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Time for evaluation


Friday night's scrimmage will end the first full week of training camp and will provide coach Jack Del Rio and his staff an opportunity to evaluate his players' and his team's progress.

"We don't assign a specific weight to it, but it's the closest thing to a preseason game," Del Rio said when asked if the scrimmage is the equivalent of a fifth preseason game.

The Jaguars concluded the first week of last year's camp the same way; a scrimmage on Friday night and a mock game on Saturday morning. It is Del Rio's routine and it does not include a combined practice with another team, which is a popular practice among other teams.

"I prefer to use this time to teach our football team and work on fundamentals. This is what I prefer," Del Rio said of not scheduling a practice with another team. "We need to get a good base and a good understanding of how to do things, and training camp is the time to do that."

So, where are the Jaguars in their development as week one draws to a close?

"We're working on a lot of concepts, which is good. We've had good work on technique," Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave said.

Musgrave is thumbs up on his unit, even though the defense has been dominant in most of the practices.

"After a week, I think we're on pace for where we need to be for Buffalo (season-opener)," Musgrave said. The offense will have installed its total playbook by next Tuesday.

Friday night's scrimmage will include 8-10 series and some starters could play as many as the first three series. Fans will have a chance to see Byron Leftwich, Fred Taylor and company for free.

"He's doing a great job of leading the team," Musgrave said of Leftwich, who was a holdout through nearly all of last year's training camp.

"The intent has been to allow David Garrard to work his way back into shape. Now he's getting about 20 plays per practice, like the other guys," Musgrave said.

First-round draft choice Reggie Williams will be a player of attention Friday night. Williams hasn't caught a lot of passes in practice to date, but Musgrave said: "I'm OK with the way things are going for him. I have no complaints."

Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith has been all smiles from day one. His defense has been the star of the first week.

"It was a competitive first week. The players have been exposed to a pretty good piece of our package and we didn't have a whole lot of mental mistakes," Smith said. "The biggest thing was our eagerness to compete."

The priority for Smith and the defense is to find a pass-rush, which they didn't have last year and weren't able to fully address this past offseason. The Jaguars are counting on a comeback season by defensive end Hugh Douglas and the creation of schemes that will allow the productive usage of designated pass-rushers, such as third-round pick Jorge Cordova.

"Areas we've identified as things we have to improve we've seen improvement in and it's been encouraging to see it in full pads. You're not really playing the game of football when you're not in full pads, especially for the front seven. We've seen improvement in the pass-rush," Smith added.

"We want to see what our young players can do," he said of the scrimmage. "I want to see our new guys go against our first-teamers."

Del Rio offered this evaluation of camp to date: "I'm pleased with us having a good, solid beginning to camp and I'm looking forward to a whole lot more."

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