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Jacksonville Jaguars

2018 Jaguars Training Camp: Observations From Day 7

Zach Goodall

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Jul 26, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (17) walks on the field during training camp at the Dream Finder Homes practice facility outside of TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars had their last training camp practice before the annual team scrimmage at the Dream Finders Home Practice Complex today, with the preseason on the team’s doorstep.

Quarterback Blake Bortles had an improved day compared to his Day 6 outing, making several impressive tosses as well as several less accurate throws. Like the past several practices, rookie receiver D.J. Chark continued to make his name known all over the field. Linebacker Leon Jacobs and tight end Niles Paul returned to the field after missing yesterday’s workout, with receiver Donte Moncrief on the side of the field for the fifth straight day.

How did the rest of the team perform? Let’s get to the observations.

Bortles bouncs back, despite stat line

All in all, quarterback Blake Bortles had a solid bounce-back performance after his two-interception showing on Wednesday. While his 10-of-23 stat line is far from great, Bortles started to let the ball loose down the field a little more today.

His best throw came in team drills on an outside go-route to receiver Keelan Cole, with Jalen Ramsey in coverage. Bortles let it fly off of his back foot, placing the ball perfectly on the outside for Cole to go up and grab with Ramsey in tight coverage. According to Mike Kaye of First Coast News, Bortles also had a beautiful deep connection on a pass to Dede Westbrook, with Ramsey and safety Barry Church in coverage.

Cody Kessler went 8-12 on the reps I watched. With Tanner Lee throwing another interception, which is almost becoming a day-to-day tradition, Kessler seems locked in as this team’s backip QB.

Chark Week continues

Another day, another impressive showing by rookie receiver D.J. Chark.

After his strong Day 6 practice where he beat Ramsey twice in on-on-one drills on top of two receptions in team, Chark followed up with two more catches in 11 v. 11’s. In the redzone, Kessler targeted Chark on a sharp corner route shy of the goal line, where Chark had to adjust his body and dive to make the reception in coverage. Chark’s ability to adjust to poorly placed passes was a strong suit of his at LSU, and he put that on full display during the rep.

Based on my tracking, I have Chark at 16 receptions through seven days of camp. His strongest routes to date have been the slant (4), post (3), and go (3).

Injury bug is going away

After small injuries took a toll on the team over the past week, most of the team was fully padded and participating on the field today. After the return of defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and receiver Marqise Lee yesterday, tight end Niles Paul (hamstring) and linebacker Leon Jacobs (undisclosed) were full participants in practice today.

WR Donte Moncrief (ankle) worked on the side of the field for the fifth day in a row, and DE Dante Fowler Jr. remains on the PUP list. Otherwise, the 90-man roster appears to be fully healthy as they head into the scrimmage and preseason.

Team tid-bits

-Running back Leonard Fournette is pleased with the growth of the offense from year one to year two in Nate Hackett’s system. He praised their communication thus far in camp during his press conference:

-Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue noted the growth of left tackle Cam Robinson in comparison to the lineman’s rookie camp last year in his press conference. The pass rusher mentioned that Robinson is giving him multiple pass sets rather than the one he repeated through camp in 2017. Ngakoue stated that he is going to “Make [Robinson] the best left tackle in the league”, and that he doesn’t hold back against the second year lineman.

-CB Tyler Patmon got WR Shane Wynn back in team drills today after Wynn beat him twice in a row during one-on-ones yesterday. Patmon made an athletic, leaping pass breeakup on an endzone corner route to the 5-6 receiver in Wynn, on what was a perfectly placed ball. Unlike yesterday however, the winner of the drill didn’t give the loser an ear-full:

-On top of Chark’s impressive camp to date, second year receivers Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook have strung together productive camps. Cole stands at 13 catches, with four on slants, two go’s, two curls, two digs, two screens, and one comeback. For Westbrook, I have him tallied at eight receptions, with four digs, two go’s, and two slants.

Zach Goodall covers the Jacksonville Jaguars on the Locked On Jaguars Podcast and on BigCatCountry.com. Follow him on Twitter @zach_goodall.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets Call Jaguars About Dante Fowler Jr.

Zach Goodall

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The New York Jets appear to be interested in trading for a pass rusher, and have reportedly called the Jacksonville Jaguars about fourth year DE Dante Fowler Jr.’s availability, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

Fowler Jr. offers potential as a full-time EDGE, as he has accumulated 12 sacks (14, including postseason) as a rotational pass rusher over the past two years. The Jaguars selected Fowler Jr. with the third

However, Fowler Jr. has a history of drama. He was most recently suspended for a week for fighting in practice, and will miss Week 1 due to a suspension for a misdemeanor battery charge from 2017.

We wrote last week that the Jets would be a team that’d make most sense if Fowler Jr. was on the trade block, which you can read here.

We will update this story as details emerge.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Victorious Over Vikings Despite Penalties, Lack of Offense

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) reacts to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the first quarter against Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Game recap

The Jacksonville Jaguars took their talents to Minnesota this week, facing the Vikings in their second preseason game after a week of joint practices.

Before the game, several Jaguars starters were ruled out including TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, CB Jalen Ramsey (suspension), FS Tashaun Gipson, LG Andrew Norwell, RT Jeremy Parnell, and DT Marcel Dareus. DE Taven Bryan, FS Cody Davis, DE Dante Fowler Jr. (suspension), LB Brooks Ellis, DE Dawuane Smoot, and DT Eli Ankou would also not play.

The game started off quickly as the Jags defense was able to get an instant three and out against Kirk Cousins’ Vikings. The defensive line has never looked better, and although Dareus was out, they still stood up strong against the Vikings offensive line creating penetration all game, sacks, and forced fumbles. At the end of it all Kirk Cousins ended his day going just 3 of 8 passing for 12 yards.

It is fair to say, however, both first team offenses struggled mightily during the game.

The Jaguars first two offensive drives went about as poor as they could have. Following a three and out, Blake Bortles threw his first interception of the preseason. He seemingly did not see Vikings’ safety Harrison Smith right in front of the receiver on the play. Nevertheless, the Jaguars offense was finally able to piece together a decent drive ending in a 1-yard touchdown by running back Leonard Fournette later on.

Blake Bortles and most of the Jaguars starting players would play the entire first half. Even still, besides the early touchdown by Fournette, the Jaguars could not get anything done. A lot of the Jaguars struggles were due to penalties. 10 penalties for 100 yards in the first half alone and a key holding call on a Dede Westbrook would-be 51-yard punt return was nullified. Blake and the Jaguars offense could not get much of anything going all day long and that would be the theme for the day, for both teams.

The play of the game came very late in the 4th quarter when wide receiver Rashad Greene took a punt 51-yards to the Vikings 4-yard line, setting up a game-winning touchdown by Brandon Wilds. After the Vikings got the ball back, the Jaguars backups needed a stop on defense to win the game. On the Vikings last drive of the game, the Jaguars defense got yet another stop, this time on 4th down to win the game.

Three plays of the game

  • DE Yannick Ngakoue does his best Key and Peele impersonation after his sack. He should know better than to do 3-pumps, but this was pretty funny.

  • After the Blake Bortles interception, Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson was able to force a fumble on the Vikings running back Latavius Murray. The Jaguars defensive line came to play.
  • Logan Cooke made one of the most beautiful punts I have seen a Jaguars punter make in years. From around the Jaguars 45-yard line, the rookie punter punted 56 yards to the Minnesota 5 and the Jaguars special teams unit only allowed a 7-yard return from there. The Jaguars finally have a “weapon” in their punter.

Player of the Game

The player of the day is by far Yannick Ngakoue. This man came into this season on a clear mission: To seek and destroy. Ngakoue started the game off strong with a sack, although nullified because of a celebration penalty afterward, the defensive end made his presence known from the very start. For much of the game, Ngakoue kept the pressure on and was consistently in the Vikings backfield. He was a part of jackson’s forced fumble after Bortles’ interception. If this game is any indication, Ngakoue could very well be an all-pro.

Final Whistle

For most of the game, the Jaguars just couldn’t get anything going on offense..  The biggest issue with the Jaguars today was their inability to overcome penalties. The team accounted for a total of 13 penalties 140 yards.

The bright spot for the Jaguars was easily their defense for both the starters and the backups. They held Kirk Cousins to only 12 yards on 8 passes, and the Vikings backups barely made any plays of note. The Jaguars offense, particularly the starters, will need to have a much better game next week as they head into their regular season warm up against the Atlanta Falcons.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs Vikings: Game Preview and Information

Ruairi Songer

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Dec 11, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (left) and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (right) pose for a photo after exchanging jerseys at EverBank Field. The Minnesota Vikings won 25-16. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings

Thursday, 8/17/18 @ 1pm EST, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

You can watch the game on CBS47/FOX30, NFL Network, as well as on the team’s live stream in select markets.

Preview:

The Jaguars and Vikings joint practice sessions have come to a close, the two teams will meet on the field to end the second week of preseason. The Jaguars and Vikings are similar teams in many ways, as both possess fearsome defensive units and solid running attacks. With that being said, here’s a few things to watch for in Saturday’s game:

Blake Bortles. Blake Bortles. Blake Bortles.

Bortles’ play and development will be a reoccurring story-line each week, but Saturday will bring his biggest test of the preseason. After an impressive training camp and first preseason game against the Saints, Bortles had a couple of rough outings during joint practice sessions, going 4/13 during 11 on 11 drills on day one.

The Vikings defense, while tough, is a blessing for the Jaguars offense and Blake. The match-up gives Bortles the chance to test a historically good passing defense, without any regular season record implications. He has the opportunity to take chances, learn from his mistakes, and compete against several All-Pro defensive backs such as Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes.

Cam Robinson will be put to the test against feisty Vikings edge rushers, mainly Danielle Hunter, who has recorded 19.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Vikings All-Pro DE Everson Griffen will most likely be inactive for Saturday’s game due to an infected leg wound.

Robinson’s play seems to be improving from 2017, which could, along with the addition of Andrew Norwell, elevate the Jaguars’ offensive line to being a top unit in the league.

The continuing battle for the nickel cornerback spot seems to be leaning in the favor of D.J. Hayden, after he intercepted Kirk Cousins in a joint practice session earlier in the week. With the absence of suspended CB Jalen Ramsey, Tyler Patmon should get the go-ahead at outside corner, giving Hayden plenty of snaps in the slot. He will be tasked with covering Adam Thielen, one of the better slot receivers in the league. A solid showing for Hayden would help cement his spot at nickel corner.

Sophomore RB Dalvin Cook may see his first action of 2018, pending on a decision by Vikings HC Mike Zimmer. The former Seminole had a promising start to his rookie year before going down with an ACL tear early in the 2017 season. Cook would be an interesting test for the Jaguars DL and LB corps, namely SAM LB Leon Jacobs, who shined in run defense against the Saints.

WR Rashad Greene’s job may be in jeopardy after muffing a punt against the Saints in week one. If Greene is still turnover-prone as a punt returner, he will have to find success as a receiver to make it past roster cuts. Look for Shane Wynn or Dede Westbrook to also see time as punt returners.

 

 

 

 

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