JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's Thursday takeaways as the Jaguars prepare to play the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, Sunday
1)Getting it.We begin Thursday takeaways with Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien, who in recent weeks is doing what he and coaches hoped he would this season. Cyprien, a second-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, has started 36 of 38 games, and has played well in many of those games. He also made some glaring mistakes in his first two seasons, which left coaches wanting consistency entering his third season. He appears to be delivering that, forcing a key fumble on the 1-yard line in a Week 7 victory over Buffalo and registering a team-high 13 tackles without a missed tackle last week against the Jets. "I didn't start off the season how I wanted, but I think I'm heading in the right direction," Cyprien said Thursday, adding that experience has helped. "As plays develop, some plays look like déjà vu, like you've seen it before. I think it happens to people when they start to grow in a system." Jaguars defensive coordinator Bob Babich said while he always believed in Cyprien, "He's playing more consistent. Sometimes things just click."
2)Toughing it out.Credit Zane Beadles: when it comes to toughness and reliability, he has shown both in a big-time way. And not just since joining the Jaguars. Beadles, who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in 2013, never has missed a game in six NFL seasons, and he never has missed a snap in 24 games with the Jaguars. Beadles, the team's starting left guard, not only played through a foot injury against the Jets Sunday, he played through a knee injury without missing a play after getting the area wrapped between first-half series. "I take pride in being on the field, and I put in a lot of work to take care of myself so that I am on the field," Beadles said. "I'm not going to do something dumb just to keep it going, but as long as I can play and play at a high level I'm going to be in there."
Take a look at images from Thursday's practice.
3)Spread it around.The easy thing when analyzing sacks is to attribute them to the offensive line. Easy isn't always correct, which was the case with the Jaguars' six sacks allowed against the Jets. Listening to offensive coordinator Greg Olson this week, it was clear while the line wasn't perfect, other factors were as big. Olson said three sacks were allowed by rookies – guard A.J. Cann and running back T.J. Yeldon – with two of those mental errors. "We've got to do a better job of communication to them and coaching them up on some of the details or protections," Olson said, adding that quarterback Blake Bortles held the ball too long on two sacks. That has been an issue at times for Bortles because of his instinct to extend plays, and it led to the late-game sack/fumble that resulted in a turnover on first-and-10 from the Jets 20. "He'll get better at that," Olson said. "He's seeing some things for the first time, I think." Olson said the mental errors Sunday were disappointing and uncharacteristic. "To me, to have the mental errors that we had last week, is not indicative of who they are," he said. "They're a very intelligent group across the board so that was very disappointing for us as a staff."
4)The growth continues.In the wake of a three-turnover game Sunday, Bortles mistakes have been a topic this week. The second-year veteran has thrown 10 interceptions through eight games this season, and Olson said development there remains key. Bortles on Sunday threw two interceptions, the first of which Olson said wasn't overly concerning. That came when cornerback Darrelle Revis deflected a slant pass that was intercepted by safety Marcus Williams. "Those things we say are not bad decisions," Olson said. Bortles' second interception was the type Olson said must be reduced. On that play, Bortles threw to the middle of the field across his body, with Williams intercepting at the 23-yard line with :43 remaining to end the Jaguars' final drive. "He hasn't made lot of poor decisions, but the ones that he does make …" Olson said. "He mentioned it out on the field today (Wednesday), (that) '(quarterbacks coach) Nathaniel Hackett has been coaching me, be careful about throwing across your body late. Don't throw across your body late when you're scrambling. You listen to it but until it happens to me … wow, that's a lesson learned.' Unfortunately, it cost him an interception and an opportunity to maybe come back in that game. He's a tremendous competitor and very coachable, so I think it'll be a lesson that he'll stick in the back of his pocket and hopefully it won't come back to bite him again."
5)Search continues.Since Yeldon solidified his role as a three-down back early this season, carries for backup Denard Robinson have been scarce. Robinson, who rushed for 582 yards and four touchdowns while starting nine games last season, has carried eight times for 19 yards in three games since returning from an early-season knee injury. With Yeldon healthy the last two games, Robinson has carried one time for two yards and has played just eight offensive plays in those two games. Bradley several times in recent weeks has spoken of finding ways for Robinson and fellow reserve Bernard Pierce to get more carries. He mentioned it again on Thursday. "We've grown to have confidence in T.J. and he's played multiple reps and done pretty good job, but those guys are showing up in practice," Bradley said of Robinson and Pierce. "I think as we continue to go there's a need for them to play. I know we've said that before and it hasn't really shown up. I think we need to have a real discipline about it and get those guys in."