Breaking Down the Defense
The Jaguars defense, built after the Super Bowl champion Seahawks model, looked every bit the part in the first half of their game against Philadelphia. Unfortunately, attrition from injuries and a few key adjustments by Chip Kelly took their toll and the team allowed some big plays.
Sports on Earth’s Andrew Garda did a great breakdown of what transpired.
Our take: Injuries caused a lot of the breakdowns and the team doesn’t quite have enough depth at this point to overcome them. Overall, there was a lot more positive plays than negative ones against one of the best offenses in football.
Gratz, Lee Return To Practice
The Jaguars got a bit of good news on Thursday as starting cornerback Dwayne Gratz and wide receiver Marqise Lee both returned to practice. Starting running back Toby Gerhart also returned but was limited.
With the good news of Gratz and Lee came the bad news that Cecil Shorts, III was again unable to work.
“It’s not exactly good that he didn’t practice today, but we’ll see what happens,” Head Coach Gus Bradley said.
“I’m more frustrated for the player. I know with Cecil (Shorts) how important it is to him,” Bradley said. “He hasn’t had the best luck with this through training camp and now. I think knowing the individual and how hard he competes and how bad he wants it I know I feel for him.”
Safety Jonathan Cyprien also missed practice as he tries to recover from the concussion that he suffered in the season opener. If he’s unable to go Sunday, second-year pro Josh Evans will likely start in his place. More troublesome, Chris Prosinski then is one injury away from seeing action.
Shorts Takes to Role as Leader
Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts was supposed to take on the role of team leader, at least among the wide receiving corps and was supposed to lead the Jaguars young crew on the outside. Unfortunately, his hamstring has him hamstrung as he missed most of preseason, the season opener and hasn’t been able to participate in practice this week.
“He’s such a competitor and it’s so important to him and I think it does weigh on him,” Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said of Shorts inability to practice.
Shorts seems to be making the most of his absence as he’s leading a young group of wideouts which include three rookies- Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson, along with second-year pro Mike Brown.
“He felt like he did a good job with the younger guys, not great, but today he was unbelievable. I think he’s starting to understand, ‘even though i’m not out there practicing I do have a strong role on this team.’ And I think he gets energy from that,” Bradley said of Shorts.
The Jaguars hope Cecil can do more leading on the field and in the huddle in the next week or so.