of the things we have to avoid is non-aggressive penalties. It's probably a result of the league's intent to clean up the line of scrimmage. None of them would've been called last year," Del Rio said.
"We're going to continue to look at combinations of players. We'll continue to stress fundamentals," he added.