Jaguars Between the Sidelines
For the first time in the Del Rio era, the Jaguars combined their practice efforts with another football team to try and better themselves. Most of the players were impressed with the Falcons digs.
"It's a beautiful facility," Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said.
So how did the Jaguars fare against an Atlanta Falcons team who many believe will be playing in the postseason?
The Jaguars offense was bogged down from the get-go as they were without both starting tackles (Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton). Backups Paul McQuistan and Kevin Haslam were clearly overmatched by the Falcons speedy, strong defensive ends.
As for the quarterbacks, it was more of the same mediocre play from the Jaguars trio. David Garrard continued to lock on to one player and often threw into coverage. Luke McCown was no better as he looked uncomfortable and was intercepted once in drills. Trevor Harris probably looked the best as compared to his low expectations, but he hardly impressed as he struggles with decision making and arm strength.
The Jaguars running backs looked great as they were excellent in pass protection, caught the ball with consistency (most of the time), and showed great burst. Maurice Jones-Drew was as good as advertised, but Rashad Jennings made a splash. Jennings showed very good burst and excellent strength through the hole.
The Jacksonville wide receiving corps was led by second-year emerging star Mike Thomas. Thomas caught everything thrown his way and was the only Jaguars receiver to get open consistently. None of the other Jags wideouts really stood out or made any type of impact.
As for the tight ends, Marcedes Lewis continued his excellent camp by beating Falcons rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon several times, and Zach Potter made a nice grab in traffic.
The Jaguars defensive line was without rookies Tyson Alualu and Austen Lane. As for the remaining ends, Derrick Harvey and Larry Hart looked very quick in individual drills as they schooled the Falcons tackles repeatedly. Aaron Kampman was able to get pressure as well and he has shown little effects of his knee injury from last season. Jeremy Mincey and Jeremy Navarre struggled in individual drills and were handled by the bigger Falcons offensive line. Terrance Knighton and Atiyyah Ellison were able to get penetration in drills and the pair did a fine job of clogging the middle.
The Jaguars linebackers were active, but struggled in coverage. Kirk Morrison continues to be a team leader and this looks like it could be the best group of Jaguars linebackers in the Del Rio era.
The Jacksonville secondary looked good in spots but the none of the safeties really stepped up. It is a wide open competition and seemingly nobody has an upper hand through a little over one week.
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