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Jaguars get physical


The Jaguars' first full-pads practice was punctuated by what is believed to be the largest crowd in Jaguars practice history, and featured a brief but spirited Oklahoma drill.

"We're going to be a physical football team," head coach Jack Del Rio said following practice. "We're going to work in pads."

A crowd of 4,011 fans bulged the perimeter of the Jaguars' Jacksonville Municipal Stadium practice fields, and a cooling breeze and comfortable temperatures made for a pleasant evening.

"The crowd was awesome," Del Rio said. "I think that's the best crowd we've had in five years. That was really good to see."

As promised on, Monday night's Oklahoma drill featured these matchups: tight end Marcedes Lewis vs. rookie linebacker Justin Durant, defensive tackle Tony McDaniel vs. offensive tackle Richard Collier, defensive tackle Rob Meier vs. rookie guard Uche Nwaneri, and guard Vince Manuwai vs. rookie defensive tackle Derek Landri.

Manuwai scored a clear two-bout win over Landri, Meier was the winner over Nwaneri in a more narrow two-fall victory, and Lewis-Durant and McDaniel-Collier were split decisions.

Manuwai and Durant each lost their helmets during their second falls, and Durant added a little blood to the event by sustaining a cut on the bridge of his nose.

The Oklahoma drill was staged by head coach Jack Del Rio between the two grand stands at the Jaguars' Jacksonville Municipal Stadium practice facility, and the fans' intensity matched the action on the field. The drill was capped by a one-fall bout between offensive tackle Tony Pashos and Pro-Bowl defensive tackle John Henderson, who held his ground and stopped the ball-carrier in his tracks.

Monday night's practice maintained Lewis' strong training camp start. Lewis caught several passes during the evening and continues to give strong indications of the pass-catching ability the Jaguars envisioned when they made Lewis their first-round draft choice a year ago.

"He's starting to make some plays downfield. He's going to be fine in the passing game. The big thing is to have the whole package," tight ends coach Mike Tice said of Lewis, who thumped Durant in his first-fall win.

"I'm knocking the rust off. I'm healthy. I'm 100 percent. I'm just trying to prove everybody wrong," he added of the criticism that he's not an adept blocker. "I'm not the biggest guy but I rely on my technique."

"They (fans) were fired up; so were we," Pashos said. "This was a pretty physical practice."

"The crowd loves it; the team loves it," Del Rio said of the Oklahoma drill, which has become a Jaguars tradition for the first full-pads practice of training camp. It's viewed as a good ice-breaker.

Quarterbacks Byron Leftwich and David Garrard each had high moments during the practice. Leftwich found tight end Greg Estandia with a sharp pass over the middle; Garrard tossed a touchdown to wide receiver Reggie Williams, who enjoyed his best practice of the first three days of camp. Wide receiver Matt Jones dazzled the crowd with a one-handed catch. Running back Greg Jones, who is coming off a season lost to knee reconstruction, flashed quickness.

The Jaguars are to practice at 10:15 a.m. and seven p.m. on Tuesday.

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