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Inside the Jaguars: Robinson rebounds


JACKSONVILLE – Monday doesn't necessarily change Denard Robinson's status.

He's still a work in progress, meaning he's a rookie learning his role, but when it comes to the Jaguars' high-profile "offensive weapon," make no mistake:

He was better Monday than Sunday.

And to listen to Head Coach Gus Bradley, the Jaguars are going to continue trying to find ways to utilize him, including having him taking snaps from center in the Wildcat formation.

"We're not going to give up on that," Bradley said Monday following a two-and-half hour practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields on Day 4 of Jaguars 2013 Training Camp.

Robinson, the Jaguars' fifth-round selection who is being worked at a variety of positions in training camp as the team tries to utilize his game-breaking speed, got his most extensive work taking snaps in the Wildcat Tuesday. He ran one play, handed off to Maurice Jones-Drew in another and also threw a pass to wide receiver Mike Brown.

"We're putting the offense in," Robinson said after practice Monday. "I just have to keep learning things and get used to it."

Robinson, designated as an "offensive weapon" on the team's roster, struggled at times Sunday, dropping a pass and fumbling on his first snap from center of 2013 training camp.

He appeared to improve Monday, going through the practice without a drop or a fumble. In his Wildcat snaps, he ran for a 10-yard gain up the middle, handed to Jones-Drew for a long gain and threw a 20-yard pass to Brown.

That came after a difficult day Sunday in which he dropped a pass and fumbled on the first play of training camp on which he had taken the center snap.

"I dropped one ball I didn't want to drop," he said of his practice Sunday. "I wanted to make something happen so bad, and those are the balls you drop. You just have to catch it and make things happen after you catch the ball. Coach has been telling me, 'Catch, and then run.'"

Robinson stayed on the field following the team's walkthrough Sunday afternoon.

"I stayed and did some catches out of the backfield – just working on everything I could possibly work on," Robinson said.

Said Bradley, "He stayed after and wanted to get extra work. We had some time left over in our daily schedule and it's very important to him. As a coach, when he's talented like he is and it's that important to him, that's all you ask. If he's willing to put the time in like he is and really understand the concepts and what's important to us, then he's got a good chance."

Robinson had worked returning punts early in camp, and was no longer in that role Monday. Bradley said he expects Robinson to have a chance to be a factor returning kicks, and that the team is getting a clearer idea of his possible role.

"We're getting closer to it but not going away from what he can improve on too," Bradley said. "We'd like to see him back there on punt as a threat. He's so athletic and (has so much), he definitely would be a threat back there for us."

Also Monday:

*By mid-afternoon, much of the early-afternoon media furor over an ankle injury sustained by Blaine Gabbert had faded. Gabbert gave a "thumbs up" in the locker room about a half an hour after practice when asked how he was, and players indicated they expected Gabbert to be fine.

*Gabbert sustained the injury when guard Uche Nwaneri was pushed back into Gabbert in an 11-on-11 drill, the final drill of the practice. "I was trying to run a guy by," Nwaneri said. "They were running a game (stunt pass rush). I sent my go over and was a little bit late getting back. Babin did a heck of a job. I tried to run him by and hit Blaine's shin on the way."

*More Nwaneri on Gabbert's injury: "It should have never gotten that far in my eyes. I should have reacted faster to cut off the inside. It's disappointing to have that kind of thing happen to your quarterback, especially when you feel like he's having a pretty good camp so far."

*Bradley said he thought Gabbert was having a good practice before the injury. "I was saying yesterday I thought he did a nice job, a really nice job," Bradley said. "Today, we talked about stacking two good days together and he was doing good. He was doing a nice job."

*Bradley said he liked the intensity of practice considering the players' first day off is Tuesday. "We really addressed them about having a spirited practice, coming out and challenging their work ethic and not to look too far ahead and start the day off today," he said. "I thought they did that. I'm pleased with our effort that we came out (with) today. I think the intensity picked up more than it was yesterday."

*Bradley praised the play of Brown and veteran linebacker Geno Hayes. Brown got additional repetitions with wide receiver Cecil Shorts III having a reduced workload Monday. "Mike Brown has really stepped up," Bradley said.

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