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Offense beating the blitz


Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter (pictured) is encouraged by what he's seen on the practice field this spring, and that includes the performance of backup quarterback Cleo Lemon.

Criticism? "None from me," Koetter said of Lemon.

"I don't care who you play for, when you go to a team with new terminology, there's going to be new verbiage. He's learning to put the languages together," Koetter said of Lemon, who the Jaguars signed in free agency from the Miami Dolphins.

The Jaguars gave Lemon a somewhat-pricey contract and that may have heightened expectations for Lemon this spring. When he started the OTA season slowly, he became the subject of criticism. In the final two weeks of OTAs, however, Lemon has rebounded. He's showing signs of feeling comfortable with the Jaguars offense.

"We install every concept we're going to use during the season, and the defense is doing the same thing. We're getting every blitz we have. That's a lot on Cleo," Koetter said. "I feel Cleo is making progress. He definitely can make all of the throws. He looks indecisive at times, but that's to be expected."

The Jaguars have only one practice remaining in their spring season. When they shut it down on Thursday, the next time they'll practice as a team will be in training camp.

"We have 24 practices and four preseason games before we have to play (a regular-season game). We're fine with what Cleo is," Koetter added.

Through mini-camp, Lemon's completion percentage for the spring was in the high 60s; about three percentage points lower than David Garrard's, Koetter said.

The emphasis in any spring season is on the passing game and, to that end, the Jaguars are about to cap their best spring in Jack Del Rio's six years as head coach. The passing game cut a wide swath in the second half of Wednesday's practice, and it was led by wide receivers Troy Williamson, John Broussard and D'Juan Woods.

Williamson has been especially impressive in the second half of the OTA season. The speedy receiver is moving through the secondary with noticeable ease as the Jaguars head into their final OTA.

"That guy has been making plays. In 17 practices, he's done something on every day. After a while, you start to say, 'What if we do this with him or what if we do that with him?' " Koetter said.

"There will always come a time when your passing game will be counted on to win for you; when the passing game has to be the main focus of the offense. Jack says it all the time; that the passing game has to be ready. We're getting better all the time," Koetter added.

New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has provided a major boost to the Jaguars pass-offense with the demands his pressure schemes have created.

"Gregg Williams' defense challenges an offense to be sound against every kind of blitz. The Jaguars don't see a lot of blitz because of the way we run the ball, so this has been a great experience," Koetter said.

On a couple of occasions in Wednesday's practice, the offense beat the blitz and found a wide-open receiver for what would've been touchdowns.

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