After going through two-a-days for three days this week, Jaguars players took the afternoon off after a morning practice at Ferrell Fields. Players did, however, have to attend meetings in the evening. The team will have two practice sessions on Saturday, at 8:40 a.m. and 3:20 p.m.
Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin talked about the importance of field position on kickoffs. "We won 14 games in 1999, and we led the league in touchbacks," he said. "I think anytime you base your game on what we do - field position and turnovers - you have a very strong point about kicking the ball, not only deep but also with hang time and where you'd like it to be. When the opponent takes over the ball inside the 19-yard line, they score 5.5 percent of the time. So the percentages are very high in your favor. We're always trying to play, from the standpoint of field position, for our defense, because the percentage aren't there for the opponent scoring. In past years, when the ball has been run back pass the 35-yard line on kickoff returns, all the opponent had to do is make a couple first downs and they were in field goal range."
Steve Lindsey is handling the kickoff duties again, but now he has taken over the punting chores following Bryan Barker's ankle injury on Thursday. "He's OK. He was better today than he was yesterday," said Coughlin. "When he first came here (in 1999), we told him that he would have to fill in as a backup punter. I thought his hang time was pretty good, and if we could count on that, it would be good. I want to make sure he catches as many snaps as he can. He hasn't been in that position much. The consistency of his drop is really the concern. If you don't do it continuously, you become a little bit more erratic with how the ball strikes your foot, and those results are not good at all. So that's an area of concern."
Coughlin added that Barker will be out for "two weeks, I hope. It's a grade three, lateral ankle sprain. Hopefully he'll come bouncing back from that."
Editor's note: Saturday is Florida/Georgia Blood Alliance Day. Any fans attending practice who donate blood will receive two complimentary tickets to the August 11 preseason game against the New York Giants at ALLTEL Stadium.