JACKSONVILLE – This was about work, and the work was good.
It was particularly about working against an opponent, and the Jaguars got a lot done on that front in their first joint practice of 2023 Training Camp – a two-hour session against the Detroit Lions Wednesday at the Lions' facility outside Detroit.
And if there were tempers here and there, it didn't stop a cool Eastern Michigan morning from being productive.
"It was great work and it gets us a lot better," Jaguars third-year offensive tackle Walker Little said after Day 16 practice of '23 camp.
Jaguars tight end Evan Engram called the day "great work against a great team."
"It was really different in the best way possible," Engram said. "Both teams are kind of in the same boat. We shocked some people last year and got going toward the end. Iron sharpens iron. For us to come out here and compete with each other was definitely a great day of work."
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence had a solid day with the Jaguars' first-team offense working mostly against the first team of a Lions defense that runs a base four-lineman, three-linebacker scheme – a different scheme than the Jaguars' hybrid, 3-4 scheme.
Lawrence, who was intercepted once, threw a long touchdown pass to wide receiver Calvin Ridley in a mid-practice 11-on-11 drill. He also threw a red-zone touchdown pass to wide receiver Jamal Agnew in an 11-on-11 drill after earlier touchdown passes to wide receiver Christian Kirk and Ridley in 7-on-7 work.
"The biggest thing is you get a chance to go against a different look, a different presentation and different guys," Head Coach Doug Pederson said. "We've been going against our own guys now for about three weeks and it's just refreshing to be able to have a different perspective right from the quarterback's eyes.
"So this is good for not only Trevor but for [backup] C.J. Beathard and [third-team quarterback] Nate [Rourke] as well this next couple of days."
Pederson said he and Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell spoke about the joint practices shortly after the preseason schedule was released in the offseason.
While practice was mostly controlled with head coaches focused on ensuring their teams got work in specific situations such as red-zone offense, there were multiple – and brief – altercations between the teams following plays. This was particularly the case with the Jaguars' first-team offense and the Lions' defense.
"You protect your guys, but 'Between the whistles,''' Engram said. "That's our mentality: Let's do all our talking, all our work, all our fighting, between the whistles and after the whistle protect your teammates. Don't throw any punches."
Added Little, "It's always like this in a joint practice. It's good. It's just a lot of energy, a lot of emotions and a lot of good at athletes who want to compete and it's to be expected."
Jaguars outside linebackers Travon Walker and Josh Allen both had multiple strong rushes in one-on-one pass rush and 11-on-11 work against Lions tackles Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell.
"It's very important, especially against these two tackles," Allen said. "We need to see that, to get really good reps against them, to see how far we've come and to see how far we're going to go because we're not there yet but we're getting where we need to go."
PLAY OF THE DAY
- This came on the first play of 11-on-11 work midway through practice, with Jaguars inside linebacker Devin Lloyd making a nice play on the ball and making a one-handed interception on a pass from Lions quarterback Jared Goff. Lloyd, the No. 27 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, had a nice practice overall with a pass defensed on a would-be interception and a would-be sack later in team drills.
- If Lloyd's interception wasn't the play of the day, the highlight may have been a long pass in an 11-on-11 drill from Lawrence to Ridley. The wide receiver got wide open down the right side of the field behind the defense and scored on a 70-yard touchdown pass. …
- Lawrence was intercepted by Lions cornerback Cameron Lawrence and fumbled an exchange with running back Tank Bigsby, but he also threw touchdown passes to Ridley (two), Kirk and Agnew. …
- Wide receiver Tim Jones caught a long touchdown pass from backup quarterback C.J. Beathard in 11-on-11 work late in practice. …
- Jaguars linebacker Foye Oluokun had a pass breakup on a pass by Goff in 11-on-11 work late in practice. …
- Running bank Tank Bigsby had a nice run after a screen pass from Lawrence late in practice. …
- Lawrence had back-to-back completions to Engram and Kirk in 11-on-11 work late in practice. …
- Jaguars wide receiver Seth Williams had a long reception on a pass from Beathard late in practice. …
- Defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot (Achilles) remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start camp. Long snapper Ross Matiscik (shoulder) remained out of practice after being injured in Preseason Week 1 last Saturday. Defensive lineman Foley Fatukasi, rookie right tackle Anton Harrison and offensive tackle Josh Wells all left practice Wednesday with injuries that were unidentified Wednesday afternoon.
Compete 😲 The Jaguars spend the day practicing against the Detroit Lions. Swipe though to view old and new teammates challenging one another to get better 💪