Coach Jack Del Rio told reporters this morning that tonight's intrasquad scrimmage at Alltel Stadium will carry preseason-game meaning into the player evaluation process.
"Very similar to a preseason game, putting them in a game environment; practices are great to get a feel, but we will do the majority of our evaluation based on the scrimmage and the four preseason games," Del Rio said following this morning's practice.
The scrimmage will begin at 7:30 p.m. and the largest crowd (admission is free) of training camp is expected to be on hand. What fans will see is eight series with a halftime break after the fourth series.
"It'll be a fun test. The scrimmage is live except for the quarterbacks," Del Rio said.
Tonight's scrimmage will end the first full week of training camp practices. Del Rio was asked to provide some evaluations from the first week and one of the players he praised is free agent defensive end Lionel Barnes.
"Lionel Barnes has had an excellent camp. I think it's fairly easy to come out and have a few good days. It's consistency I'm looking for," Del Rio said.
The rookie head coach was also asked about his offensive philosophy. His answer was measured.
"You're going to play to the strength of your football team. Brian Billick went into Baltimore expecting to be explosive on offense. Any good coach is going to put aside his ego and play to the strength of his team. We're trying to build a strength. The optimum thing is to have an explosive offense and a stingy defense," Del Rio said.
Last season, coach Tom Coughlin had decided he didn't have the offensive personnel to play wide-open football. Del Rio said that after looking at tapes of last season, "They basically tried to shrink the game. They didn't open it up as much as in the past."
The Jaguars' offensive personnel has not changed significantly since last season, so, the question is: Can they afford to open it up?
Here's the scoring system for tonight's scrimmage:
Interception, three points; fumble recovery, three points; three-and-out, two points; stop a drive without points, one point; tackle for a loss, one point; sack, one point.
Touchdown, seven points; advance ball inside 20-yard line, three points; three consecutive first downs, two points; gain of 30 yards or more, one point.
The first series will begin at the 30-yard line and will feature the first offense against the first defense; series two will begin at the 30 and pit the second offense against the second defense; series three, 35, two and one; series four, 35, one and two; series five, 40, one and two; series six, 40, two and three; series seven, 30, three and two; series eight, 50, three and three.