Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Show Progress; Even Though OTAs Were Cut Short, Team Still Sees Much to Like

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Show Progress; Even Though OTAs Were Cut Short, Team Still Sees Much to Like

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO

The Jaguars didn't get to finish their organized team activities, but believe they accomplished what they set out to do.

The Jaguars, who had their final two days of OTAs canceled by the league for conducting practices that were deemed to be too intense, might have laid the foundation for a team that will be more explosive on offense and a better pass rush on defense.

And they seemed to show more talent on special teams than any time in the recent past.

Coach Jack Del Rio particularly liked the look of the team in the lines on both sides of the ball.

"It's hard to be good in this league if you're not strong in the trenches, and I think we've fortified ourselves over the last two years in the trenches and that should bode well for the future," he said.

Of course, it's hard to make definitive judgments until the team puts the pads on in training camp in late July.

JAGUARS OTA PROGRESS REPORT

WHO LOOKED GOOD

QB David Garrard: Coming off a subpar year, he was consistent and clearly took a step up. He helped his cause with better rhythm and timing.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew: Had a solid camp and looks like he'll pick up where he left off last season as a Pro Bowl running back.

RB Rashad Jennings: Might have the best hands on the team and could be a weapon on passing downs and a good backup to: Jones-Drew.

RB Deji Karim: Like Jennings, showed good hands coming out of the backfield and could add a dimension to the offense when he's split out and on screen passes.

TE Marcedes Lewis: Had his best OTA session so far. Quickness and route-running improved.

TE Ernest Wilford: Took advantage of Zach Miller's absence (foot injury) and helped himself in a battle for a roster spot.

WR Jarrett Dilliard: Was the most impressive receiver in the OTAs. Displayed good route running and hands, was outstanding from the slot position.

WR Tiquan Underwood: Was the team's most improved receiver. Now he has to show he can do it in pads.

WR Clarence Denmark: Jacksonville native caught everything thrown his way until he went down with a hamstring injury late in the OTAs. Has to show he can do it in pads and stay healthy.

C Brad Meester: Was supposed to batting for his job, but he and guard Keith Forney had the best showings among the offensive linemen. If he keeps doing it in pads, he'll keep his job.

G Keith Forney: Shared honors with Meester for the best performance among offensive linemen, but faces a fight for a starting job.

DT Tyson Alualu: Team's first-round pick made an immediate impression, but missed a week of OTAs with minor back problems.

DT D'Anthony Smith: Made a good impression playing the inside, but like Alualu, had some injury problems.

DE Larry Hart: Rookie draft pick probably made the best impression on the edge as a pass rusher. …

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