JACKSONVILLE – The starters will go, and a little longer this time around.
Head Coach Doug Pederson said the starting offense and defense will go deeper into the game in Saturday's Preseason Week 2 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers than they did in Preseason Week 1.
"From playing standpoint, I definitely want to see the starters go into the second quarter again this week," Pederson said after Thursday's practice. "I think our defense needs to be on the field a little bit more. They've played well in their first two games; they just haven't played long enough."
Last week against the Browns, the Jaguars defense allowed 10 yards and recovered a fumble in three drives against the Browns starting offense.
After posting two tackles and a sack in the first two preseason games, and with only nine defensive snaps last week, rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker is ready for more work in this week's game.
"(It's important) just to get the chemistry down, especially among the front seven, with some things that we do up front," Walker said. "I think that it's going to play a big part with the transition going into the regular season."
The Jaguars starting offense scored on all three possessions a week ago, including a Trevor Lawrence touchdown pass to tight end Evan Engram on their final snap of the night. The reserve offense turned the ball over three times and failed to score.
"Offensively if we can do the things we did last week and sort of clean up some of the execution things, yeah, into the second quarter (for the starters)," Pederson said.
Pederson wants to see more from both over the next couple weeks before deciding on the starter Week 1 at Washington.
"It's an interesting battle – I think this game (vs. Steelers) will be important for both players," Pederson said. "I like how Jawaan's responded coming off injury and how he played last week and how he's practiced. Walker's done an outstanding job as well."
Taylor played 27 (36%) of the snaps in last week's game, while Little played 24 (32%).
"We're kind of in a good spot with it, because you can kind of go either way and the other guy can be the swing tackle. I think this week will be important, and then even when we go to Atlanta and practice against Atlanta will be another good opportunity for both of them."
The Jaguars practiced Thursday without pads for an hour and a half in 85-degree weather, using a lighter pace ahead of Saturday's Preseason Week 2 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The offense and defense worked off "opponent" cards ahead of Saturday's game. Nevertheless, a few moments stood out:
- In an 11-on-11 red zone drill, wide receiver Marvin Hall made leaping catch for a touchdown over cornerback Shaquill Griffin.
- Defensive lineman Arden Key deflected a pass from quarterback C.J. Beathard that outside linebacker Josh Allen intercepted.
- Kicker Ryan Santoso was four-of-four in the opening field goal period of practice, and later connected on a 53-yard field goal and 46-yard field goal at the end of a two-minute period.
PLAYERS OUT FOR SATURDAY
Pederson said before practice that the following players will not play against the Pittsburgh Steelers Saturday night: running back James Robinson, linebacker Devin Lloyd, offensive lineman Will Richardson Jr., offensive lineman Badara Traore and cornerback Darious Williams.
THANKS TO EPISCOPAL SCHOOL
Pederson invited the Episcopal School of Jacksonville head of school, the Rev. Adam Green, and director of athletics Andy Kidd to break the team down after practice. Thursday's practice marked the final session at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville Knight Sports Campus. The team worked 13 of their first 14 practice sessions at the facility, a 10-minute drive away from the team offices at TIAA Bank Field. The team plans to hold training camp starting in 2023 at the Miller Electric Center, a 125,000 square foot facility currently under construction adjacent to TIAA Bank Field. The construction will include an indoor field and two outdoor fields with seating for just over 2,100 spectators.
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