By: Hays Carlyon
Friday’s Jaguars practice finally pitted the offense vs. the defense.
Pads won’t come on until Monday but we finally got some resistance.
Here are my observations from the session.
- Quarterback Gardner Minshew had two of the most impressive plays on consecutive snaps I’ve ever seen in my eight years covering the team. Minshew connected on a deep pattern in the middle of the field to receiver Dede Westbrook, splitting two defenders. Westbrook showed nice concentration bringing in the pass. Minshew then threw deep down the left sideline to DJ Chark who beat cornerback Tre Herndon. The ball was perfect and Chark secured the catch. Two plays, 100 yards of offense. It was a thing of beauty.
- Minshew found rookie second-round Laviska Shenault a few times. Shenault showed his ability to get yards after the catch and beat press coverage at the line. Shenault met with the media after practice and was asked about his budding relationship with Minshew: “He’s seen the future I have and we’re trying to get it rocking,” Shenault said.
- The defensive play of the day came from safety Andrew Wingard, who intercepted Minshew on an underthrow to the sideline. That was the lone turnover.
- I like what I see out of running back Leonard Fournette. He looks quicker with that great speed.
- A potential hidden gem caught my eye today in undrafted running back Nathan Cottrell. He stood out on punt cover and I thought showed something in his offensive reps. Cottrell (5-11, 193 pounds) played at Georgia Tech.
- Middle linebacker Joe Schobert showed off impressive agility in pass cover drills.
- Rookie sixth-round quarterback Jake Luton looked polished and demonstrated a strong arm in his reps. I’m eager to see more.
- Rookie fifth-round free safety Daniel Thomas moves well. I was impressed with his speed and ability to close towards the sideline.
- Rookie seventh-round cornerback Chris Claybrooks dropped a monster punt by Logan Cooke. Claybrooks did have to retreat several yards to get under the punt.
- I always try to pay attention to what I’m not seeing as well. I’m not seeing miscommunication. Players not knowing their assignments and the coaches having to stop things and regroup (after yelling). There was a nice rhythm and flow to the offense today in drills against the defense regardless of which of the four quarterbacks were playing. That’s a good sign for new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
(You can email Hays at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon)