Roundup of Wednesdays and Thursdays Jaguars Football Practice

August 7, 2009 · By · Filed Under Football 

Redshirt junior quarterback Brennan Sim preparing to thow a pass under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Greg Gregory. Photo by Doug Roberts.

Wednesday, August 5th

The second day of practice was another early to rise event for the players and staff. Another two-hour-plus practice beginning at 7am for another day in helmets and shorts.

The second day of practice was very similar to the first day. The Jags began with about 15 minutes of special teams work with a focus on punt returns being the difference between the two days. This was followed by about 20 minutes of position drills. Then the offensive and defensive units combined into groups for the nex portion of the practice.

All 11 players on defense worked on trapping runners near the sidelines while the quarterbacks threw passes to running backs. After that the offensive line was brought in to run through formations and plays.

Towards the midpoint of practice the defensive and offensive units came together for about 15 minutes of practice against each other. It was first broken down to 7-on-7 skeleton passing drills with the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers against the linebackers and secondary. Meanwhile, the offensive and defensive lines faced off in one-on-one drills to protect the passer. Then there was about a five minute segment where the offense and defense squared off in 11-on-11 action.

For roughly the last 45 minutes of practice, each unit worked on one half of the field with the offense continuing to go through formations, motions and plays and the defense also focusing on formations but also personnel substitions depending on down and distance.

With only two days of practice, Coach Jones said that almost the entire game plan, about 85-90%, has been installed with the Jags still two days away from practicing in full pads. Which goes back to what he had said several times on the Coach Joey Jones Show, that he believed in throwing the whole thing at them, then coming back with a more narrow focus and building it back up to the whole.

Coach Jones commented about how the offense tends mature more slowly than the defense. “Offensively, you’re always going to be behind the defense early on,” observed Jones. “That’s just because defense is easier to play mentally. What I’ve told the coaches that we have to do is make sure that we get as many players as we can involved now. To evaluate them, we need to get them reps – once we get to game week we will be getting the ones who are going to play ready. We have time now to make sure that we evaluate kids, so we want to make sure we do that and get them all on the field if we can.”

Coach Jones also commented that a days worth of practice was apparent on the second day of practice and manifested in what they were able to accomplish on their second day. “I thought we got better. The intensity level was higher and the concentration level was better today,” said Coach Jones. “I’m sure that was because of what everyone learned from yesterday’s practice. If we can continue to do that we will keep getting better. I saw some kids who made improvements too, so I’m pleased right now.”

Thursday, August 6th

Thursdays intensity picked up with another 7am practice but with shoulder pads for the first time this fall. However, full pads will not be used until Saturday morning. But, the third day saw a bit of a change in practice with different drills for the team.

Beginning the practice was special teams again for about 15 minutes with focus on pur and kickoff coverage.

For the first two days, the 11-on-11 practice lasted only about 15 minutes each day practicing running plays, on third day they practiced for about 30 minutes on run plays. The offense also worked on running plays against the defensive seven and safeties between 11-on-11 drills. Both sides were focusing on their game plans against a scout team for about 15 minutes each.

Also in addition to about 10 minutes of 7-on-7 skeleton passing drills, quarterbacks threw passes to wide receivers in one-on-one coverage against cornerbacks for another 10 minute session early in the practice.

Coach Jones commented on the intensity on Thursday saying that it might have been a bit more intense than he wanted it to be without using full pads. With lots of jawing between sides coach Jones commented, “That’s good. I would rather pull the reigns back than try to get them going.”

Coach Jones also mentioned that putting on shoulder pads to work out is not to increase contact in practice, but helps to prevent injuries. He followed that up with the statement, “It’s tough falling on the ground when you’re not wearing them. I wish we could use them most of the time.”

Running back Santuan McGee was quoted saying, “We’ve got to be more physical if we’re going to be able to pound the ball like coach Gregory wants us to. He’s told us that if we can run first it will open up the passing game for us.” McGee added, “There was a lot more flying around out there today,” he added. “The defense definitely got after us, so we just need to make sure we match their intensity come tomorrow and Saturday.

Coach Jones said that the staff will be concentrating on every position when watching the film of the increased 11-on-11 workouts. “My emphasis will be on the interior guys – the offensive and defensive linemen, and the linebackers – to see how they’re playing,” Coach Jones said. “Sometimes they get lost in the shuffle at practice. When you watch a ball fly through the air and a guy catches a touchdown pass that’s great, but I didn’t see the guard make that key block to keep his man from getting to the quarterback.”

Talking about the quarterback position, Coach Jones mentioned that Myles Gibbon and Nick Owens looked good throwing the ball. He added that redshirt Junior transfer Brennan Sim also threw the ball better in the third day of practice. However, Coach Jones said that a major concern of theirs right now is finding guys who can step up and and make plays in the secondary.

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