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2019 Jaguars training camp: Fournette has a big day in joint practice

Demetrius Harvey

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Jul 25, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) looks on during training camp at Dream Finders Home Practice Complex. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars traveled to Baltimore yesterday ahead of their matchup against the Ravens this week. Both teams’ agreed prior to the start of training camp to conduct joint practices, concluding the first of two today.

On the injury front, cornerback A.J. Bouye (hamstring), running back Thomas Rawls (hamstring), linebacker Jake Ryan (knee), wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee), and offensive lineman Cam Robinson did not participate. Josh Oliver (hamstring), Quincy Williams (knee), and Marcus Simms (concussion) did not travel.

The Jaguars have used joint practices in the past, and this year with the Ravens is not much different. Before practice Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone expressed his intent to evaluate the Jaguars players rather than scouting the other team neccesarily. Marrone stated, “So again, our focus isn’t, ‘Hey, who’s the other team, the players for the Ravens?’ We’re trying to figure out who’s going to be on our team, and we think that this is a great opportunity to do that.”

The Jaguars are going to use the two days to better evaluate their own players in an effort to see who belongs and who doesn’t. Practicing against your own players for weeks on end will never tell the full story which is why preseason games — and the practices against other teams — are so valuable in determining your 53-man roster.

A few players took advantage of just that today including running back Leonard Fournette. By all accounts and observations, Fournette played a major role in today’s practice just as he likely will for the Jaguars in this upcoming season.

Nick Foles spoke highly of Fournette after the practice today when asked about how he thought Fournette did in practice Foles stated, “It was great. I thought we were able to move the ball around a little bit, a lot of different guys had catches. We were able to run the ball well, Leonard did a nice job. The guys up front made some nice holes for him to where he could get through the line. The touchdown run he had later in practice, I don’t think one guy touched him when they loaded the box, so hats off to the o-line and obviously he’s a talented runner.”

Fournette has routinely been used as the bell cow in his first two seasons as the Jaguars primary running back. Although injuries have hampered his development and production some, the Jaguars have always leaned on him when available and this year — even with Foles — will not be much different. During practice, Fournette caught three passes during the teams initial periods of 11 on 11. Getting Fournette the ball in different situations has oftentimes been an issue in the past. Within offensive coordinator John DeFilippo’s offense, however, Fournette will be getting plenty of opportunities to catch passes.

Foles spoke about Fournette catching the football shortly after practice today stating, “Yeah, he’s very talented catching the ball and I think you all have seen that. He caught three balls today, and every single day he’s catching balls in practice every single day. You’re always reading concepts and everything, but sometimes the matchups on the running back versus a linebacker, or if you go through your progression and they cover it really well you can check it down to a back like him and he can make a play, so he’s a special back when you give him the ball.”

A few of Fournette’s catches were captured on video, and one in particular captured by TheAthletic.com’s Phillip Heilman:

Other notes:

  • Jaguars receiver Chris Conley and D.J. Chark continue to impress. Chark reportedly made a red zone grab in the endzone during today’s session. Something Jaguars fans had been hoping for from the 6’4″ receiver. Although it was during one on one sessions, receiver Chris Conley made quite possibly the play of the day:

  • Nick Foles threw one interception on a 2-point conversation drill late in practice. It is just his third interception in training camp. When asked about the interception Foles downplayed it stating, “It was a two-point play, so the scenario right there was a two-point play. So, trying to get a ball in a tight window to make a play to get two points, so that was the scenario there. If it’s the red zone right there, you’ll probably pull it back and scramble around a little bit, but right there, trying to give our tight end a chance and they made a nice play and popped it up. But we were ultimately able to make a tackle or stop them right there, so no harm done.”
  • Jawaan Taylor received more first-team reps. An update on the health of receiver Marqise Lee and offensive lineman Cam Robinson will be given later this week according to Marrone.
  • When speaking to reporters before practice today, Marrone spoke about how the receivers were progressing. After talking about the receivers who have already been here, Marrone spoke about some of the more “under the radar” talents stating, “And then we’ve got some guys that are kind of under the radar that we’re looking at, that have made some plays in practice, that we’re looking to see a little bit more consistency, but they’ve done a nice job up to this point and they have an opportunity of making this team.” One of those players may be receiver Tyre Brady who I got a chance to speak with last week. Brady caught a touchdown today from quarterback Gardner Minshew.
  • Jaguars linebacker James Onwualu was reportedly injured during practice today. There has been no official word from the team regarding his injury. Onwualu was listed as the team’s co-starter on their depth chart released yesterday.

The Jaguars will have one more practice tomorrow beginning at 1 P.M. before being off until their Thursday matchup in Baltimore at 7:30 P.M.

Demetrius Harvey is the lead editor for the Locked on Jaguars website covering breaking news, breakdowns, and more. You can follow him at @Demetrius82 on twitter.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Josh Allen shines in Jaguars 22-7 loss to Miami Dolphins

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 22, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen (41) pressures Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Allen showed out on the national stage and proved why he deserved to be the seventh-overall pick this year.

Tonight was the night of firsts for the Jaguars. It was the first time the first-team offense and defense took the field for the Jaguars this year. The first time anyone has gotten a good look at Nick Foles in a Jaguars uniform, and the first time we got an extensive look at the Jaguars rookie seventh-overall pick defensive end Josh Allen.

Allen was able to take advantage of a very poor Dolphins offensive line and downright dominant in the first half of the game. For the night, Allen was credited with four combined tackles as the Jaguars tried to get him on the field as much as possible. Despite saying otherwise earlier this season, the Jaguars actually opened up in a 3-4 look with Yannick Ngakoue and Allen on opposite sides. With defensive assistant Dom Capers in the fold, the Jaguars may be a bit more creative on defense this year.

Getting into the Dolphins’ backfield practically all night, Allen put on a show. With several tackles for loss, a couple of quarterback hits, and great pass coverage, Allen showed just why he was taken in the top-10. The Jaguars used Allen in every way possible tonight, and there is no reason to believe that will stop during the regular season.

Allen will be a pleasure to watch in 2019 especially with Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, and Marcell Dareus playing with him.

Allen wasn’t the only player being showcased tonight for the Jaguars. This was the first time tonight the Jaguars — and the nation —  got a good look at quarterback Foles since he left Philadelphia.

Foles held his own against the Dolphins after going 6/10 for 48 yards,  with one touchdown, and an interception. Foles had a couple of rough drives and began the game leading the offense to a quick three-and-out, but overall looked just fine against the Dolphins first-team defense.

After a summer of Foles to Chris Conley connections being made, it was Foles and receiver Dede Westbrook who seemed to be the most in sync. Westbrook hauled in the 10-yard touchdown throw from Foles along with 3 other receptions for a total of 29 yards on the night.

The Jaguars would go onto fall to the Dolphins 22-7 after a poor showing by the Jaguars second and third-team offense, but the talk of the night will ultimately be the great performance by defensive end Josh Allen.

Five observations:

1. The Jaguars offensive line will be fine — if healthy

Left tackle Cam Robinson made his debut tonight after recovering from a 2018 torn ACL. Although Robinson did not play very long, he had a great night against the Dolphins’ poor defensive line.

The Jaguars remaining starters included: Andrew Norwell, Brandon Linder, Will Richardson, and Jawaan Taylor. Taylor got his first action tonight as a Jaguar after recovering from a knee injury. Richardson is seemingly entrenched in the starting right guard role with A.J. Cann playing a majority of the night with the backups after Richardson was finished.

2. Leonard Fournette is a threat out of the backfield

This should be obvious, however, the Jaguars fourth-overall pick showed tonight he can be a threat in the passing game.  With two receptions for 15 yards, Fournette showed well catching passes from Foles as he has all summer. On the night Fournette added seven rushes for 27 yards. Fournette showed power and speed once he got into the open field.

3. The Jaguars potential sixth receiver spot is still wide open

Quite frankly, the Jaguars are still searching for their sixth receiver. During the first two preseason games, receiver Tre McBride seemingly was the frontrunner for the job along with Terrelle Pryor.

However, Pryor left the game with yet another hamstring injury and McBride had a couple of drops along with 33 receiving yards on three receptions. Receiver C.J. Board was the most productive receiver on the team tonight with four receptions for 56 yards and a drop. This will be a competition to keep an eye on through next week.

4. Taven Bryan is still struggling

The Jaguars have an issue with defensive tackle Taven Bryan. Thus far this preseason, Bryan has not played as expected from a former first-round pick. Tonight showed no different as Bryan accounted for one tackle and two roughing the passer penalties on the night.

Bryan will make the team, but the Jaguars will have an issue if he ever has to play significant snaps in place of starting defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. Bryan will need to quickly develop if he wants to contribute positively to this team this season.

5. Dawuane Smoot is a lot better than he used to be

A former third-round pick, Smoot excelled tonight against the Dolphins porous defensive line. Notching one sack, Smoot was able to take control of the line of scrimmage tonight and prove why he should be on this team. The Jaguars have a great competition and will ultimately be forced to make a tough decision as defensive lineman Datone Jones is performing just as well.

It is possible the Jaguars will opt to keep both — and they should.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars preseason week three inactives, Richardson to start

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 8, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Will Richardson (76) looks onto the field during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sportsst the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins are set to kick off at 8:00 p.m. eastern time at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

For the Jaguars, they will finally get a good look at their starting offensive and defensive units — minus a couple of injuries. The only players not slated to get some reps tonight are: Marqise Lee (knee), Alfred Blue (ankle), Jake Ryan (knee), Quincy Williams (knee), Davis Tull (leg), Charles Jones (foot), Geoff Swaim (foot), Josh Oliver (hamstring), and Marcell Dareus (elbow).

All eyes will be on new Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles tonight as he gets set to play his first game since leaving the Philidelphia Eagles in free agency.

Before the list of players not participating was released, the Jaguars’ Director of Public Relations announced via twitter, left tackle Cam Robinson will be making his first appearance tonight, although on a limited basis. Robinson will be on a “strict” snap count for tonight’s game.

Expect the Jaguars starters to play only a couple of series tonight as the Jaguars look to continue keeping them safe for the regular season.

Jaguars right guard Will Richardson will be starting tonight ahead of A.J. Cann. Richardson has been in a constant battle with the veteran since camp began.

Second-round pick Jawaan Taylor will be starting at right tackle. It is the rookie’s first in-game action for the Jaguars this preseason.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Preseason Week 3: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Miami Dolphins preview

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 15, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles (7) looks on during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

This week against the Miami Dolphins, the Jacksonville Jaguars will finally get a really good look at their $88M prized possession, Nick Foles. Foles, along with the starting offensive line, Leonard Fournette, and the majority of the teams’ starting players will get the ball rolling early against the Dolphins. How long they will play for likely depends on the success of the team, however, they won’t be playing for very long.

The game will be televised nationally on FOX, so everyone will finally get a good look at the $88M man. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling the game.

The only players not set to play for the Jaguars on Thursday are: Marqise Lee (knee), Alfred Blue (ankle), Jake Ryan (knee), Quincy Williams (knee), Davis Tull (leg), Charles Jones (foot), Geoff Swaim (foot), Josh Oliver (hamstring), and Marcell Dareus (elbow).

Lee was recently activated from the teams’ PUP list and should be ready to go for the regular season.

Game Time info

  • When: Thursday, August 22nd, 8:00 PM  ET
  • Where: Hard Rock Stadium Miami Gardens, FL
  • Watch: FOX (FOX30 Jacksonville)
  • Listen: Jacksonville 1010XL AM, 92.5FM

Five Keys to Success

  1. Stay Healthy. Once again this is the number one key to success. Even if the Jaguars completely bomb their dress-rehearsal game, as long as they come out of the game fully healthy there is no harm, no foul. Left tackle Cam Robinson will be seeing his first in-game action since tearing his ACL in week two of the 2018 regular season. Keeping him fresh is going to be pivotal for the Jaguars offense this season.
  2. Establish chemistry on the offensive line. The Jaguars will finally get their starting offensive line together on the field at the same time in a game. This is a great opportunity for the team to establish chemistry between each other along with Foles.
  3. Win the trench war. This goes for the offensive and defensive line. The Jaguars must get push on both sides of the football this week to establish the run and get after the quarterback. This will be the first in-game action which will showcase the Jaguars renewed “lightning package”. This includes Josh Allen, Calais Campbell, Taven Bryan, and Yannick Ngakoue. While the team will be without defensive tackle Marcell Dareus for this matchup, it will be a great way to take a look at their renewed pass rush.
  4. Showcase Nick Foles. While the Jaguars do not have to pass the football every down, and they certainly will not do so, getting the most out of Foles’ action tonight will be pivotal to the teams’ success moving forward. Being able to establish in-game camaraderie never hurts, and this is a prime opportunity to do it.
  5. Enjoy it. Jaguars fans will finally get their opportunity to see the first-team offense and defense. This game will ultimately set the tone for the regular season.

Key Matchups 

Jaguars receivers vs. Dolphins defensive backs

The Miami Dolphins have two premier defensive backs in their secondary in Xavien Howard and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Playing against either one will be a great test for the Jaguars receivers. This will be the first in-game action for UFA signee Chris Conley. Seeing him, Dede Westbrook and D.J. Chark compete against the Dolphins secondary will be an exciting matchup to watch. It will allow the Jaguars to get a great look at what they truly have at the position.

Jaguars offensive line vs. Dolphins defensive line

The Jaguars have not yet established what their offensive line will look like moving forward into the regular season. This will be a great test for them moving forward against the Dolphins’ defensive line which includes former first-round pick, Charles Harris.

Will Richardson vs. A.J. Cann

Although this is not a matchup between two opposing players, it will be a competition to watch during Thursday’s game. Offensive tackle/guard Will Richardson and A.J. Cann have been battling for the teams’ starting right guard position throughout training camp.

Five Players to watch

1. Nick Foles

Foles will be the focus for Thursday’s game against the Dolphins. Nationally. It will be the first in-game action anyone has seen Foles play since his playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints in February as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. For Jaguars fans they will finally get to see what kind of player the $88M man is. Foles will likely be playing only a couple of series depending on how the game goes, but he is absolutely the number one player to watch.

Nick Foles spoke to the Jaguars media shortly after practice on Sunday and was asked just how important getting the offensive line together was, he stated, “Really the most important piece of the offense is the offensive line. The way they work together, the way they communicate, the way we recognize fronts, our run game, our pass protection. The way that those guys communicate is a work of art, so to have them all out there working, developing, communicating is huge for us right now. So, it’s happening at the right time, so we have to really take advantage of every single day.”

If the Jaguars can establish their offensive line, it will lead to great success for Foles and the rest of the Jaguars offense.

2. Cam Robinson

Robinson has not played a down for the Jaguars since week-two of the 2018 regular season, and before last week there were questions regarding his availability for the start of the season. Instead, Robinson will play on Thursday night. The question remains, however, how much will the left tackle play?

Keep a close eye on Robinson and how he handles pass-rush snaps. His health is of the utmost importance to the Jaguars offensive line, which ultimately determines the success of the offense as a whole.

3. Leonard Fournette

Fournette has had a sort of revitalization of his career arc throughout this offseason. Not only has he shown up to nearly every offseason activity, but he has also shown up healthy and in shape. Keeping Fournette healthy will be majorly important for the Jaguars offense this season. Seeing him get some in-game action will be interesting.

4. Terrelle Pryor

After earning praise during the early portions of training camp, the fire lit by Pryor has become rather dim. Dealing with injuries for the past couple of weeks the former quarterback-turned-wideout has not had an opportunity to showcase his talents in games. This will be a great opportunity for Pryor to earn his spot on the 53-man roster which has seemingly been handed to him due to his size (6’4″ 228 pounds) and speed (4.30 40-yard dash).

The Jaguars will very likely be retaining six receivers at the final cutdowns, and Pryor is squarely in the mix.

5. Jawaan Taylor

Heading into week three of the preseason, it is unclear if Jaguars rookie offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor will receive the first-team snaps at right tackle. Coming off of a knee injury in which head coach Doug Marrone described as “not serious at all”, Taylor will be one of the key players to watch.

If he is able to establish himself as the starting right tackle opposite of Robinson, it will pay dividends to the Jaguars protection and run game moving forward. The Jaguars can ill-afford to head into the season with either Cedric Ogbuehi or Leonard Wester starting.

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