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It's over


The Jaguars ended training camp on Wednesday with their most demanding and physical practice of the three-week period, and on a day long-time practice-watchers agreed was the hottest in Jaguars history. No temperature readings were necessary. It was that hot.

"We accomplished a great deal of what we set out to do," coach Jack Del Rio told reporters following the practice. "We made strides as a football team and had a good, spirited practice to end it."

It was a practice that included an extensive pass-rush period in which the pass-blocking was the clear-cut winner, which isn't an entirely bad thing since the Jaguars are as intent on protecting the quarterback as they are at rushing the quarterback.

"I think we're making progress," Del Rio said when asked about his pass-rush. "We had a good, physical practice. It was a demanding practice, as promised. We're improving as a front and we'll get a good test this weekend. It'll be a little bit of a barometer as to where we are with our front."

The Jaguars host the Miami Dolphins this Saturday in the second game of the preseason. The Dolphins are led by offensive tackle Jake Long, one of the league's dominant blockers.

"We're evaluating players and teaching our system. Shortly, we'll turn our attention to the in-season routine," Del Rio added.

The Jaguars head coach was asked to offer an assessment of critical position battles as the Jaguars head into one-a-day practices.

"The one that's most widely discussed is safety and that's legitimate, and we're looking for two guys to emerge there for us," Del Rio said.

He also offered these observations:

"In the front, with Kampman not getting as much time, we've had time to develop Mincey, Hart, Morgan. We know what Aaron can do. That was a minor setback; nothing major there," Del Rio said of an ankle sprain Kampman sustained in Sunday night's practice.

"It's mildly frustrating not having (Tyson Alualu) much right now because, as a young player, he needs to work. Not being able to work stunts your growth. The good news is we'll be having him come back in short order," Del Rio said of the Jaguars' first-round pick.

"Eugene (Monroe) returned to practice and Eben (Britton) should be right behind him," Del Rio added of the team's two offensive tackles, both of whom missed the middle week of camp and the team's preseason opener.

One of the bright spots of training camp was the play of second-year running back Rashad Jennings. He was nothing short of sensational as a pass receiver out of the backfield and figures to offer major impact this season in that role.

"That's been one of the developments in camp. We're excited about Rashad Jennings. He's a horse," Del Rio said.

You almost had to be a horse to make it through this camp, which was acted out in probably the hottest conditions in Jaguars training camp history. That part of it won't soon be forgotten. What the Jaguars do from this point forward will also be remembered.

Will this camp have been a springboard to good times? It's the question everybody asks but it can't be answered until much later, after the heat of camp has given way to the chill of late-fall.

Yeah, bring on the chill.

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