AFC South: DuJuan Harris

Practice notes from Jacksonville

July, 31, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Some observations from the Jaguars’ first practice in full pads, with an emphasis on them being just snapshots:
  • Quarterback Blaine Gabbert didn’t look like a guy who’s made the big jump out of an offseason many of us expected. There are subtle improvements for sure, some I can see (better footwork) and some I am sure I can’t. But he still throws an occasional ball into the ground well in front of an intended receiver on a play that is basically just given away. You watch it and don't understand how it still happens. He threw one into the ground in front of Laurent Robinson and another short of Mike Thomas. After the throw to Thomas, Gabbert talked with him, so maybe there was miscommunication about where he should have been. I continue to believe he needs more time and can be effective with these coaches, but I didn't come away from this morning session feeling like he was much more effective than the last time I saw him.
  • The best throw of the practice covered about 25 yards: A Gabbert-to-Robinson connection up the left side fit beautifully between converging defensive backs. If we see more of that, there will be cause for encouragement.
  • Gabbert and backup quarterback Chad Henne appear to have a constant dialogue. That’s great to see, and they should be resources for each other. They didn’t take what could be a dead practice period off. Working with quarterbacks coach Greg Olson, they moved down the field as they ran routes for each other.
  • Left guard Will Rackley suffered an ankle injury and was on crutches in the locker room after practice, moving very gingerly. Mike Mularkey said they’d take X-rays. Rackley would be a big loss. I don’t think the Jaguars did enough in terms of adding offensive line depth over the offseason.
  • There was a lot of nine-on-seven run game work. Carries went to Rashad Jennings, Jalen Parmele, Montell Owens and DuJuan Harris, in that order. The offense ran the ball better than I would have expected on the first day of work in full pads, which is encouraging considering the initial line was without starting left tackle Eugene Monroe (knee), right guard Uche Nwaneri (still coming back off PUP, where rules limit what he can do) and center Brad Meester (rest day). Once Rackley was out, right tackle Eben Britton was the only starter still working.
  • Center John Estes had two bad snaps -- one that surprised Gabbert as he used a hard count, then was stepping forward toward the center from the shotgun, another that sailed high over Gabbert and was scooped by end Jeremy Mincey, flanked by two other defenders, with no one on offense anywhere in range.
  • Receivers and defensive backs matched up in a physical one-on-one blocking drill. Receivers Kevin Elliott and Taylor Price fared well, as did cornerback Derek Cox.
  • Rookie punter Bryan Anger hit three of his seven punts with over 5 seconds of hang time. They were something to behold. The other four were not.
  • A lot of players stayed on the field for a good while after practice was over, many for extra work. Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny stuck around to chat with defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. It's always a positive sign when people aren't looking to get back inside ASAP.

Wrap-up: Jaguars 41, Buccaneers 14

December, 11, 2011
Thoughts on the Jaguars’ 41-14 win over the Buccaneers at EverBank Stadium:

What it means: The Jaguars got their fourth win of the season and first under interim coach Mel Tucker in what had to be a cathartic day for a team that had lost three in a row and endured the firing of Jack Del Rio and the news that the team was being sold. Tucker got an ice water bath at the end. The Jaguars showed they can still play with life, can still beat another bad team and can, as is often the case, get massive production out of Maurice Jones-Drew. He turned 33 touches into 136 yards and four touchdowns.

What I liked: The defense had five guys in the starting lineup who weren’t slated to start at the beginning of the season and still managed three sacks, three interceptions, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries (with special teams contributing, too).

What I also liked: Offensive production from people and places other than Jones-Drew. Blaine Gabbert threw two touchdown passes to MJD, the rookie quarterback's second week in a row with two TD strikes. He also made a great deep throw to Marcedes Lewis for a 62-yard gain and found receiver Jarett Dillard five times. Running back DuJuan Harris got just one carry, but took it 24 yards.

What I want to know: If this win changes anything for most people when they learn the Jaguars will be in the Thursday game this week, their second prime-time appearance in three weeks. Rhetorical question, as I know few people outside of Northern Florida excited to see a 4-9 team.

What’s next: The Jaguars have a quick turnaround, playing Thursday night at the Georgia Dome against the Atlanta Falcons.

Tucker and Jaguars alter staff, roster

November, 30, 2011
Two things buzzed around the Jaguars' offense as things fell apart this season, producing a 3-8 record that got Jack Del Rio fired.

The wide receivers were insufficiently coached by the inexperienced Johnny Cox.

[+] EnlargeJacksonville's Mel Tucker
AP Photo/Rick WilsonJaguars' interim coach Mel Tucker made several moves on Wednesday.
Rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert wasn’t getting as much quality, hands on coaching from quarterback coach Mike Sheppard as he needed.

Mel Tucker’s staff move Wednesday suggests both sentiments were correct. The Jaguars’ interim coach let Cox go, and shifted Sheppard to receivers. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will take control of the quarterbacks.

Del Rio didn’t really have a lot of options in terms of staff. His assistants only had one year remaining on their contracts. Anyone he added would have had the same, and the best assistant coaches find more security than that.

Quarterbacks coach Mike Shula jumped to Carolina in the offseason, and Del Rio shifted one of his best teaching assistants, Todd Monken, from receivers to quarterbacks. Then Monken bolted for an assistant job at Oklahoma State, and Del Rio had to shuffle again.

Now, Tucker clearly sees the potential for addition by subtraction.

The team also made roster moves at receiver. Jason Hill, who’s been in the No. 2 role all season, was released. That makes room for more playing time for Jarett Dillard, rookie Cecil Shorts and Chastin West.

The Jaguars also signed running back DuJuan Harris from their practice squad, signed cornerback Morgan Trent and put safety Courtney Greene on IR.

Perhaps Harris will have a chance to earn touches in front of the struggling backup to Maurice Jones-Drew, Deji Karim.

Greene is the 18th Jaguars to go on the list, a league high.

Jaguars practice squad

September, 4, 2011
The Jacksonville Jaguars announced the signed seven players to their practice squad:
All but Beiler were with the team in training camp. Beiler spent camp with the 49ers. He played a Division III Bridgewater College.
The Jaguars have agreed to terms with 24 undrafted rookies and GM Gene Smith has again dipped into some small schools for prospects.

South Dakota State? Check. Colorado School of Mines? Yup. West Virginia Tech? Accounted for.

Five of the 24 had writes ups in Pro Football Weekly’s annual draft book. Being in there is no guarantee a guy’s good and not being in there is no guarantee he’s not, but it’s one place we can get a sense of a couple guys.

Cincinnati receiver Armon Binns ranks as “a big solid, possession receiver.

Troy running back DuJuan Harris could compete for reserve job with solid special teams showing.

UConn linebacker Scott Lutrus was seen as a possible late-round pick who projects as backup and special teamer.

Central Florida receiver Jamar Newsome projected as a player who might be effective on screens and crossing routes.

Missouri cornerback Kevin Rutland will bring measurables and special teams abilities.

Here’s the entire list:
  • WR Armon Binns, 6-3, 209 Cincinnati
  • OT Cameron Bradfield, 6-4, 302 Grand Valley State
  • CB Cole Brodie, 5-10, 188 South Dakota State
  • LB JoJo Dickson, 6-1, 245, Idaho
  • WR Greg Ellingson, 6-3, 197, Florida International
  • S Matt Estrada, 5-10, 196, Northern Arizona
  • TE Tommy Gallarda, 6-5, 262, Boise State
  • LB Eric Gordon, 6-0, 225, Michigan State
  • G Brandon Harper, 6-2, 320, Duke
  • RB DuJuan Harris, 5-7, 197, Troy
  • CB T.J. Heath, 6-0, 179, Jacksonville State
  • WR Dontrelle Inman, 6-3, 198, Virginia
  • CB Jalil Johnson, 5-10, 184, Jackson State
  • LB Michael Lockley, 6-1, 237, Florida Atlantic
  • LB Scott Lutrus, 6-3, 241, Connecticut
  • TE Kyle Miller, 6-5, 257, Mount Union
  • RB Richard Murphy, 6-1, 208, Louisiana State
  • WR Jamar Newsome, 6-1, 201, Central Florida
  • DE Odrick Ray, 6-4, 276, Tulsa
  • QB Scott Riddle, 6-0, 211, Elon
  • CB Kevin Rutland, 6-0, 188, Missouri
  • P Brian Saunders, 6-0, 203, Virginia Tech
  • DE Marc Schiechl, 6-2, 252, Colorado School of Mines
  • G Troy White, 6-5, 300, West Virginia Tech