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Jaguars training camp ‘21: Players feel the energy with fans back

A shot of the Jaguars practice field on Friday during training camp.
A shot of the Jaguars practice field on Friday during training camp. (News4Jax)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Feel that energy? Jaguars players sure do.

After the third day of training camp, Brandon Linder said this was the most energy he has ever seen.

I can agree with that statement. Urban Meyer has definitely changed the energy around the team. They did a good job of bringing in energetic and competitive free agents who have helped to up the intensity on the practice field.

After the second day of practice, fans were ready to crown Trevor Lawrence the King of Duval. And they probably still would be after Friday. But we’ve got to slow down just a little bit.

Meyer is serious about switching the quarterbacks early in camp. After Lawrence worked with Linder and some of the other starters on Thursday, the No. 1 overall draft pick was back with the presumed backups. That didn’t stop Lawrence from making some very nice plays on the field.

One of the top plays of the day involved Lawrence throwing the ball to a certain very popular tight end. If you guessed Tim Tebow, you guessed correctly.

During red zone work, Lawrence was able to find Tebow in the back of the end zone. Tebow made a diving catch for the would-be score. I still have not seen Tebow drop a single pass.

That may seem like a small statement, but for a guy switching positions that is very impressive. Tebow still has a lot of work to do. During drills working against defensive backs, Tebow has the strength to push guys off of him, but he struggled to disengage their hands so he could continue his route upfield. Small things like that will come with time.

I have tried to keep a close eye on the tight ends. This is going to be a tough competition. James O’Shaughnessy looked good early in the week, but they have cut down on his reps the past few days, likely as a precaution to keep the veteran fresh and healthy for next week.

Chris Manhertz looks as advertised — good blocker but not going to make much of an impact as a receiver. Barring a huge upset, I still think both of those guys are likely locks for the roster. That third tight end spot is where the competition has been heated. Tebow continues to flash day in and day out, but so does Tyler Davis.

Davis is a mountain of a man and moves surprisingly well. One name that was quiet through the first two days was Luke Farrell. He caught a pass during team drills on Friday. Farrell still has a long way to go but looks well put together and could easily show well when the pads go on next week.

Notebook

• Having fans at practice is fun. It’s great to hear the cheers after big plays, rather than just hearing my fingers hitting my phone as I try to quickly tweet out what happened.

• More dropped passing during red zone drills today than I would like to see. Many of them came while Gardner Minshew was at the helm. The passes were on target, just dropped. Take from that what you will.

• Lawrence can drop a pass right where it needs to be. He threw multiple passes along the back and sides of the end zone, setting up guys to make toe touch catches. The most impressive one came on a ball to Collin Johnson. He threw the ball just over the outstretched hands of a DB.

Jalen Camp is starting to really look like a steal. Camp has consistently created space and made plays down the field. Camp didn’t drop a deep ball in the end zone on Friday but had already beat the corner down the field.

Josh Hammond seems to just find a way to make short and intermediate caches. He has great hands he will need to show more if he is going to push for a roster spot.

Trent Baalke has spent time on the practice field multiple days through camp. It s an Interesting difference after Dave Caldwell rarely spent time on the field to watch practice.

• During 1 on 1′s, Luq Barcoo reminded me why everyone was high on him last year. Matched up with Collin Johnson, Barcoo gave him no room to breathe and was able to win the rep. He is quietly having a solid camp so far.

Marvin Jones Jr. is good. During 1 one 1′s, Jones went against Sidney Jones and Marvin absolutely left him in the dust and was alone in the end zone for an easy catch. Jones has maybe big plays on every day of camp. He will be a big-time player for the Jaguars this year.

Josh Allen said he worked harder this offseason preparing for the season than he ever has before. Joe Cullen says he expects nothing less than greatness from Allen.

Laquon Treadwell is better than expected. I didn’t expect much from Treadwell when the Jaguars signed him this offseason but he has been a pleasant surprise. Making a few plays so far through camp and working with the special teams units.

• One of the guys that struggled to slow Treadwell down is Tyson Campbell. Still tough to get a firm evaluation on him with the DB’s spending most of practice playing soft coverage.

• Finally got a good look at Andre Cisco. Cisco missed the offseason program as he recovered from an injury but now back on the field, the rookie is in great shape. Cullen said he was happy with the way Cisco handled preparing his body. Cisco is still in the learning process but is a very smooth athlete will be a guy to watch when the DBs are cut loose.


About the Author:

Jamal St. Cyr is an award-winning sports anchor who joined the News4Jax sports team in 2019.