- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Jacksonville Jaguars training camp.
I've been critical of the Jaguars' receivers for dropping a lot of passes, but the group had perhaps its best day of camp on Tuesday. Chad Bumphis had a ball go off his hands for an interception, but that was pretty much the only negative from the group. Newly-signed Ramses Barden made two great catches on back-to-back plays on throws from Stephen Morris. The 6-foot-7 Barden was covered pretty well by 6-2 cornerback Jeremy Harris, but Barden put his body between Harris and the ball and made a leaping catch in the back of the end zone. He followed that up by making a diving catch in the end zone in which he beat cornerback Dwayne Gratz. Kerry Taylor also made a nice grab despite slipping out of his break.
It appears Brandon Barden has moved closer to the No. 2 tight end spot behind starter Marcedes Lewis while Clay Harbor remains out with a calf injury. Brandon Barden was the team's leading receiver in the scrimmage (five catches), although he missed the preseason opener with an illness. However, he hurt himself a bit Tuesday when he had a catchable ball bounce off his hands in the red zone. Linebacker LaRoy Reynolds had the ball bounce into his stomach but he couldn't hold on for the interception.
Blake Bortles threw a couple of passes into the wind during team drills that fluttered badly. The first wasn't even close to being a completion. The second was completed but there wasn't much zip on the throw. According to Weather.com, there were winds of up to 15 mph during the time the Jaguars were on the field. When the Jaguars flipped direction, Bortles' passes were tighter and didn't flutter. In fact, he threw his best pass of the day with the wind, dropping a deep sideline pass over the corner for a completion to Bumphis.
Harris had an interception for the second time in as many days. He grabbed the ball that deflected off Bumphis' hands. He has played well during camp but coach Gus Bradley said he wants to see Harris perform better on special teams.
If you're trying to make an impression on the coaches to have a shot to make the roster, then out-fighting safety Johnathan Cyprien for a ball is a good way to do it. That's what recently-signed tight end Fendi Onobun did. Cyprien banged into Onobun while they were jumping for a pass in the end zone but Onobun managed to hang on for a touchdown. Cyprien was penalized for pass interference.
The Jaguars continued to get other players reps at center in addition to Mike Brewster and Jacques McClendon. Rookie Brandon Linder snapped for the second consecutive day and rookie Luke Bowanko also worked at center.
The Jaguars will return to the practice field on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ET. It is closed to the public.
2hEric D. Williams