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Jacksonville Jaguars

2018 Jaguars Training Camp: Observations From Day 5

Zach Goodall

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Ramsey
Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey - CREDIT: Zach Goodall (Locked On Jaguars)

The Jacksonville Jaguars returned to the practice fields for training camp a little later than usual today, pushing practice to a 2:30 P.M. start time in result of a slew of injuries that caused the front office to add a couple of new faces to the roster.

Former Florida Gators tight end DeAndre Goolsby signed with the team in result of Niles Paul suffering an undisclosed injury. The team also signed OL Michael Dunn with OL Brandon Thomas being waived/injured.

Long snapper Andrew East was released in accordance to the Goolsby signing. Head coach Doug Marrone said he felt Carson Tinker was comfortable enough to resume full-time long snapping duties after his 2017 ACL year during his press conference.

On top of all this, All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey returned to practice today after the birth of his child. According to Marrone, Raamsey was originally supposed to ease into practice, but he was with the first team for the majority of drills.

How did the rest of the team look during the afternoon practice? Let’s get to the observations.

Bortles, Kessler have their best days so far

The headliners of the quarterback group had their best practices to date. Starting QB Blake Bortles was accurate from start to finish, going 15 of 18 with two touchdowns in the redzone to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and wide receiver Keelan Cole. Another highlight throw came from Bortles to receiver Jaydon Mickens on a skinny corner route, where Bortles put perfect touch on the ball and led a wide open Mickens on the pretty pass.

Kessler had himself a day as well, going 8-12 with two touchdowns with one coming in the redzone. His first TD came on a sharp post in the redzone to WR D.J. Chark, who was jammed near the line but fought through it and found space to get open. Kessler’s second TD came with pressure from defensive end Hunter Dimick, where he stepped up and launched a ball that WR Rashad Greene made a leaping grab on, for six.

Ramsey has a flashy first day back

Cornerback Jalen Ramsey made his return to Jacksonville today and attended his first training camp practice since the birth of his daughter this month, and he made the most of his playing time. Coach Doug Marrone intended on “easing” Ramsey back into things, but the cornerback took first team reps throughout the day.

In team drills, Ramsey seemed up to speed. Below, you can see him breaking up a pass against receiver Dede Westbrook:

Ramsey also kept D.J. Chark in check on a 7 v. 7. rep later on:

After the conclusion of practice, Ramsey met with the media to discuss his return to the Jaguars as well as the adjustment of becoming a father and immediately getting back to football. My favorite part of his conference is summed up below:

Welcome back, King Ramsey.

Several receivers make impressive grabs

-D.J. Chark hauled in his fourth slant reception of camp so far, creating quick separation off the line and going full extension to make a diving catch on a pass from Kessler.

-Rashad Greene’s touchdown catch from Kessler was a perfect play to end practice on. The pass was made with pressure collapsing Kessler’s pocket and Greene went up and over cornerback Tre Herndon for the touchdown grab.

-Keelan Cole made two impressive catches today. One was a spectacular one-handed grab on a redzone pass from Bortles. Cole was called out of bounds as the ball wasn’t placed perfectly, but the snatch was nothing short of spectacular. Cole’s other impressive catch was off of a batted pass intended for Dede Westbrook, where the ball went flying into the air and Cole spun 180 degrees to grab the ball out of the air.

-Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins made his first touchdown catch of camp, with a toe-tapper in the back of the endzone on a ball from Bortles.

Team tid-bits

-The injury bug is making it’s way around the team. DE Yannick Ngakoue missed practice after he was poked in the eye yesterday during practice. WRs Marqise Lee (shoulder) and Donte Moncrief (ankle) worked on the sides for the second day in a row. LB Telvin Smith missed practice for undisclosed personal reasons.

-I asked Marrone during his conference how rookie punter Logan Cooke is responding to the pressure of not only punting, but kickoff duties and the artificial crowd noise during yesterday’s special teams drills. Marrone said that while the noise wasn’t specifically for the punter and rather for communication up front, but that Cooke “is coming along really well. Obviously, we have a ways to go, but he [Cooke] is working hard. He is doing a nice job.”

-LB Blair Brown filled in at weak-side linebacker in place of Smith. Yesterday, rather than continuing to compete at strong-side LB, Brown was the second team WILL. It appears his time competing for the SAM position is over, as rookie Leon Jacobs has worked with the first team evey day so far at the position. Marrone said during his conference that the team likes Brown off the ball, whereas the SAM position plays closer to the line of scrimmage.

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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