It was eventful at the Jaguars No. 5 Saturday morning. The team wore shoulder pads for the first time since camp opened on Monday and the players seemed to be delivering more juice.
However, it looked more like the calm before the storm as full podiums are due to be worn on Sunday, a chance for players, coaches, media and other spectators to get a glimpse of what the team really has as it continues its path toward the regular season.
Prior to training, Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson welcomed the Episcopal School football team to Jacksonville, who was present to watch the day.
Naturally, the Jaguars used one of the areas of team training to get their own work done throughout the bootcamp.
Soon after, Jaguar’s defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell met with the media for a second time during camp, gave an update on what he’s seen from his players, and expects the pads to continue on Sunday. He noted that he is “so far happy” with what the defense has been able to do, and having had a good job with the team’s attack.
On Thursday, Jacksonville’s defense stood out, particularly during red-zone drills. They carried quarterback Trevor Lawrence to a few completions while getting an interception and a couple of passes breakup.
“It was a job well done. We’re here with abuse and abuse giving us a different look and giving them a different look. All he does is the competition makes us better as a team,” Caldwell said of the team’s red zone defensive performance on Thursday.
“That’s what we’re here to do. Here to improve as a team, so we’re here, we’re going to ask for a certain look from the attack. They’re going to ask us for a certain cover or a certain look and we’ll give it to them. So, we just try to make each other better.”
Here are the notes from today’s exercise:
The defense continues to shine
During Saturday’s session, Jaguar played it a little differently. Instead of facing the novices, the novices went up in offense against the second team’s defense, and vice versa. That led to some interesting matches but still ended with the defense looking like the better of the two groups for much of the day.
On multiple occasions, the Jaguars’ defense stifled the second team’s attack, giving them no room to run and hardly any time to throw a soccer ball.
Although the second team’s defense was sparkling with the first team’s attack (as it should be), there were still some notables from the group. On one special occasion, the Year 3 linebacker Rashid Berry managed a massive display in the offensive backcourt, stopping the momentum before it even started.
Notable figures from the first few days of camp include defensive tackle Jay Toffeli and corner back Benji Franklin. Franklin made several plays on the ball and managed to secure a camp’s second interception, a pick-six thrown by backup QB Jake Luton.
Tufele, entering his second season, was one of the team’s most consistent DLs, able to make breakouts and off-runs in his tracks.
Safety start Rayshawn Jenkins finished training big, putting the lever to back up RB Mekhi Sargent – a preview of what’s to come when the full pads run, on Sunday.
Taylor replied, Foley Fatukasi is among those who have held out
The Jaguars had some bumps and bruises during the first few days of camp, and that day included several players who lost time. Correct tackle Joan Taylor was made out of practice for the second day in a row, and he missed Thursday’s practice as well, working with coaches on the sidelines.
Other players who lost time today included defensive tackle Foley Fatukassi, offensive lineman Jared Hooker, linebacker Devin Lloyd and linebacker James Robinson. Robinson, of course, is still working his way back at full speed, while Lloyd doesn’t have a timeline for returning from his hamstring injury.
Fatuksai is a key asset to the team in the middle of the defense. In his place, he benefited from a mix of DT DaVon Hamilton and Malcom Brown for the third year. All defensive linemen will be rotated throughout camp and season.
With Taylor out, Year 2’s Walker Little took all the shots at Right Intervention, a much-needed feat for a player not yet playing right-side out in a live-action game.
Lawrence posts a powerful outing
This was a day of recovery of sorts for Lawrence after he struggled to get anything going in the red on Thursday.
On Saturday, Lawrence looked calm and balanced, capable of several shots under pressure, including a deep one for Marvin Jones Jr., who was able to stand behind the defense for what was likely to be a long touchdown. Lawrence put the ball exactly where it was needed.
Lawrence completed 13 of his 19 passes with several drops a day. The most obvious drop came from the free agent, Evan Ingram, who dropped what would have been a wide open touchdown in the team’s two-minute stand.
Receiver Christian Kirk made a few nice passes down the middle, which made him grab a strong hold by throwing the ball a little behind him.
Travon Walker looks ready for pads
For days, the Jaguars’ defensive line wasn’t really able to do much, having to hold back a bit for the pads to arrive. Today, they’ve been more active in the shoulder pads, something that seems to have opened something up in OLB rookie Travon Walker, the team’s first overall pick from this year’s draft.
Walker stood out in a big way on Saturday, being able to deliver what would have been several plays in the offensive backcourt. At one point, Walker completely collapsed his side of the line of scrimmage, giving the team’s offensive line and running no longer had room to work with.
will be a walker The A player to watch on Sunday as the team gets full podiums and starts the defensive/offensive streak individually.
After practice, Fatukasi BigCatCountry gave his first impressions of the newbie OLB, calling him a “sponge”.
“A sponge. It sucks everything. It works its tail. It asks questions [of] “The elderly,” he said. “And as long as he keeps that mentality, he’s going to be around for a while. As long as he keeps applying himself, I feel like he’s going to do it. But he’s a sponge. He learns as much as he learns. [can]And he applies it.”
Jaguars OLB Travon Walker was out of work after a workout today. I spoke with DT Foley Fatukasi after training. Describing Walker as a “sponge,” he absorbs information: pic.twitter.com/dQuDYWf5mW
– Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) 30 July 2022
On Wednesday, Walker spoke about the possibility of putting pads back in again.
“I’m really ready to get on the podiums now because I’ve been off the podiums for a long time, since the National Championship, to really hit someone one last and be as physical as I can. I’m ready to get back into that,” he said.
Well, if the past two days are any indication, then Sunday should be a treat.
It seems as if the Jaguars have defined their inner line of attack, at least in the center. Rookie position Luke Fortner captured 100 percent of the first-team reps, while Tyler Shatley captured the vast majority of first-team reps in the left guard. Although third-year OL Ben Bartch gets a cast in the role, it doesn’t look like Shuttley will lose much of his grip.