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With their 1997 preseason opener only four days away, the Jaguars held a morning practice at Ferrell Fields today with 80 players participating. Linebacker Tom McManus, who has a knee injury and is out indefinitely, was the only player who did not practice.

Head coach Tom Coughlin commented on the work of the first-team offense going against the first-team defense. "Everything the defense does helps the offense because of what we'll see during the season -multiplicity, movement of the linebackers, safeties involved in the line of scrimmage and ends dropping off into coverage," he said. "Any one day, one team will do better than the other, and that's fine. They're both coming along well."

Coughlin also talked about the Jaguars' special teams and his emphasis on looking at a lot of young players in training camp. "There'll be a lot of errors, but that's the only way to learn -you have to throw them in there. It'll improve. Team speed has already improved." Coughlin noted that even though there are a number of return men back this year, he's looking at several new players there, too, such as Reggie Barlow, David Thompson and Mike Logan as punt returners.

The team will practice at 8:40 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and have a walk-through on Saturday. The walk-through will be closed and there is no media availability on Saturday. The Jaguars' 1997 preseason opener is 3:00 p.m. Sunday vs. the Carolina Panthers in ALLTEL Stadium.


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