JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Jacksonville Jaguars training camp.
Cornerback Dwayne Gratz picked off Blake Bortles during 11-on-11. Bortles was trying to hit receiver Allen Hurns in the middle of the field but his pass wobbled and was underthrown. Bortles threw several passes that wobbled on Monday. That had been an issue for him during OTAs and minicamp but was a rare occurrence during the first eight practices of camp. Bortles came back with a nice throw later in 11-on-11, hitting receiver Chad Bumphis in stride just ahead of diving cornerback Will Blackmon.
Bortles completed 3 of 6 passes and Chad Henne completed 5 of 9 passes during 11-on-11 work. The Jaguars ran the ball on every down during Henne’s first possession. Bortles did not get a chance to run the red zone offense because the Jaguars cut the practice short by about 10 minutes because of lighting in the area.
It wasn’t a good day to be rookie receiver Nathan Slaughter. One of Bortles’ incompletions came because Slaughter quit on a route. It was a deep pass down the left sideline and Slaughter stopped running. That drew a loud rebuke from offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch and that was the first time he had been that vocal on the field. Several moments later during position drills, receivers coach Jerry Sullivan lit into Slaughter after Slaughter wasn’t practicing at the desired intensity level.
The Jaguars actually started practice twice. Things weren’t going as well as they should have on defense in the team-run period at the beginning of practice, so defensive end Red Bryant gathered the defense together and gave a small pep talk. The Jaguars decided to start practice over and went through stretches for a second time. Later on in practice the offense wasn’t particularly sharp and Henne gave a quick pep talk. Coach Gus Bradley was pleased. "That’s what we’ve been talking about," he said. "The team needs to take ownership. … Another illustration that they are understanding the standard that we’re trying to create here."
The Jaguars activated cornerback Alan Ball from the PUP list and he practiced for the first time in camp. Ball, who started 15 games and led the team with 14 pass breakups last season, said he doesn’t believe he’ll need long to get back to pre-injury form but he’s not sure if he’ll be able to play in Friday’s preseason opener against Tampa Bay. "Today was a day where I felt the things that I need to work on," he said. "My feet weren’t as crisp as I like but it came along and it got better throughout the practice. The fitness part of it, just getting going, I think I’m going to be alright. I don’t anticipate it being long."
In addition to running back Toby Gerhart not practicing, the following players also sat out: receiver Tandon Doss (ankle), linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring), guard Brandon Linder (foot), receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring), receiver Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and tight end Clay Harbor (calf).
Left tackle Luke Joeckel and defensive end Chris Clemons continued their one-on-one battles during drills and today belonged to Clemons, who used an inside spin move to get by a flat-footed Joeckel. … Defensive end Andre Branch did the same thing to right tackle Austin Pasztor. … Guard/center Luke Bowanko, the team’s sixth-round pick, had trouble with rookie defensive tackle Ricky Havili-Heimuli. Havili-Heimuli bull-rushed Bowanko into the backfield twice.
The Jaguars are back on the practice field at 9:55 a.m. ET on Tuesday.