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Jaguars Camp Report: Good day for Bortles


JACKSONVILLE – This is what they wanted from Blake Bortles.

The cheer from the crowd following a two-minute, 11-on-11 drill midway through the second practice of Jaguars 2014 Training Camp Saturday confirmed that much.

Bortles, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, led a blisteringly, three-play touchdown drive during the period, a drive that had players celebrating, the crowd cheering and Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley praising him afterward.

"He had a good day today," Bradley said of Bortles following a two-hour, 10-minute practice Saturday at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields.

Bortles, who impressed coaches with his ability to recover and progress after difficult practices in organized team activities and minicamps, is still in no way a finished product. And Saturday's practice in no way means he is ready to be the starting quarterback Week 1.

That role still goes to quarterback Chad Henne, who has been solid in the first two days of training camp practice.

But Bortles on Saturday showed a glimpse of why the Jaguars selected him in early in April.

The first play of the touchdown drive was a perfectly thrown deep pass to veteran wide receiver Kerry Taylor, who beat cornerback Jeremy Harris down the left sideline. Bortles then quickly threw to tight end Clay Harbor near the goal line.

Bortles then capped the three-play drive with a touchdown pass to rookie Damian Copeland in the right corner of the end zone, a pass that drew applause from the crowd and had the second-team offense celebrating afterward.

Bradley afterward praised the entire offense for having good tempo in the two-minute drill. He also put the proper perspective on Bortles' day. A rookie's development is about progress, and Bradley – and everyone else around the Jaguars – knows Bortles will have good and bad days moving forward.

"That's what he did, he had a good day," Bradley said. "So let's learn from it, grow, and move forward. Yesterday, or whatever day might come up, maybe he doesn't do as well. Well, let's tell the truth, learn from it, grow and move forward."

The Jaguars and Bortles no doubt will do that, and Sunday may well not be as productive. But Saturday without question was a good day and one in which the Jaguars' quarterback of the future started to show just why he has that title.

The Jacksonville Jaguars held their first weekend practice of 2014 Training Camp.



*With veteran Cecil Shorts III missing practice Saturday and likely out two weeks with a hamstring injury, Bradley said he was impressed with the performance of the rest of the wide receiver corps on Saturday. "I think (rookie) Marqise (Lee) came back today stronger," Bradley said. "I know (Friday), whether he was just a little bit winded or whatever the case, he felt a lot better today. (Rookie) Allen Robinson continues to compete. Every play they're getting coached, though. You can see it on the field and then they're really taking it all in." Bradley also said wide receivers Tandon Doss, Damian Copeland, Kerry Taylor and Allen Hurns played well Saturday. "Pretty good day overall by that group," he said. …

*Henne finished the morning practice 7-for-10, while Bortles went 6-for-6. Ricky Stanzi went 8-for-19 and Stephen Morris went 5-for-6. …

*Attendance for Jaguars 2014 Training Camp Day Two was 2,133. Attendance on the first day of training camp Friday was 1,652. …



"We want to eliminate foolish penalties. The foolish penalties we have to clean up from our game … we don't accept them but I just said, 'Tell the truth, learn from it, grow and move forward. Let's continue to knock those things down and let's see if it continues to be an issue.' We anticipate that the players will – right now, they're just trying to get lined up and make sure of their techniques. We'll be getting their focus up."

--- Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley



A daily training camp thought from Senior Correspondent Brian Sexton …

"(The biggest issue entering camp is) linebackers. You've got (middle linebacker) Paul Posluszny, then you've got (outside linebacker) Geno (Hayes) as a question mark with the knee. You wonder if he'll hold up and (rookie) outside linebacker) Telvin (Smith) isn't big enough to be an every-down kind of player. You have (veteran) Dekoda Watson, who they had a specific role for and hasn't been on the field yet. And you have (second-year veteran) LaRoy Reynolds, who is still an undrafted guy and has yet to play as en every-down linebacker. You have Paul Posluszny and the Question Marks there."


A daily training camp thought from Jaguars Radio Analyst Jeff Lageman …

"The young wide receivers … Out of (rookie wide receivers) Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, I want to see the ability to line up without having to be coached from the huddle to the line. That's a tough position as a rookie because the route-running – there's so much to learn with routes. In college, you teach the route and where to be, but you're not teaching the mechanics of the routes. (Jaguars wide receiver) Jerry (Sullivan) isn't just teaching the route. He's teaching the mechanics of the routes."

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