I attended the Saturday night training camp. It was a wonderful cool night by Florida standards with a large crowd. Seriously, a lot of people came out even with rain falling minutes before camp.
The Jaguars are making camp a big deal. Florida Blue Cross had a huge presence, the D-Line was there, the ROAR was out in force, and there was an interview with David Garrard prior to practice. This is my fourth year at training camp and it has never been this fan friendly. For free entertainment, this is fun.
My first impression was there is a marked difference between the offense and the defense. From the minute the defense hits the field, they are pushing the energy. There is yelling from the coaches and the players. Even in a scrimmage with half pads on, whoever makes a play is cheered. When someone doesn’t, they are loudly called out. When Jack talks about the most passionate, aggressive team, he speaks of the defense. That is where his attention is. The offense does not appear to be there yet. After the jump, we will look at the specifics of what I saw:
The Defensive line will be better. There is no question about that. Aaron Kampman has upper end talent and was not afraid to stress his leg. He and Eugene pressed each other and Aaron pushed, twisted, shifted, everything. I hope he stays healthy. Derrick Harvey showed new moves other than a Bull Rush. He was in the backfield a lot of the time. Jeremy Mincey is your other DT.
The Offensive line still looks horrible. The only way a defensive line can look good is if the offensive line let’s them and this offensive line was shown up constantly.
Now I can’t tell what the intention of the play is, whether everyone is blocked or not, but it looked bad. Uche Nwaneri was not good last year and he doesn’t look good this year.
I saw Kynan Forney play a lot at left guard with the first team. I like him a lot. He has a real power base that is hard to get through and has good technique.
I saw Justin Smiley in at left guard with the starting team as well. He doesn’t look as powerful as Forney right now but I didn’t focus on that area. I will watch closer.
The right side seems unsettled. To me, Vince Manuwai is the guy. He still has pop and mows people over. It looks like Meester is our center again this year and Eben Britton is on right tackle. I am not sure of either of those two, Meester and Britton.
I focused on the lines tonight and didn’t see much else. I will say I saw Scotty McGee play corner and he looked ok. Surprisingly ok. Derek Cox can cover like a blanket, but he needs that Rashean Mathis awareness of the ball in the air. He can stand out. Nate Hughes ran a lot of deep patterns. Maybe they want to use him against the Texans again this year?
Well that was all. I don’t like the offensive line situation. I love the defense. There is a lot of training camp left, but don’t be surprised if changes on the O-Line don’t develop.
- Terry O’Brien