Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Falcons Join the Mix; Joint Session a Warm-Up before Game

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Falcons Join the Mix; Joint Session a Warm-Up before Game

Article excerpt

Byline: Tania Ganguli

On the middle practice field outside EverBank Field, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw a touchdown pass to first-round draft pick Julio Jones.

Seconds later, Jaguars running back Deji Karim scored on the adjacent field.

Because of the lockout, fewer teams have joined forces to do training camp practices together, but with the Jaguars and Falcons set to play in a preseason game Friday night, the teams opted to spend one fully padded practice together on Wednesday night.

"Once you go against a new team, a fresh face, for a scout I think it's more of a valid indicator of their instinct and awareness as a football player," Jaguars general manager Gene Smith said.

Jaguars running backs Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings didn't participate in team drills. Jaguars linebacker Clint Session missed practice as well, still recovering from a concussion he sustained against the New England Patriots.

Zach Miller missed practice with a right knee injury and will be held out for the rest of the preseason, as will offensive tackle Eben Britton, who had a minor back procedure in North Carolina recently.

Each team spent some time doing individual drills by themselves before joining forces for team drills against each other. They did 11-on-11 and skeleton drills against each other. The linemen faced off as well.

"I was very impressed the way the [Jaguars] football team looked tonight," said Mike Smith, the Falcons head coach who spent 2003 through 2007 as the Jaguars' defensive coordinator. "There's a lot of young physical guys, and I thought we had a very good session with these guys, but there's probably only about eight or nine guys on the roster that were here when I left."

Last season, the Jaguars traveled to Atlanta for two days and the two teams had four practices against each other in Flowery Branch, Ga. …

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