JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars' new era kicked off quietly Friday.
Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne, battling for the Jaguars' starting quarterback position, combined to produce three first-half points, a slow start offensively that became a 27-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins in the 2013 preseason opener at EverBank Field Friday.
"We had some good plays and started to get in a flow offensively," Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said at halftime of his head coaching debut at EverBank Field in downtown Jacksonville.
"It's all about the ball and we have to take care of it. The guys know that. I thought both sides really competed and that's what we're looking for as a staff."
Gabbert played the first quarter, completing 5 of 10 passes for 19 yards and an interception, with Henne playing the second quarter and completing 8 of 11 passes for 87 yards.
"It's preseason so we are still trying to sharpen up things," tight end Marcedes Lewis said. "We are trying to see what we are actually good at and what stuff we need to sharpen up. It's a lot of trial and error still going on. It's an ongoing process. We are working out the kinks."
Gabbert played with the first-team offense, with Henne playing his first series with the first team and with mostly the second team line late in the second quarter. Gabbert played against the Dolphins' first-team defense, with Henne playing mostly against the Dolphins' second-team unit.
"We had one good drive and we were a little inconsistent early," Gabbert said at halftime. "We got some different looks from them and that's good for all the guys. You can go back tomorrow to watch the film and really evaluate what we're doing and what works."
The Jaguars' lone points came on a second-quarter drive led by Henne, who completed 4 of 5 passes for 38 yards on a 16-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 23-yard field goal by kicker Josh Scobee.
Dolphins Ryan Tannehill finished the first quarter 5 of 10 for 79 yards and a 22-yard touchdown to tight end Dustin Keller that made it 7-0, Dolphins, with 2:04 remaining in the first quarter.
"All of it is correctable and we will come out strong next week," Jaguars defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks said.
The Dolphins led 14-3 at halftime, and for the game, 17 Dolphins points came off turnovers. The Jaguars committed four turnovers, including two muffed punts and interceptions by Gabbert and reserve quarterback Mike Kafka.
This came in the first quarter, when Miami solved the Jaguars' early pass rush and gave Tannehill more time than he had early. He used it to give the Dolphins an early lead.
Tannehill completed a 24-yard pass down the middle to Keller to set up a 22-yard touchdown over the middle to Keller, who beat third-year safety Chris Prosinski on the play,
Cornerback Nolan Carroll then intercepted a pass from Gabbert that deflected off the hands of Jaguars fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou. That play set up a 47-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard run by Jonas Gray for a 14-0 Miami lead with 2:33 gone in the second quarter.
1.Marks had a sack on the Dolphins' first pass play Friday, setting the tone for a good start for the pass rush. The Jaguars pressured Tannehill consistently early. Marks also had a near sack on a drive late in the first quarter. "That was big for me," Marks said. "I know I am one of the new additions to the defense and I want to be a leader. If I am going to try and teach the young guys how to pass rush then I have to go out and show it. I think I did that tonight."
2.Jaguars defensive end Andre Branch had a tackle on Tannehill on the Dolphins' first series for a two-yard gain. The second-year veteran from Clemson played deep into the second half as he battles for a spot in the rotation at the Leo end position.
3.Jaguars rookie rookie wide receiver Ace Sanders had a 22-yard punt return in the first quarter and rookie wide receiver Tobais Palmer followed that with a 22-yard punt return on the next possession. Palmer lost a fumble early in the second half that led to a Dolphins field goal.
4.Linebacker Russell Allen had a nice pass breakup on a pass from Tannehill in the first half. Allen later left the game with an ankle sprain.
5.Veteran cornerback Alan Ball had an early hard hit on tight end Dustin Keller, a play that was negated by a penalty that eventually led to the Dolphins' first touchdown.
6.Running back Jordan Todman performed well starting in place of Maurice Jones-Drew, rushing for 45 yards on six carries, and rookie Denard Robinson rushed nine times for 32 yards.
LOOKING ON . . .**
*There will be a lot of teeth-gnashing over the quarterback play, with Gabbert completing 5 of 10 for just 19 yards. He had three drops, and the interception he threw was a pass that probably should have been caught by Ta'ufo'ou. He also had passes dropped by Ace Sanders and Mike Brown. Henne replaced him and looked more efficient, completing 4 of 5 passes on his first drive, but neither threw downfield much and Friday probably didn't separate either player.
*The Jaguars' pass rush looked good early, but allowed Tannehill too much time on key passes to Keller on a touchdown drive late in the first quarter.
Jones-Drew missed Friday's game as a precautionary measure as he returns from a sprained foot, and wide receivers Justin Blackmon (groin) and Cecil Shorts III (calf strain) also missed Friday.
Other Jaguars missing Friday: cornerback Jeremy Harris (back), cornerback Lionel Smith (quad), defensive end Jeremy Mincey (concussion), Brandon Deaderick (groin), safety Johnathan Cyprien (hamstring) and running back Justin Forsett (toe).
Brown and Sanders started in place of Blackmon and Shorts, with Todman starting in place of Jones-Drew with Forsett out. Prosinski started for Cyprien.
Allen sustained an ankle injury in the second quarter and did not return.