Preseason Camp 2011 is here

August 3, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football 


Monday morning the new Jaguar players reported to camp then on Tuesday morning returning veterans reported to camp. Wednesday morning the players hit the practice field to begin their preparations for the 2011 season.

On their first day the Jaguars faced a heat advisory with the heat index reaching triple digits in the morning time. But that did not discourage the team from taking part in opening drills. But it did force them to take a 10-minute break midway through the morning drills.

Coach Jones made sure that the team knew after practice that the heat related issues cannot slow them down in their preparation for the fast approaching season. “It was very hot, but I told the team that we have to find a way to work through it. We have to come out with the attitude that we are going to get work done. And we have to be smart as coaches and back off of it at times and be smart about how we structure our practice. But it was a good day, and we had good effort,” Coach Jones said.

Practice opened with the players in shorts, shirts and helmets. They kicked practice off with special teams with punt team work and with the offensive and defensive lines going through drills in the end zones. For almost an hour, they worked in individual drills and group work. Quarterbacks first threw with tight ends then will wide receivers and finished up with running backs. It also saw the running backs working behind the offensive line.

The next session lasted about 20 minutes and consisted of 7-on-7 skeleton drills. Then the players assembled for a 30 minute team period. The offensive line worked on picking up the blitz. Then a second special teams period that saw both kick and punt coverage drills.

Coach Jones was pleased with the opening day of practice and that the coaches will gain much more knowledge about what the players are capable of when they don their pads soon, which is Monday after the program’s first off day of camp on Sunday. “We’ll find out more about their explosion once we get the pads on,” he said. “But as far as quickness their feet look better and we just look better physically. I told them a couple of weeks ago that all the weight room stuff and offseason conditioning has to transfer to the field. Just because you look better doesn’t mean you are a better football player. If you’re stronger you have to play stronger; if you’re faster you have to play faster.”

He also noticed that the offseason conditioning has shown results. “We look better out there,” Coach Jones remarked. “We look bigger and faster. Coach Schwind did a heck of a job with the offseason program. There is no doubt that we are bigger. I think some of the linemen are starting to look better, as well as the linebackers. That is good, but so is the mental side. You can just see they are comfortable by what they’re doing; the freshmen and new guys’ eyes were like saucers, but the older guys know what is going on. That maturity and experience is something that we have on this team now, and these older guys can start coaching these younger guys.”

C.J. Bennett goes into the preseason camp as the number one quarterback for the Jaguars after taking the reigns in the final three games of the season and guiding the season home with another undefeated record. But both Bennett and Myles Gibbon both felt that their workouts over the summer have hepled them with today’s conditions.

“Everyone was excited to get out here,” said Bennett. “We had one of our best summers as a team. I thought the tempo was pretty good for the first day of practice, especially with this heat. We looked pretty good. You always have the first-day kinks, but we’ll just keep working.”

Gibbon commented, “We came out, and it felt like we had been out here for a few days already. We were smooth, people knew where to go and the guys who have been here showed the freshmen coming in exactly what to do right away so we didn’t have to waste time telling them. I can tell right away how much smoother it is with guys I threw with in the summer. Guys like Bryant [Lavender], Greg [Hollinger] and freshman like Anthony [Ingram] — we’re comfortable with them already, so it feels good being out here knowing we did that work before.”

The Jags will continue their early morning practice routine by hitting the practice field at 6:15am on Thursday morning. The heat advisory was extended into tomorrow with the forecasted temperature when practice begins being near 80 degrees and nearing 90 by 9am.

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