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Jaguars camp report: Center competition continues


JACKSONVILLE – The search continues.

And when it comes to the Jaguars' interior offensive line, the search took on a few different looks on Monday.

Three days after the preseason opener and three days before their second preseason game, the Jaguars worked several combinations at center and right guard Monday, with starter Mike Brewster, veteran Jacques McClendon and rookie Brandon Linder all working at the center position.

Brewster and McClendon each took first-team repetitions at center Monday, with Linder and McClendon each working at right guard. Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said Brewster will start at center against Chicago Thursday.

"He (Brewster) will be our center going in to this game," Bradley said Monday following a two-hour, 15-minute practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields. "We're always going to try and find out who's doing well in different situations; if nothing else, to create more depth."

Brewster, the starter at center throughout the offseason and training camp, worked at first-team center against Tampa Friday. Though he had two snaps to quarterback Chad Henne that resulted in losses, Bradley said, "You saw some good things on tape from him."

"I know the glaring things were the snaps, but we saw some good things," Bradley said, with Brewster adding, "We're going to put the best five out there. We've got a couple of weeks here left, and we're trying to jell. We're just trying to get ready for Thursday and we want to see that improvement."

Henne said Brewster had had no issue with snaps in practice before Friday, and there were none Monday.

"He'll be fine," Henne said.

Linder, who has worked extensively with the first team at right guard in camp, said while having played some center in high school and college gives him some level of comfort at the position, "it's different at this level."

"The guys are bigger and faster," he said. "You have to adjust differently."

McClendon, who typically has worked at first-team center during camp when Brewster has not, said the main focus is to find the best two players from the three competing.

"We're a tight-knit group," McClendon said. "We know they're going to put the best five on the field. Our job is to go out there and work hard and let the executives make the decision. We don't make the decision. We're going to take care of what we need to take care of."



Bradley on Monday clarified comments he made over the weekend regarding rookie wide receiver Marqise Lee.

Lee, after an impressive training camp, caught no passes in the preseason opener Friday. When discussing the performance on Saturday, Bradley spoke of Lee's consistency, saying, "You can't change speeds. You can't choose when and when not to." Bradley added, "He did play good, but he could have done some things even more precise. It wasn't exactly where we need him to be."

The comments made headlines, but Bradley on Monday said his comments were about a specific play on which Lee was unsure of his and the defender's positioning. Bradley said Lee didn't run full speed on the play, but that his effort was good the rest of the game.

"He's extremely focused; really, really competitive; really driven," Bradley said. "I thought today (Monday) he came out and he used those things and he learned from it and he got better. So he was great."

Bradley spoke to Lee about the play, and Lee said Monday it was a positive conversation.

"I never get upset when a coach says something to me," he said. "To me, it's all about motivation. I want him to comment on the things I do wrong. In this case, he felt like I did something wrong. I have to pick it up."

The Jaguars return to practice for the first time following their win versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 of the 2014 NFL Preseason.



*Bradley said the Jaguars likely will practice in shells – helmets and shoulder pads – Tuesday. The team is facing short week with the second game of the preseason Thursday at Chicago. The practice Tuesday is the final training camp practice of 2014 open to the public. The team is expected to have a closed practice Wednesday before leaving for Chicago that afternoon. …

*Rookie free agent tackle Josh Wells got extensive repetitions on the left side with the second team. "We got him some reps in there, so we just wanted to see him against the twos as well," Bradley said. …

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"Really good practice. It was really challenging – full pads, two-minute situation, heavy blitz period, along with a nine-on-seven for reemphasizing the run on both sides of the ball. The guys, we challenged them after a day off to come out and compete – they did a great job with that. It's a short week for us so this is a great opportunity with a lot of distractions coming our way. Today was a really competitive practice, really competitive."

--- Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley




"It was a good start for us. We've created a vision of what we want it to look like. So far, so good, but we have a lot of football left. The vision is just looking like a legitimate secondary to the NFL. This whole offseason, we had the chance to watch a lot of tape and look at a lot of things that we needed to improve individually and as a group. I think we have a clear picture on what's expected out of us."

--- Jaguars defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker



A daily training camp thought from senior correspondent Brian Sexton …

"I thought Blake Bortles was the storyline (in the preseason opener). I had been focused on the offensive line throughout camp, but you could clearly see the kid's ability, how poised he was and the raw talent. You can see what's out there. I left with that impression and the other one I had was that while we had talked rotation on the defensive line, we had a chance to see it the other night. It was better than I expected it to be so early. I know it's just the first preseason game, but I learned our eyes hadn't deceived us. Blake Bortles is a talented quarterback with room to grow and the defensive line has the opportunity to be impactful very early.



A daily training camp thought from Jaguars Radio Network analyst Jeff Lageman …

"The defensive line looks much improved. It was a little bit of the new guys, but also a lot of the old guys. I temper that a little bit, because I don't know how good Tampa Bay is up front. It's good, but I'm not going, 'Whoo-hoo.' They probably got better as pass rushers because they're going to be better against the run."

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