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:
— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) July 31, 2018
Ramsey also kept D.J. Chark in check on a 7 v. 7. rep later on:
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) July 31, 2018
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:
#Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey responds with “Daddy gotta do what daddy got to do”, adjusting to football life after the birth of his child.
Says he and his girlfriend have a deal in place that he doesn’t have to change diapers.
— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) July 31, 2018
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.
-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.
Jaguars Release Jamaal Charles, Promote Linebacker DeLuca
The Jacksonville Jaguars have released running back Jamaal Charles after trading for Carlos Hyde and have promoted Linebacker Nick DeLuca. Charles was brought in to be a change of pace back for the Jaguars after placing Corey Grant on season-ending injured reserve.
The Jaguars traded for Carlos Hyde last week making Charles expendable. Charles accounted for 7 yards on 6 caries for the Jaguars. He also added two catches for seven yards. Running back Leonard Fournette has not been ruled out to play this week either and will travel with the team to London according to Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone.
Nick DeLuca is a rookie linebacker from NDSU. He was signed to the practice squad earlier in the season and has now been promoted due to the injury to linebacker Donald Payne. Payne will be out at least a couple of weeks with a knee injury.
We have promoted rookie LB @N_DeLuca49 to the 53-man active roster from the practice squad.
To make room on the roster, we released 11th-year RB Jamaal Charles. pic.twitter.com/OmiHd2wtvZ
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) October 22, 2018
Editorial: The Jacksonville Jaguars have nailed their own coffin
In electing to stick with Blake Bortles as their starting quarterback, despite benching him for a poor performance against the Texans and watching his backup Cody Kessler vastly outperform him in the same game, the Jacksonville Jaguars have nailed their own coffin.
Now sitting at a 3-4 record, on a three game losing streak, and in third place in the AFC South (the Titans own the tiebreaker for second place), it was clearly time for change to get this ship steered in the correct direction. Just seven weeks aggo, this Jaguars team was viewed as a potential Super Bowl contender. Right now, this team is projected to pick in the first half of the 2019 NFL Draft.
And they can’t blame anyone but themselves at this point.
“We can’t do s**t until we stop turning the ball over. Period. That’s just how it is,” head coach Doug Marrone said following the loss to the Texans. “…the first thing we’ve got to do is stop turning the damn ball over.”
In three consecutive games, the latest of which he barely played past halftime, Bortles has eight turnovers of his own: Five interceptions and three fumbles.
“I spoke to both quarterbacks this afternoon and told them that Blake will be our team’s quarterback. I believe this gives us the best opportunity to win,” Marrone stated in a release from the team after Bortles was named the team’s starter going forward.
In a 24 hour period, Marrone has stated that, while turnovers are the Jaguars biggest issue, the player who is responsible for countless amounts of turnovers gives the team the best chance to win football games. That is the message that is being sent to this team, and the Jaguars fan base.
And the team isn’t happy. Star cornerback Jalen Ramsey was quoted saying “It is no secret what’s going on here right now. Ain’t nobody going to say it because we can’t, but it ain’t no secret what’s going on and it ain’t right right now,” after the loss to the Texans. Given the circumstances, it’s hard to assume this was shade thrown at the quarterback situation.
Ramsey deleted a post of him and Bortles shaking hands on the field from his Instagram this morning.
Defensive tackle Abry Jones put the responsibility of the offenses deficiencies on the defense, quoted saying “We can’t let them [opposing offenses] score at all.”
The Jaguars have chosen to be complacent, and in doing so, this season will continue to plummet. The confidence is low heading into London this week, and the Eagles pass rush should have an easy job forcing Bortles into more poor decisions as this Jaguars team appears to be on track to a 3-5 record at their bye week.
This team was supposed go contend this year. At one point in September, the Jaguars had single digit odds to win the Super Bowl. But that is all in the rearview mirror, as the Jaguars have nailed their own coffin in naming Blake Bortles the starting quarterback of a team that is already beginning to implode.
Jaguars announce Blake Bortles will remain the starting QB
24 hours removed from his first career benching, where he was clearly outplayed by his own backup in a 20-7 loss to the Houston Texans, Blake Bortles has been named the starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars for Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles in London, per the team.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone announced in a statement: “I spoke to both quarterbacks this afternoon and told them that Blake will be our team’s quarterback. I believe this gives us the best opportunity to win.”
This comes under two hours removed from Marrone saying he had made his decision already but planned on addressing the team before releasing that information to the public. Bortles was benched after committing two turnovers against the Texans on Sunday, and Kessler completed 21/30 passes for 156 yards, a touchdown and an interception in his place.
Bortles has committed eight turnovers in the past three weeks.
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