Jags Continue Preseason Camp And Hold Media Day Today

August 12, 2014 · By · Filed Under Football 

Helmet_CameraPractice four was held on Saturday, August 9 in shells.

Head coach Joey Jones thought the team worked very hard with good intensity. He acknowledged that there were a couple fights on the field, which is good that they have that intensity but bad in other ways. Overall he thought it was a good practice.

Defensively Jones thought they played very aggressive and worked on finishing by trying to create turnovers. The defensive staff has been emphasizing that two or three turnovers a game will go a long way to helping your team to win.

Melvin Meggs was selected as the Offensive player of the Day. Offensive coordinator Robert Matthews explained that he is continuing to come back after he was sidelined last season with a knee injury. He progressed in the spring and has continued to improve since camp started. “I’m really happy to see the way he’s moving around, his physicality and the way he has fallen right back into it,” Matthews said.

Defensively, the Player of the Day was E.J. May. Defensive coordinator Travis Pearson thought he looked very good in 1-on-1 drills, 7-on-7 drills and during the team drills. “He’s getting better every day, he’s got a chance to be a really good player for us,” Pearson explained. “Today he did exactly what he was supposed to do and he was where he needed to be.”

Some highlights from the practice included Steven Fuller stripping a ball loose from a receiver and Montell Garner picking it out of midair in 7-on-7 drills. May also had an interception in 7-on-7 drills where he grabbed a ball over his shoulder at the goal line to save a touchdown. Garner had a big stop on third and five when he stopped Jake Howton for no gain after a completion.

Matt Floyd hit Tony Ray Parnell for a 50-yard completion in the final team drill of the day. He also completed a 20-yard pass to DeMarrion Buford-Hughes.

Xavier Johnson also had a good play when he broke through the offensive line near midfield and had one man to beat for a touchdown, however the play was called before he actually reached the end zone.

The offense also worked on their tempo. They had three periods of team drills, each lasting 15 minutes each. The first saw 24 snaps of the ball as they worked on second and long situations. The second they had 32 snaps where they worked on moving the ball while working on tempo. Then the final set they ran 26 more plays as they were working on moving the ball on first, second and third downs.

Practice five was held on Sunday, August 10 and was their first practice in full pads in the middle of the afternoon.

Coach Jones said the defense really picked up their game on Sunday. The offense ran the ball well against them on Saturday and they were not going to let that happen again. Jones also mentioned that he really likes the chemistry on the team, they care about each other and they really know how to practice.

Jones continued by stating that the team played with great tempo and were physical without being too physical. He wants to continue to stress that they need to be great fundamentally over the next two weeks of practice. “If we don’t block or tackle then it isn’t going to matter,” Jones said. “You have to keep pressing to be great fundamentally.”

He thought the team is doing really well with their pass rush, something that the team struggled with early last season. He didn’t single out anyone in particular, but he mentioned that some guys had some great blitzes and were able to get off their blocks well in order to get to the quarterback. Several would have been sacks. He also mentioned that the secondary is playing much better with good breaks on the ball and did not give us as many long passes as they did in previous practices.

However the area of improvement coach Jones singled out was trusting the call the coaches are making and to play fundamentally so they will be good in whatever the team does.

Jay Jones was singled out by the coaching staff as the Offensive player of the Day. Coach Matthews said that last seasons leading rusher has provided lots of leadership by the way he practices and how he carries himself. He broke some good runs, particularly noticeable on third downs. He converted a third-down play into a 50-yard touchdown during the team period.

Defensively Terrell Brigham was selected as the Player of the Day. Coach Pearson pointed to his consistent play from last season, through spring and now during preseason camp. “He’s consistent with his communication; his play is always consistently good,” Pearson explained. “He lines everyone up and makes all the calls. That guy is invaluable to me.”

Another running back made a big play on the day. Xavier Johnson, who broke a long run the previous practice, scored on a 34 yard touchdown run during the final team period as the offensive worked on third-down conversions.

Continuing on the previous days work, the defense intercepted a pass inside the 5 yard line during 7-on-7 drills, this time it was Margo Reed with the pick.

Hunter Vaughn threw a touchdown pass to Cameron Broadnax during the team session while working inside the red zone.

Practice six was held on Monday, August 11 and was their first two-a-day practice with the afternoon session focusing on special teams work.

Talking about the morning session, Coach Jones said he thought it was a good practice. He pointed to a number of offsides incidents that his team needs to work on as well as a couple of fumbles in the backfield that concerned him.

Reflecting back on the first six practices of camp, Jones said his team has been very attentive and they are listening to what the coaches are teaching them. They continue to get better at what they need to do.

Offensively, the Player of the Day was T.J. Glover. Coach Matthews pointed to Glover’s versatility for the team as he has played receiver and running back and continues to make big plays. “He had some big plays today, making really nice cutbacks for big gains; it was good to see him get loose with his speed,” Matthews explained.

Defensively it was Theo Rich who was selected at the Defensive player of the Day. Coach Pearson pointed to his consistency as a big factor in his play. “The kid is in shape, he has come in this year with a different attitude to be a player,” Pearson explained. “You’re talking about a 260-pound guy that can drop underneath and get his hands on balls. He’s been consistent throughout preseason camp, I’m thoroughly impressed with that kid.”

Hunter Vaughn connected with Nathan Sassaman for a 45-yard gain. Vaughn found him open in the left flat then Sassaman broke it down the left sideline for the big gain. Senior tight end Ryan Onkka caught three passes on the day as well.

Jay Jones continued to pay off on his hard work. He went up the middle and twice broke free for gains of 20 yards or more in the second of the three team sessions on the day.

Today head coach Joey Jones, the offensive and defensive coordinators and selected student-athletes will participate in the team’s annual preseason media day at the Football Field House.


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