JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars first preseason game isn’t until next Thursday, Aug. 11, against the New York Jets but Friday’s intrasquad scrimmage served as a tune-up. For many fans in Jacksonville this was their first opportunity to see a lot of the new faces on the roster. In case you missed the action here are a couple of the highlights.
It’s still very early in camp but Dante Fowler looks like a force rushing from the edge. After missing all of last season with a torn ACL it certainly doesn’t look like the defensive end is lacking any explosion or power. On one play he gave offensive tackle Jeremy Parnell a spin move that drew ooh’s and aah’s from the crowd inside of EverBank field.
“It was fun being able to get back out here and in front of a big crowd and the lights,” said Fowler. “I mean once you are under the lights you can’t take it for granted. You got to take advantage of this type of stuff. This is what I live for. I feel very blessed to be back here in this position and the training staff did a really good job and I worked really hard to get here and I am just happy to be in this position.”
Fowler’s ability put pressure on the quarterback has also caught the eye of his head coach.
“He was good, especially early,” said Gus Bradley. “I felt him. You can feel his rush. Very sudden, just like you see in practice. That’s what we told these guys; make sure you carry over from practice into a heightened environment. A lot of the guys did.”
On the other side of the ball, the offense got off to a slow start but responded with a couple of scoring drives. Blake Bortles touchdown pass to Julius Thomas was placed in a perfect location. Throwing the fade pattern hasn’t been a strength of Bortles but if he’s able to connect on this route more often, that will give the Jaguars another go to play in the red-zone.
The most important note about the scrimmage is that the Jaguars came out healthy. Overall Bradley was happy with how the offense and defense both held their own.
“That’s what you hope. You like to feel some good things, plays being made on both sides of the ball. Some young guys, I know they were really excited about playing tonight and to see them come out and play under control and make some plays was good.”
The Jaguars will have Saturday off to rest their legs and hit the ice tub. They will return to the practice field on Sunday morning at 10 a.m.