Jaguars training camp notebook: A tale of two practices

Thursday’s practice was much sloppier than opening day

Jaguars tight end Evan Engram at training camp on Thursday, July, 27, 2023. (Kevin Nguyen, News4JAX)

A tale of two practices. As the Jaguars close the book on the second day of work on the field, it feels like Thursday should have been Wednesday and Wednesday should have been Thursday. That sounds topsy turvy but that’s because the performances on the field were just that.

On the first day, there were highlight-reel catches and things looked crisp, like players had been in the lab for months. But on the second day, it was a different story. Dropped passes. Overthrows. Would-be pass interference calls. Just a sloppy kind of day. No reason to sound the alarm early in camp because some rust is expected. But it was just strange since Wednesday seemed to roll so smoothly.

Through two days of training camp, the biggest thing I have learned so far is that Calvin Ridley’s number may technically be a 0 but to him, it represents the letter O. His name is Calvin Orin Ridley and that was part of the inspiration for him to pick the number.

“I’m ‘Original’ they call me ‘Original’ where I’m from,” said Ridley.

He went on to say: “It’s not a zero, it is an O for my middle name.”

Well, I guess that means I won’t be using any Zero from Holes memes this season.

Ridley has turned a lot of heads so far through practice. He said he doesn’t feel any rust and very simply “I’m Him.”

And so far through two days of camp, Ridley has shown that every step of the way. He seems poised for a revenge tour this season. Ridley said he doesn’t care if people have forgotten what type of player he is on the field and hopes that defense will sleep on him this season, even if he doesn’t expect them to.

“Don’t watch me, don’t worry about me, just worry about them and let me do my thang,” he said.

📓Notebook 📓

  • The Play of the Day had to be Sammis Reyes. He caught a short pass, nothing crazy but he absolutely flattened Erik Hallett after the catch. Guess that was the rookie’s welcome to the NFL moment. Since they weren’t in pads, coaches probably weren’t that happy about the play. But it was definitely the best on the field on Thursday.
  • Zay Jones had a nice catch on a deep pass from Trevor Lawrence along the sidelines. The ref ruled him out of bounds, but I say throw the challenge flag. Toes looked in to me. Nice play from Zay.
  • Kendric Pryor got quite a few targets throughout the day. Pryor was added to the roster last season after training camp. He was a camp darling for the Bengals last year and I’m starting to see why.
  • Buster Brown is a guy battling for a roster spot he was a seventh-round pick a year ago and the Jaguars invested two draft picks this year on DBs. Brown had a nice day on the field Thursday. He jumped in front of a CJ Beathard pass and should have had an interception but he dropped it.
  • Through two days, the defense has no interceptions and has dropped two easy picks. Not a great start for a group that was turnover-heavy last season.
  • It is early and there are no pads but Travon Walker looks like a guy on a mission. Walker has been a force he made a tackle for loss and was there for a would-be sack as well. The real test for him will be when the pads go on.
  • The nickel spot is almost like open tryouts right now. There are a handful of guys getting reps in the slot right now. Tre Herndon is running with the starters but Christian Braswell, Chris Claybrooks and Antonio Johnson are all also taking reps at nickel.
  • During the offseason program, Parker Washington was still recovering from a foot injury, so the team was taking it slow with him. Now that Washington has taken the training wheels off, he looks seriously explosive. His ability to go from 0 to 100 is impressive. He was a predraft favorite of mine and I can see the Jaguars vision.
  • Tank Bigsby has shown he is more than just a force of a running back. Bigsby has shown some nice hands during drills. He looks comfortable catching passes. That adds one more area of versatility to an already dangerous offense.

About the Author:

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