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Scrimmage caps first full week


All in all, Jack Del Rio liked what he saw.

The Jaguars, a little more than a week after opening 2011 Training Camp, finished the open-to-the-public portion of camp on Saturday night with an open-to-the-public controlled scrimmage at Everbank Field. The final score was a 33-11 victory for the white team, on offense. Del Rio, the Jaguars' head coach, said he was pleased with a lot from the evening.

One aspect was the fans and their enthusiasm. The announced crowd was 15,122.

On the field, Del Rio said he liked the play of the quarterbacks, with rookie first-round selection Blaine Gabbert turning in a solid showing in his first work inside Everbank.

"I thought he was pretty sharp," Del Rio said. "My first impression is he handled himself well."

Del Rio said the Jaguars tested Gabbert's poise during the scrimmage, intentionally creating three or four "communication failures" in which Del Rio had shut off the headset communications to Gabbert.

"I wanted to see how he handled himself," Del Rio said. "He handled himself with poise. No real issues there. That was good for me to see."

With starter David Garrard out with a back issue, Gabbert and reserve Luke McCown took turns running the offense, with Gabbert – the No. 10 overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft – working with the first-team unit much of the night.

"It was just another practice – doing my job, playing football," Gabbert said. "It was fun. We got put in some tough situations to see how we'd respond, but all in all, we played very well. The defense played well. We'll evaluate the tape, of course, and fix the things we need to fix.

"I thought I did pretty good. Our offense looked good at times. There are always things you can work on. . . . You just have to work collectively as a group to get those easy yardage plays."

Gabbert finished the session completing 12 of 27 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown to fullback Brock Bolen, with McCown completing 13 of 18 passes for 136 yards and a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jamar Newsome.

Safety Mike Hamlin stopped a scoring opportunity for the white team when intercepted a pass near the goal line from McCown intended for wide receiver Greg Ellingson. McCown earlier on the drive completed a 26-yard pass to Ellingson.

"I thought it was pretty solid," Del Rio said of the quarterback play. "I'd like Luke not to make that mistake over the middle when we drove down there. He's got to see coverage there. He can't make that mistake, but other than that one particular deal there, I thought they were sharp throughout the night."

Del Rio, who said he wouldn't speculate on Garrard's availability for the preseason opener Thursday at New England, said Garrard could return to practice Monday. Jaguars players are off Sunday.

"He was better today," Del Rio said of Garrard, who hasn't practiced since leaving practice with a back injury Thursday. "Initially, there was probably a little concern on his part. I think that subsided once he got the MRI and got good news. He felt a little better today.

"I'm sure if we were playing a ballgame right now he would have found a way to be there. He's a tough kid. He always has been tough. He has played through some things. This is not the time for that. We basically told him to let it settle down and continue to stay in it mentally. That's what he's done."

Also Saturday:

*Backup offensive tackle Kevin Haslam sustained a knee injury on the third series. He was carried off the field without putting pressure in his left knee. "(Trainer) Mike (Ryan) thought he tweaked the knee pretty good," Del Rio said. "The initial prognosis was not great. He thought it was MCL, which is the best of them, but you never know if other ligaments are involved with that."

*Del Rio on the crowd, much of which stayed long after the scrimmage ended as players signed autographs: "There's a lot of excitement in Jacksonville for football. We're certainly excited to be through the first week and a half of camp."

*Gabbert went 2-for-5 for 15 yards on his first possession.

*Del Rio joked that a reason for shutting off communication to Gabbert's headset was done in part because the preseason opener will be against the Patriots in Foxboro, Mass. "Those things happen," Del Rio said, laughing, "in particular when you're going to New England. Those things tend to happen from time to time. You've got to get yourself ready."

*One starting defensive line rotation on the second series was end Austen Lane (DE), Tyson Alualu (DT), Jeremy Mincey (DT) and Aaron Morgan (DE). Mincey later worked at left end on the drive.

*Gabbert had a nice pass down the seam early in the scrimmage that was nearly a long completion to Newsome. "He saw the seam come open and he made the right read," Del Rio said. "He could probably make a little better throw or we could have a great catch there to make it a great throw. I like the way he's thinking. He attacked that defense aggressively. There was an opportunity in the seam there and he jumped on it. We love that about him. He came out the very first practice and showed the vision, the eyes and the ability to get the ball in that seam. You're going to make a lot of plays in this league if you hit that seam right there."

  • Zach Miller had two first-down producing catches on the fourth series of the scrimmage. He caught each of the passes from McCown.

*Ten players did not dress: Garrard, WR Armon Binns, CB Derek Cox, RB Maurice Jones-Drew, S Matt Estrada, S Chris Prosinski, LB Jacob Cutrera, DE Aaron Kampman, WR Cecil Shorts and DT Terrance Knighton. Shorts missed with a minor groin injury.

*Del Rio on Knighton, who has not practiced since reporting to camp out of shape: "He's getting closer. He knows where has to be and he's working to get there."

*Weather shortly before kickoff was 92 degrees with a 99 degree heat index. 

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