An energetic crowd of 14,112 watched defense dominate Saturday night's controlled scrimmage at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. A rather strange scoring system allowed the offense to claim a 30-17 scoreboard victory, but there was no denying that defense made the big plays.
Jaguars quarterbacks were intercepted four times, with David Garrard having thrown two of those four interceptions. In a scrimmage that more closely resembled a practice, the Jaguars passing game certainly left room for improvement.
"Love it on defense," coach Jack Del Rio said of the interceptions. "We're going to take the ball away more this year. Hopefully, that's a sign of things to come. On the flip side, I don't want any turnovers on offense."
Offense made a few big plays. Wide receiver Mike Walker caught a touchdown pass on an end-over-end throw from running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Rookie wide receiver Tiquan Underwood went high into the air to pull down a 17-yard scoring toss from third-team quarterback Paul Smith. All in all, however, the passing game sputtered through the night.
"We still have a ways to go, but I really feel like the passing game is headed in the right direction," Garrard said.
"David's been very good throughout the week. Tonight there were a couple of balls we'd like to have back," Del Rio said.
Walker left the field with a lower leg injury but Del Rio said x-rays were negative; "they don't think it's anything serious."
The script called for an emphasis on two-minute and red-zone offense. Garrard completed four of seven passes for 46 yards and one interception in the Jaguars' two-minute drill. That interception, by rookie cornerback Derek Cox, was the result of a pass that sailed high over the head of wide receiver Troy Williamson.
Overall, Smith was four of five for 60 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted by cornerback Tyron Brackenridge, who capped an impressive performance through the first week of training camp.
Second-team quarterback Todd Bouman was two of two for 14 yards and one touchdown in his two-minute work.
Kicker Josh Scobee was five of five in field goal attempts, his longest having been from 52 yards.
Defensive back Kennard Cox capped the night with an interception of a Garrard pass.
Team owner Wayne Weaver addressed the crowd before the action began. Weaver thanked 15-year season-ticket holders, who were honored by the Jaguars on Saturday night.
"A wonderful crowd came out tonight. It was a great atmosphere. The team appreciated it," Del Rio said.
The Jaguars head coach singled out rookie running back Rashad Jennings. "(He) continues to flash. I think the speed is evident in the wide receiver corps. Zack Miller has flashed the whole time," he added of the rookie tight end.
"We understand we're young," Del Rio added.