Jacksonville Jaguars: Jeremy Ebert

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars begin offseason conditioning on Wednesday. There is minimal on-field work allowed and only strength and conditioning coaches are allowed on the field, so there's not much football coaching going on.

But this is the first look at the 2014 Jaguars. They'll look a lot different after next month’s draft, but here’s an early look at the offensive depth chart. The defensive depth chart will appear Tuesday:

Henne
Quarterback

Starter: Chad Henne.
Reserves: Ricky Stanzi, Matt Scott.

The Jaguars are going to draft at least one quarterback, but the job belongs to Henne. GM David Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley have said they don’t want a rookie quarterback to play right away. They want him to take the time to learn the game while not having to worry about winning games each week. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Stanzi the second active quarterback for the first part of the season.

Gerhart
Running back

Starter: Toby Gerhart.
Reserves: Jordan Todman, Denard Robinson, Delone Carter.

Gerhart was signed to replace Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jaguars believe he can be an every-down back. He’s never done it at the NFL level, though he was a beast at Stanford, so there’s an element of uncertainty. The plan is 15-20 touches per game. The player everyone is watching is Robinson, who struggled holding onto the ball last season. This will certainly be a make-or-break offseason for him. Expect the Jaguars to draft a back as well.

Fullback

Starter: Will Ta’ufo’ou.
Reserves: Shaun Chapas, Bradie Ewing.

The Jaguars claimed Ewing in late March. He was a fifth-round pick of Atlanta in 2012 but missed all of his rookie season with a torn ACL. He played in two games last season before being placed on IR with a shoulder injury. The fullback wasn’t really involved in the offense in 2013. That may change if the talent level improves.

Lewis
Tight end

Starter: Marcedes Lewis.
Reserves: Danny Noble, Clay Harbor, Brandon Barden.

Lewis really came on in the last third of the 2013 season and should be a 50-catch guy in 2014. Harbor is a flex tight end and is better used off the line of scrimmage. Noble had the big catch-and-run against Arizona but otherwise was a blocker. This position needs another weapon, but it’s probably not going to be that high of a priority in the draft.

Wide receiver

Starters: Cecil Shorts, Ace Sanders.
Reserves: Mike Brown, Kerry Taylor, Chad Bumphis, Stephen Burton, Tandon Doss, Jeremy Ebert, Lamaar Thomas, Stephen Williams.

This is a position the Jaguars are sure to address in the draft as well. Outside of Shorts, Sanders and Brown, the Jaguars have little experience and not much production. Justin Blackmon is still suspended and the Jaguars aren't counting on anything from him. Doss had more success as a kick returner than receiver in Baltimore and that's likely to continue in Jacksonville. The Jaguars need a big, physical receiver as well as someone who can demand double teams and free up other receivers to make plays. They could find all of that in Sammy Watkins at No. 3.

Offensive line

Starters: LT Luke Joeckel, LG Zane Beadles, C Mike Brewster, RG Will Rackley, RT Austin Pasztor.
Reserves: OT/G Cameron Bradfield, OT Sam Young, C Matt Stankiewitch, G Jacques McClendon, G Stephane Milhim, G Drew Nowak, OT DeMarcus Love.

The question marks are Brewster and Rackley because they’re going to have to hold off challenges from guys already on the roster, as well as any rookies. The Jaguars nearly landed Alex Mack in free agency but when the Cleveland Browns matched the Jaguars’ offer sheet, Brewster inherited the starting job. Caldwell and Bradley publicly said they have confidence in Brewster, a third-year player from Ohio State who suffered a fractured ankle in Week 15, but that was before they signed Mack to an offer sheet. Rackley struggled last season, but he deserves credit for playing much of the season with a knee injury. Expect the Jaguars to draft a center and a guard and bring in several undrafted free agents to compete at those spots. Bradfield started 25 games at right and left tackle but also can play guard, which makes him a valuable reserve.

Free-agency series: Wide receivers

February, 26, 2014
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Here is the third of a 10-part series breaking down the Jaguars’ free-agency needs, position by position:

Wide receivers

Who’s on the roster: Justin Blackmon, Mike Brown, Chad Bumphis, Jeremy Ebert, Stephen Burton, Taylor Price, Denard Robinson, Jabin Sambrano, Ace Sanders, Cecil Shorts, Kerry Taylor, Lamaar Thomas and Stephen Williams.

Blackmon
Blackmon
Analysis: This position group is solid provided Blackmon is on the field. However, nobody knows when, or if, he’ll get back on the field. He is eligible to apply for reinstatement from his indefinite suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy just before the 2014 season begins. Even if he’s reinstated, there’s no guarantee he’ll avoid another suspension. He is clearly the Jaguars’ best receiver, catching 29 passes for 415 yards in the four games in which he played in 2013. Shorts has played well the past two seasons (121 catches for 1,756 yards), though he has missed five games because of injuries and missed the final three games of this past season and went on IR with a sports hernia. He’s not a No. 1 receiver, though, and had some trouble when he was thrust into that role when Blackmon was suspended. Taylor came on at the end of the season and is intriguing as a No. 4/5 receiver. Brown and Sanders, who caught 51 passes last season as a rookie, are dependable slot receivers. In addition to Shorts, Burton, Ebert, Price and Williams finished the season on injured reserve. Bumphis and Sambrano are on the practice squad. Price’s contract expires next month and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.

NFL free agents of interest: Hakeem Nicks, Eric Decker, Riley Cooper, Brandon Tate and Golden Tate.

Need meter: 5. The Jaguars could get by without adding a receiver in free agency, because it’s likely they’ll draft at least one. The position group needs an upgrade at the top end, but to get a big-time player the Jaguars will have to spend big-time money, and it doesn’t seem likely they’ll do that on a receiver. Regardless of whether it’s a free agent or a draft pick, it’s likely to be a bigger, more physical receiver, because that’s one thing the Jaguars lack. Burton (6-foot-1, 224 pounds) fits the description, but has just 15 catches in three seasons and battled a concussion much of last season.
Each day for the next two weeks we’ll review how each position group performed in 2013, and take an early look at 2014. Today we’ll examine the wide receivers. We did quarterbacks on Monday, running backs on Tuesday, tight ends on Wednesday, and we will do the offensive line on Friday.

Wide receivers

Breakdown of starts: Cecil Shorts (13), Mike Brown (6), Justin Blackmon (4), Ace Sanders (4), Kerry Taylor (4), Stephen Burton (2).

Shorts
Recap: For four games -- the only four in which Blackmon played -- the Jaguars were in pretty good shape. It was a little rougher in the other 12, however, especially after Shorts went on IR with a groin injury. By the end of the season, though, there were a few pleasant surprises.

Shorts still led the team with 66 catches for 777 yards and three touchdowns despite battling shoulder and groin injuries throughout the season. He struggled in the role as the team’s No. 1 receiver when Blackmon was suspended for the first four games but handled it much better during Blackmon’s second suspension.

He was the only other proven receiver on the roster when the season began but fourth-round draft pick Ace Sanders and first-year player Mike Brown developed into solid complementary receivers. Sanders, drafted mainly to be the team’s punt returner, got more work early because of Blackmon’s suspension and a back injury that kept Brown off the field for four of the first five weeks. His 51 catches were the third-highest among rookie receivers this season.

Brown (32 catches, 446 yards, 2 touchdowns) had the best per-catch average (13.9 yards) among the Jaguars’ wide receivers. He was impressive in his return to the lineup after a four-week absence due to a broken vertebra, catching five passes for 120 yards in his second game back, making him the only receiver beside Blackmon to have a 100-yard receiving game.

Taylor was perhaps the most pleasant surprise. He was signed Nov. 4 and caught 16 passes for 162 yards in the last three games.

Looking ahead to 2014

Players under contract: Blackmon, Shorts, Burton, Sanders, Brown, Taylor, Stephen Williams, Jeremy Ebert, Lamaar Thomas, Chad Bumphis, Jabin Sambrano.

The skinny: Shorts will be in the final year of his contract so he’ll have that as some added motivation to reach 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. Sanders, Brown and Taylor will go into camp as the Nos. 2-4 receivers and should be improved in their second season in the offense.

The wildcard is Blackmon. He can apply for reinstatement before the season begins. If he is reinstated, the Jaguars have to decide whether to cut or keep him, knowing that if they do keep him they run the risk of him failing another drug test and being suspended again.

It’s likely the Jaguars also will draft a receiver or try to add one in free agency. It’s also likely that whoever they add will be a bigger, physical receiver, which is something they do not have on the roster. They need a receiver that can go up and win the 50-50 battles for balls, especially in the red zone. Right now tight end Marcedes Lewis is the only player on the roster who has proven he can do that.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew practiced on a limited basis on Friday, but whether he can play against Tennessee on Sunday depends on how his injured right hamstring responds the next two days.

Jones-Drew
Coach Gus Bradley said Jones-Drew will be one of four starters who will be evaluated on Sunday morning before a final decision on their playing status is made.

"I feel better today [about Jones-Drew’s chances of playing]," Bradley said. "He took some actual reps, although the tempo was slowed down."

Jones-Drew is listed as questionable on the injury report, as is safety Johnathan Cyprien (thigh), defensive tackle Roy Miller (shoulder), and linebacker Geno Hayes (knee). Miller and Hayes did not practice on Friday. Cyprien practiced on a limited basis.

Bradley also said the team will put reserve receiver Jeremy Ebert (ankle, knee) on injured reserve and will fill two vacant roster spots with players on the practice squad.

Jags unsure of Jones-Drew, Cyprien

December, 18, 2013
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It won’t be until Friday -- or possibly later -- before the Jaguars will know whether running back Maurice Jones-Drew or safety Johnathan Cyprien will be able to play in Sunday’s game against Tennessee.

Both players missed last week’s game against Buffalo and the plan is for each to not practice this week and test their injuries on Friday. Jones-Drew has a hamstring injury and Cyprien has a thigh injury.

“Both are in good spirits,” Bradley said. “You can tell they’re going the right direction but just how fast we don’t know yet.”

Jordan Todman started for Jones-Drew against Buffalo and ran for 109 yards and caught four passes for 44 yards in the 27-20 loss. Winston Guy started for Cyprien and had a strip sack and six tackles.

In other injury news, the Jaguars placed linebacker Russell Allen on injured reserve with a concussion.

Linebacker Geno Hayes (knee) and defensive tackle Roy Miller (shoulder) did not practice Monday. Defensive end Jason Babin, defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks, and center Brad Meester were given a veteran’s day off.

Reserve receiver Jeremy Ebert, who has three catches for 18 yards, suffered an ankle injury during Monday’s practice and was taken from the practice field on a cart.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Offensive snaps for Jaguars skill-position players in Sunday’s 27-20 loss to Buffalo, while analyzing what it means:

QB Chad Henne: 75 of 75

WR Mike Brown: 71 of 75

WR Kerry Taylor: 66 of 75

RB Jordan Todman: 65 of 75

TE Marcedes Lewis: 62 of 75

WR Ace Sanders: 47 of 75

TE Clay Harbor: 29 of 75

FB Will Ta'ufo'ou: 14 of 75

RB Denard Robinson: 9 of 75

WR Jeremy Ebert: 8 of 75

TE Danny Noble: 3 of 75

RB Delone Carter: 1 of 75

Analysis: Two players obviously stand out: Todman and Taylor, who were thrust into starting roles because of injuries to Maurice Jones-Drew and Cecil Shorts. Todman touched the ball 29 times for 153 total yards. Taylor was targeted five times; he caught four and dropped one. Both played season highs in snaps. … Ebert saw his first playing time since the St. Louis game in Week 5, also because of the absence of Shorts. He caught one pass for 8 yards. … Carter, signed on Dec. 9, also made his Jaguars debut.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It appears that receiver Cecil Shorts has played his last snap this season.

Coach Gus Bradley said Monday afternoon that he and general manager David Caldwell are considering shutting down the third-year receiver for the final two weeks of the season because of a groin injury that isn’t healing.

Bradley said the three will meet to discuss the situation and it will be a day or two before a final determination is made, but all indications are that Shorts’ season is done.

"I think we have more concern with the injury now, and that’s what Dave and I and Cecil will talk about," Bradley said. "When he talks to us as coaches and really what he’s feeling, I think we’re starting to figure out he’s such a strong competitor, he wants to play and he wants to do it, but I think the longer we’re around him you can sense maybe when it’s really bothering him, and I think he’s at that point right now."

[+] EnlargeCecil Shorts
Andrew Weber/USA TODAY SportsCecil Shorts has battled a groin injury this season, and is expecting to have offseason surgery.
It’s clearly the right move. The Jaguars (4-10) aren’t in a playoff chase, and sitting Shorts will give the coaching staff a better chance to evaluate receivers Mike Brown, Ace Sanders, Jeremy Ebert, and Kerry Taylor. It also will give Shorts a head start on his recovery. He said last week that the injury would require offseason surgery, which he could have now instead of next month.

Shorts said he didn’t want to reveal too much about his condition or status, but admitted that not playing again this season is the wisest choice.

"We have an idea what we’re going to do," Shorts said. "I just don’t want to speak on it right now, but that’s probably the best thing for it, honestly."

Shorts has been battling a groin injury for much of the season, and has managed it by not practicing on Wednesdays and being limited on Thursdays. That schedule was thrown off when the Jaguars played Houston on Thursday, Dec. 5, and that wasn't sufficient time to rest his groin from the previous Sunday's game against Cleveland.

He practiced on a limited basis on Friday and said he knew then that he wouldn’t be able to play in Sunday’s game against Buffalo, which the Jaguars lost 27-20.

"It wasn’t good Friday," Shorts said. "I think I lasted four or five plays. I didn’t feel any power or explosiveness in there. It was very tough to do anything, and there was a lot of pain, a whole lot of pain."

Shorts leads the Jaguars in receptions (66) and receiving yards (777) but he’s not going to have a chance to reach the coveted 1,000-yard mark. He fell 21 yards shy last season. Not playing, though, is what’s bothering him the most, but he’s not going to dwell on that.

"It’s frustrating, but me being frustrated and down and everything is not going to change anything, so I might as well stay upbeat and just be there for the team however way I can," Shorts said. "If that’s competing on the sideline or whatever I have to do so I can stay in the game, that’s it. So it is frustrating, but you’re not going to see me down. Coach Gus talked to me last week about 'it’s okay to be frustrated, but you can’t be down about it. Eventually rise from it and get back positive,' and that’s what I’m trying to do, stay positive."


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Just when the Jaguars offense had started to get on a roll, it’s dealt another setback.

The indefinite suspension of receiver Justin Blackmon takes away the offense’s best weapon, which means quarterback Chad Henne and the passing game are going to have to rely on a group of young, inexperienced receivers to fill the void for the rest of the season.

Blackmon
Blackmon
It also means Cecil Shorts, who leads the Jaguars with 46 catches for 565 yards and one touchdown, will have to shoulder the load as the team’s No. 1 receiver and deal with the resulting attention from opposing defenses.

"Justin’s a very good football player," general manager Dave Caldwell said. "So when you lose a player of his magnitude somebody else is going to have to step up. This is a great opportunity for some of our guys to step up and fill that void.

"We’re just going to have to find a way to get on track here. It’s only a distraction if we allow it to be and Coach [Gus] Bradley is not going to allow it be a distraction."

Shorts was the Jaguars’ top target in the first four games while Blackmon was serving his first suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, catching 26 passes for 337 yards. He was pretty much a one-man show because the other receivers were rookie Ace Sanders, first-year players Mike Brown (a converted quarterback) and Jeremy Ebert, waiver-wire claim Stephen Burton and undrafted rookie free agent Tobais Palmer (who has since been cut).

Blackmon’s return had an immediate impact on the offense. In the first four games of the season the Jaguars averaged 224 yards of total offense and 7.8 points. In the first two games with Blackmon in the lineup the Jaguars averaged 362.5 yards of total offense and 19.5 points. He caught 29 passes for 415 yards and one touchdown in the four games in which he played after catching 64 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie in 2012.

Now the Jaguars will have to find a way to replace that production. Shorts has proven to be a solid receiver, catching 103 passes for 1,574 yards and nine touchdowns in 32 career games with the Jaguars. The rest of the receivers -- Brown, Sanders, Burton, Ebert (who’s on the practice squad), rookie Denard Robinson and waiver-wire claim Stephen Williams -- have combined for 54 receptions and two touchdowns in their careers.

That’s not exactly proven help.

There is some growing confidence in Brown, who spent most of last season on the practice squad as he made the transition from college quarterback. He made his first career catch in the 2013 season opener against Kansas City before injuring his back and sitting out the next four weeks. Since his return he has caught 12 passes for 212 yards (17.7 yards per catch) and one touchdown.

Sanders has at least played a significant number of snaps (304) and has 16 catches for 182 yards this season. The only other receivers who have caught passes this season are Ebert (two for 10 yards) and Burton (one for 7).

"We look at it as a great opportunity to overcome a situation that's been presented to us," Caldwell said. "And when we look back on situations like this in the future, we're going to remember how tough it was and how rewarding it's going to be when we get to where we want to be."
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Offensive snaps for Jacksonville Jaguars' skill-position players in Sunday’s 34-20 loss to St. Louis, while analyzing what it means:

WR Cecil Shorts: 60 of 60

WR Justin Blackmon: 57 of 60

WR Ace Sanders: WR 54 of 60

RB Maurice Jones-Drew: 48 of 60

TE Clay Harbor: 43 of 72

QB Blaine Gabbert: 38 of 60

QB Chad Henne: 22 of 60

FB Will Ta'ufo'ou: 16 of 60

RB Jordan Todman: 8 of 60

WR Jeremy Ebert: 5 of 60

RB Justin Forsett: 5 of 60

TE Allen Reisner: 4 of 60

Analysis: The Jaguars certainly didn’t ease Blackmon back into the rotation after missing the first four games because of his suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He played nearly every snap and made an instant impact on the offense in the first quarter (three catches for 90 yards and a touchdown). Guess all that talk about how hard he worked out during his suspension wasn’t an exaggeration. … Sanders never touched the ball on offense and was only targeted once. … Even before Reisner’s injury (MCL sprain) Harbor had started to emerge as the top pass-catching replacement for Marcedes Lewis. Harbor was targeted five times against the Rams and is the team’s third-leading receiver (nine catches for 117 yards).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Offensive snaps for Jaguars skill-position players in Sunday’s 37-3 loss to Indianapolis, while analyzing what it means:

QB Blaine Gabbert: 56 of 56

WR Cecil Shorts: 56 of 56

WR Ace Sanders: 48 of 56

TE Allen Reisner: 42 of 56

RB Maurice Jones-Drew: 28 of 56

TE Clay Harbor: 23 of 56

WR Jeremy Ebert: 23 of 56

FB Will Ta’ufo’ou: 21 of 56

RB Justin Forsett: 15 of 56

RB Jordan Todman: 13 of 56

TE Marcedes Lewis: 2 of 56

WR Denard Robinson: 2 of 56

Analysis: Robinson continues not to be a factor on offense. That may have partly been due to the hamstring strain he suffered while covering a punt, but he hadn’t been getting many snaps in the first three games, either. … With the Jaguars in catch-up mode I would have thought Forsett would have played more because a big part of his game is catching passes out of the backfield. … Ebert was on the field for 41 percent of the snaps, but the other receiver the Jaguars signed off the practice squad on Saturday, Tobais Palmer, did not play. … Reisner was targeted just once in his 42 snaps while Harbor was targeted three times.
Cecil ShortsAP Photo/Phelan M. EbenhackThe Jaguars need Cecil Shorts to bounce back from a rough day against the Colts.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It was a rough day for Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts on Sunday, and that’s something the Jaguars can’t afford.

Shorts is the Jaguars’ only playmaker in the passing game, so when he struggles it virtually dooms their chances of having any kind of success. Shorts led the Jaguars with seven catches for 61 yards but he also had three drops, including one in which the ball bounced off his hands and was intercepted.

"It’s frustrating," said Shorts, who was targeted 12 times in the Jaguars’ 37-3 loss to Indianapolis. "I didn’t have the day I wanted today, but bad days happen and that’s just part of the game. So I’m going to come back with my head high and ready to go this week and get ready to go to St. Louis Sunday."

The Jaguars were hurting at receiver on Sunday because of injuries to Mike Brown (back) and Stephen Burton (concussion-like symptoms) and the suspension of Justin Blackmon. That left the Jaguars with just two healthy receivers: Shorts and rookie Ace Sanders. The team signed Jeremy Ebert and Tobais Palmer from the practice squad on Saturday and used fifth-round pick Denard Robinson at receiver as well.

Sanders, Ebert, Palmer and Robinson entered the game with a combined 11 career receptions. Other than Sanders (10 catches), the only other player with a catch was Ebert. Palmer was making his NFL debut.

Shorts had to carry the load, and he pretty much had to be perfect, too. That’s a lot of pressure for a third-year player who had only started nine games entering the 2013 season, and it’s a role he has been forced into maybe before he was ready because of the Blackmon suspension.

"He’s competing and going out there and made some plays," Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said. "I think that he’s going to feel like teams know who I am and they’re going to say, ‘One thing we know is we need to know where Cecil Shorts is,’ but he’s up for that.

"I think he has to understand when you do well in games in the NFL that’s going to come, and it can’t slow you down. That’s the challenge for him and to be consistently playing high at that level."

Shorts wasn’t sure if he was trying to do too much, but he admits that he knows how much pressure he was under to perform because of the limitations at receiver.

"That’s a good question," he said. "That’s something I have to sit back and think about. Not sure. I need to watch the film.

"I don’t necessarily feel like I’m pressing, but I could be. I could be."

That’s something the Jaguars offense can’t afford, even when Blackmon returns next week.

Jags have shortage of healthy WRs

September, 27, 2013
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars practice squad quarterback Matt Scott has been busy this week.

So have several various ball boys and equipment assistants.

But instead of doing their normal jobs, they’ve had to substitute as wide receivers with the scout team. Injuries have made the Jaguars thin at the position, and the team heads into Sunday’s game against Indianapolis with only four healthy receivers -- two of which are on the practice squad.

Both of those players -- Jeremy Ebert and Tobais Palmer -- likely will end up on the active roster, provided they clear waivers, and on the field on Sunday.

[+] EnlargeJacksonville's Cecil Shorts
Bob Stanton/USA TODAY SportsCecil Shorts leads the Jaguars in catches and yards this season.
"Those guys become very realistic guys that could be active so [general manager] Dave [Caldwell] and I will have to talk about that," coach Gus Bradley said after Thursday’s practice. "That would require some changes and things like that so we’ll discuss what we need to do, but those guys got a lot of reps today. That’s what you have a practice squad for, so you can develop guys through it for opportunities like this."

The Jaguars are in this situation because of Justin Blackmon's suspension and injuries to Mike Brown (lumbar transverse process) and Stephen Burton (concussion-like symptoms). Blackmon will serve the final game a four-game suspension this week and Brown has already been ruled out. Burton is in the NFL’s concussion program and has yet to practice this week so it’s unlikely he’ll play against the Colts.

That leaves Cecil Shorts and rookie Ace Sanders the only healthy receivers currently on the active roster. Shorts is the Jaguars’ leading receiver (19 catches for 276 yards) while Sanders has 10 catches for 103 yards. Ebert was a seventh-round draft pick by New England last season but has been with the Jaguars since May 22. He has been active for the past two games and has caught one pass for 5 yards. Palmer is an undrafted rookie out of NC State who has yet to be active.

"It’s just part of the game," Shorts said of being short-handed at receiver. "Being a professional, being in the NFL, you get hurt, things happen. You’ve got to be able to bounce back from it and those are the guys that have to be able to step up and play. We’re definitely confident in Ebert and Tobias. They’ve been with us since April so they definitely know the system. I’m excited for them to go out there and get an opportunity

"It’s something you have to embrace and when the opportunity comes make the most of it."

That’s what Ebert, whose lone catch came against Oakland, is hoping to do -- even if it doesn’t pay off in Jacksonville.

"It’s a huge opportunity for me," he said. "I‘ve just got to prepare myself for this game on Sunday and go out there and perform and put it on tape and wish for the best."

That’s what the Jaguars are hoping for this Sunday, too.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Jaguars have claimed cornerback Jamell Fleming off waivers from Arizona and made four other roster moves on Monday.

Fleming was the Cardinals' third-round pick in 2012 but fell out of favor with new coach Bruce Arians' staff, according to a report on azcentral.com. The 5-foot-11, 206-pound Fleming played in 15 games (three starts) last season.

The Jaguars also promoted offensive lineman Jacques McClendon from the practice squad to the 53-man roster and signed defensive end Chris McCoy to the practice squad. The team had released McClendon and McCoy last week and promoted receiver Jeremy Ebert and cornerback Marcus Burley from the practice squad. Ebert, who caught one pass in his NFL debut in the Jaguars' 19-9 loss to Oakland, and Burley were waived on Monday.

The Jaguars have only one spot remaining on the practice squad and it's likely Ebert will be re-signed.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Denard Robinson's production certainly didn’t match the buildup for the player the Jaguars listed as an “offensive weapon.”

Robinson
He had two carries for 1 yard in the Jaguars’ season-opening loss to Kansas City.

The reason, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said, has nothing to do with Robinson’s work in practice. Robinson wasn’t involved as much because the offense was so stagnant that Fisch didn’t want to try the wildcat formation until the Jaguars at least began moving the ball with some consistency.

That didn’t materialize in the first quarter (12 yards on five possessions), so Fisch did try the wildcat early in the second quarter. Robinson gained 1 yard.

"When you’re trying to find a rhythm you don’t want to be searching for something," Fisch said. "I think Maurice Jones-Drew had 15 carries for 45 yards or so. I would have preferred to call one more handoff to Maurice if we got ahead of the chains at all, rather than say let’s try a wildcat gimmick play.

"If we can get the chains moving and get a couple first downs now there’s a place for some more of the creativity."

Getting the chains moving may still be a pretty tough chore considering five key offensive players -- not including quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game at Oakland -- are battling injuries. Tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf), receivers Mike Brown (back) and Cecil Shorts (groin), and guards Uche Nwaneri (knee) and Will Rackley (knee) were all limited in practice on Thursday.

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said it may take until Sunday morning before he’ll know if Lewis and Brown are able to play.

With Brown and Shorts ailing and Justin Blackmon serving a four-game suspension, the Jaguars have just two healthy available receivers: rookie fourth-round pick Ace Sanders and Stephen Burton, whom the team claimed off waivers on Sept. 1. The Jaguars have two receivers on the practice squad -- first-year player Jeremy Ebert and rookie Tobais Palmer -- so they could promote one if Brown is unable to play.

Robinson, who holds the NCAA record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a career (4,495 yards) and in a single-season (1,702), was drafted with the thought that he could play running back and receiver. However, he has had issues with his hands and spent extra time during training camp working with Shorts and coaches to try and improve.

His second carry last Sunday came as a running back, which is where he’ll likely see the bulk of his playing time. The wildcat formation will make an appearance, but only if the offense is able to generate some kind of rhythm.

"When your down and distance gets skewed so does your play call and so does the balance that you’re looking for," Fisch said.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell had promised that the team would be aggressive when it came to working the waiver wire and trying to improve the bottom part of the roster.

He wasn’t kidding.

The Jaguars were awarded seven players off waivers on Sunday, adding receiver Stephen Burton (Minnesota), defensive back Winston Guy (Seattle), tight end Clay Harbor (Philadelphia), guard Jacques McClendon (Atlanta), linebacker Chris McCoy (Philadelphia), linebacker J.T. Thomas (Chicago) and tight end D.J. Williams (Green Bay).

They aren’t done yet, either. Caldwell said the team will look at the players other teams released on Sunday and there could be some additional signings on Monday.

"We’ll evaluate that pool and from that pool we’ll see if we can upgrade somewhere," Caldwell said. "We will always look for an edge and an advantage of where we can try to get better."

Speed and the ability to play on special teams are the two traits for which Caldwell is looking in available players. Six of the seven players signed have special-teams value.

"It’s something we’ve looked at the whole time," Caldwell said. "We’re always going to look to get better in every phase, not just special teams. It’s offense, defense, [and] it's personnel. Whatever we’re doing we’re going to work to get better. We felt like when we came here in the offseason we wanted to upgrade our team speed. We feel like we didn’t completely do that in the offseason but we feel like we did that today."

To make room for the seven additions, the Jaguars cut defensive back Antwon Blake, tight end Brett Brackett, center Dan Gerberry, defensive tackle Kyle Love, fullback Lonnie Pryor, receiver Jordan Shipley and linebacker Andy Studebaker.

The Jaguars also signed the following players to the practice squad: cornerback Marcus Burley, defensive end Ryan Davis, receiver Jeremy Ebert, guard Drew Nowak, receiver Tobais Palmer, quarterback Matt Scott, and safety Steven Terrell. The Jaguars have one remaining spot to fill on the practice squad.

Here’s a quick look at the seven new players:

Burton: The former 2011 seventh-round draft pick played in 15 games for Minnesota last season and caught seven passes for 73 yards and one touchdown.

Guy: He was a sixth-round pick by Seattle last year and played in three games, including the NFC divisional playoff game against Atlanta.

Harbor: He spent the past three seasons in Philadelphia after the Eagles took him in the fourth round in 2010. He has played in 39 games (18 starts) and has 47 catches for 421 yards and four touchdowns. Also has lined up at receiver.

McClendon: The former 2010 fourth-round pick by Indianapolis has played in only four games.

McCoy: Miami selected him in the fourth round in 2010 and he spent that season on the practice squad with three teams (Miami, Houston and Seattle). He spent the past two seasons with Calgary in the Canadian Football League.

Thomas: Chicago selected him in the sixth round in 2011. After spending his rookie season on injured reserve he played in every game last season for the Bears.

Williams: He spent the past two seasons with Green Bay after the Packers selected him in the fifth round in 2011. He has nine career catches for 70 yards. He also can line up at fullback.

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