Jags-Bucs Pregame Notes

We hear from both Gus Bradley and Lovie Smith on what to expect Friday night. Find out what Smith thinks of Jaguars first-round pick Blake Bortles and who will play and who won't.

Bortles Remains With the 2’s

It shouldn’t be a huge news story, but it somehow is. Jaguars first-round draft pick Blake Bortles continues to work with the team’s second-string offense and will continue to do so in Friday night’s exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It has been the Jaguars plan to bring Bortles along slowly and have him sit behind starter Chad Henne. They don’t appear to be deviating from the plan. If starter Chad Henne somehow gets injured, all bets are off.

No Gerhart In Opener

Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart will sit out the preseason opener as he is nursing a hip injury. Gerhart has missed each practice this week and sat out last week’s scrimmage, as the team is taking the recovery process slow with the man that figures to be their featured back.

"He's made great progress but we just felt like at this point in time, for the number of carries he's going to get in there, we'd rather have that recovery time," Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said.

Gerhart’s injury will give more carries to the likes of Jordan Todman, Storm Johnson and Denard Robinson.

Notes From Behind Enemy Lines

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith showed some public admiration for Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles.

“I liked everything about him. Starting off, I liked the way he played in his last game of football in the Fiesta Bowl against a good Baylor team. He performed well. I was out last year – did I tell y’all that? I was out last year and I watched him quite a bit. Just being a football fan, he played good ball. When we worked him out, he had a great workout. When you meet him, great guy. Was a sponge hungry to get to the next level and we liked him an awful lot, of course just like Jacksonville did. I think he has a bright future ahead of him to say the least.”

The Jaguars will see a new Buccaneers quarterback as they inked Josh McCown, brother of former Jags gunslinger Luke, to be their starter. This will be McCown’s first game experience with his new team and here’s some of what he told the Tampa media about the game.

(On what he wants to get out of the first preseason game)

“I think for us it’s a whole new situation for everybody, it’s a new system, new players and all of that. I think it’s just going out and executing and being clean with things procedurally No.1, I think you want to break the huddle and do the things that you normally do in a game and feel like the communication is clean and all of that. Execution-wise you want to be clean on that as best you can. In these games you don’t gameplan for people and obviously you’re not rolling out your best stuff, but within the rules and within the framework of your system, you want to try and execute it as best as possible – that’s the key for usFriday.”

(On how much he wants to play)

“I think everybody, obviously it’s preseason, but when you get out there you just want to keep playing because it’s fun. Coach will dictate that, our job is to go out there and do what I just said execute, get good reps for us and then we’ll go as long as coach tells us to, but up until that point, it’s staying focused, it’s [getting] in and out of the huddle, no procedure penalties and none of those things. It’s just about playing good and efficient football.”

(On being excited to face a different defense and playing in a different environment)

“I think it’ll be fun. When you practice against the defense as much as we do, in training camp when teams do that, there’s give-and-take and a back-and-forth and they’ve seen so many plays so many times and you’ve seen their defense so many times, there’s this Jedi-mind game that’s going on. It will be fun just lining up against a different opponent and just back to playing the defense that you see, working out your rules and things like that and not trying to out think yourself when you’re playing against somebody that sees you every day. I think we’re all looking forward to that.”

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