Perhaps the best thing of the day was the packed stands full of Jaguars fans. The fans were loud and supportive and the Jaguars organization greeted them with donuts and water.
As per usual, it's difficult to tell at positions like linebacker, the offensive line and running backs with non-padded practices. What we could see well was the quarterbacks, wide receivers, defensive backs and tight ends.
The Jaguars stable of running backs appears to be far and away more talented than a year ago, thanks mainly to the additions of T.J. Yeldon and Bernard Pierce. They looked fast and showed good hands in the passing game.
Tight end Marcedes Lewis has effectively been replaced by Julius Thomas, but don't tell him that. Lewis caught everything thrown in his direction and looked every bit like the $9 million per year Pro Bowl tight end.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson picked up where he left off last season before his injury. Robinson looked precise in his route running and made a highlight-film catch over rookie Nick Marshall.
"I was very pleased and I felt like we had some guys make some plays on offense and it’s great to see some play-making plays by a number of people from Marcedes, to A-Rob, to Tandon Doss, to Blake Bortles, to Chad Henne to the tight ends, Julius; a lot of guys at different times. We have plays of the day that we go through with our team. This is going to be a tough day to do it because there were a lot of plays," Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley recapped.
Wide receiver Marqise Lee went at full speed in practice and was able to create great separation. He needs to take over the deep threat role if this offense is going to be explosive.
“He did really well. I think he had a brace on right away and took it off and just felt very confident. I think a lot of those guys, they worked in the offseason with Blake and with Chad. To come out here and do it against the defense is different so they’ll continue to get better but it’s good. He’s got some speed and he’s got burst. And it jumps out at you with Marqise.”
Rookie cornerback Nick Marshall picked off Stephen Morris for what would have been a pick-six. Marshall showed a lot of athleticism and more than held his own for a guy who played quarterback his last two years in college.
Ball security (or lack thereof). Both T.J. Yeldon and Bernard Pierce fumbled, which is never good in non-contact practices.
"I think we all realize we have a lot of work to do; offensively, the ball on the ground," Bradley said following the practice session. "It’s all about the ball. We had some fumbles and things like that and just some execution things that you anticipate on the first day."
Ducks from Bortles. The main story of the Jaguars offseason regarding quarterback Blake Bortles was that he was working on his mechanics to throw more over-the-top and less sidearm. That didn't show on the first day of training camp. Bortles threw plenty of passes sidearm and really didn't look that sharp. His completion percentage was high in drills, but it looked like it took him quite a while to process information and the football wasn't always crisp.
Storm Johnson missed practice with an undisclosed injury and we're not sure when Chris Clemons will be in action as he was added to the NFI (non-football injury) list.
Overall, the defense seems to be considerably ahead of the offense which is pretty normal at this point in training camp.
Players Who Flashed
Aside from the guys mentioned, journeyman wide receiver Arrelious Benn moved well and used his body and caught everything thrown his way. He was one of the most impressive wide receivers.
Cornerback Jeremy Harris flashed as he did well as he was mostly lined up against some of the longshots to make the roster at wide receiver.
Rookie Neal Sterling is an impressive, physical wide receiver. He's a guy to keep an eye on.
Running back Toby Gerhart looked crisp and nimble and did a great job of catching the ball out of the backfield.