That said I tried to control my head spinning and focus on a couple of groups.
The running backs began practice with a drill where they ran the ball with an offensive lineman blocking a defensive lineman and a wide receiver blocking a sdefensive back. It's a Simple game as the O blocks the D and a running back skirts blocks and heads downfield.
I was standing with noted Jaguar fan BleedItRed and we were both taken by what we believed was an increase in the size and build of Demtre Baker and Ken Houston. Both seemed ready to play today with quickness and speed. They were impressive and kept my attention. Then we noticed newcomer Justin Jones. When you see Jones with the ball you can not help noticing his height. He is what you might call a fireplug. I know he is listed at 5'9" and 180lbs but he looks more solid than 180. His lower body is solid and he looks like a mini lineman. But when you see him run you can not help believing he is the quickest guy on the field. He has great acceleration and hits the hole quick. He seems to have great balance with quick moves. I was distracted the rest of the day watching him run. He is the classic small back that is hard to find behind the offensive line and then he hits the hole and is gone. I know this is just spring practice, but I can not wait to watch this guy in the fall.
The quarterbacks were really fun to watch. There is a teaching process going on as the QB coach moves thru a progression of footwork for whatever base offense we are running. Each QB ran a series of plays with a running back to simulate the base offense and get the footwork down. Both Matheny and Bridge seemed to adapt quickly to the demands of the different variations of the offense. The quarterbacks then moved to passing drills. On Sunday Powell, Matheny, and Bridge connected on the short routes almost every play. Intermediate routes were a bit more hit and miss for all three and deep routes for Matheny and Powell were a matter of laying the ball up and someone running under it. Bridge is a bit different. He can throw 25-30 yards on a rope. His long throws have little air under them and I did not see him float anything downfield all afternoon. He has a live, strong arm as advertised and, with a bit of touch, he could be great.
Last year, along with giving up big plays on defense, I felt we lacked playmakers. I think we have made strides already and with the additions coming in the fall, we will be improved.
The impression I will leave you with is that of Bridge going around end, cutting back and running untouched for 40 yards.
Bring on the fall.
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