JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines the Jaguars' Preseason Week 2 to Tampa Bay – with an eye on Head Coach Gus Bradley's thoughts on penalties and the first-team defense
BUCCANEERS 27, JAGUARS 21
Gus Bradley liked a lot about Preseason Week 2.
But for all of the good early in a 27-21 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at EverBank Field Saturday – good that included two early touchdowns from the first-team offense and a takeaway from the first-team defense – the Jaguars' head coach couldn't say he was thrilled.
There were too many mistakes for that.
"It's tough; you never accept defeat," Bradley said after the Jaguars' second consecutive game with double-digit penalties to start the preseason. "It's tough when you go through a game like that and you see a lot of unfortunate things happen with penalties."
The Jaguars were penalized 13 times for 121 yards against the Buccaneers after being penalized 12 times for 132 yards against the Jets in the preseason opener.
"We must respond the right way," Bradley said. "We've got to get these cleaned up. I know they're calling it close and I know they're making a point of emphasis and it's good. We need to have that and I'm glad they're calling it as close as they did. I think our players will respond to it."
Bradley said he liked the defense's aggressiveness overall and the unit's aggressiveness early. The first-team defense held the Buccaneers without a touchdown and forced the first takeaway of the preseason when cornerback Dwayne Gratz intercepted Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston on the second Tampa Bay possession. The first-team defense left the game after that.
"We really liked what we saw," Bradley said. "We're pleased with how they came out. They showcased the style we want to play with – tight coverage, and I thought we made some plays. We played physical."
"They are obviously two guys who kind of make our offense go. They are the playmakers that can go up and make a big play at any moment. I thought we did a good job of kind of feeding each one of them the ball and letting them make the plays."
---QB Blake Bortles on WRs Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson
"It felt amazing. I mean it's football. I have not played a real game of football since January, so just being out here, I was overjoyed with excitement that I could be out here with my teammates and be able to make some plays. You know, do the best that I can."
--- Jaguars rookie CB Jalen Ramsey on his preseason NFL debut
"Both of those guys are premier backs in this league. For them to be able to help each other out, spell each other and keep each other fresh, it's obviously going to be a really special thing having those two in the backfield."
---WR Allen Robinson on RBs T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory
Brandon Linder made his NFL debut at center for the Jaguars at center Saturday. The third-year veteran started at right guard his first two seasons before moving to center this season. Linder, who missed the preseason opener with a groin injury, played the three series with the starters. "He's been awesome," Bortles said of Linder. "Him coming back, it doesn't seem like he missed a beat. I enjoy playing with him. He's a super intelligent dude and obviously he is a hell of an offensive lineman and is kind of the leader of that group with making all the calls, making sure everyone is on the same page. For somebody that just started doing it, he's doing a hell of a job."
*It's too early to call it a crisis, but penalties were an issue for a second consecutive preseason game for the Jaguars Saturday. An unsportsmanlike penalty on Telvin Smith and an iffy pass interference penalty on safety Johnathan Cyprien helped the Buccaneers first drive, and the Jaguars overall committed four penalties in the first four-and-half minutes of the game. Bradley's Jaguars teams haven't been over-penalized in three seasons, but this can't turn into a trend. …
*One good sign for the Jaguars' defense occurred in the first half, with Ramsey showing uncommon quickness and aggressiveness to the ball in his NFL debut. Ramsey had missed the preseason opener for precautionary reasons, but he had three tackles in two series – including one for a six-yard loss on the first series. "Very good – very impressive," Bradley said of Ramsey. …
*Another good sign for the Jaguars' defense occurred in the second quarter, with Marks – who led the Jaguars with 8.5 sacks in 2015 – showing the quickness and disruption he showed before a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 17 in 2015 and a torn triceps midway through last season. "He played like we know he can play," middle linebacker Paul Posluszny said of Marks Saturday night. …