The Jaguars and the Buccaneers wrapped up their pair of joint practices with some swinging fists. The two teams had three separate scuffles Tuesday.
First, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue got in the face of Buccaneers left tackle Donovan Smith during individual drills and the two needed to be separated by teammates. Shortly after that brief scrum, Jacksonville defensive tackle Malik Jackson and wide receiver Mike Evans exchanged smack talk.
“I probably would just say scrum, short scuffle, things of that nature," Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said, regarding what he saw during the fights.
"It’s disappointing. To sit here and say this is something that you want, obviously we don’t want this in the league. Obviously you can’t do that in a game. You’re going to hurt your team. Those are the things we talk to our players about. I don’t want to sit here and say you expect that, because I think that’s wrong. We don’t want any part of that in our game at any level.”
Later in the practice during team drills, Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson and Buccaneers safety Chris Conte got into a brawl of their own. Not to be outdone a few plays later, fellow Jaguars wide receiver Arrelious Benn got into the most physical of the brawls with linebacker Adarius Glanton.
WARNING: The following video may contain naughty words!
The practice itself seemed very tamed in nature, given that the Buccaneers were just wearing shells, while the Jaguars wore full pads. However, the two sides exchanged pretty aggressive banter throughout the morning.
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles was on the field for the Robinson brawl with Conte. He said those things happen in practice, but it's all situational.
"I think that’s part of it," Bortles said.
"A lot of joint practices that stuff happens. You don’t ever want it to happen. Coach Marrone talks about not allowing that to happen, but it does. It’s part of football and that’s what happens. I think it’s important to know the situation. If that happens in the game everybody gets thrown out; everybody needs to be aware of that. In practice, if something happens like that, you’ve got a guy with standing there with 10 of the other team’s guys around him, I think it’s OK to go in there and help him get out of there.”
Bortles has another uneven day
The uneven play of Bortles has been a key storyline throughout training camp.
Two days after resting his arm, Bortles took what the defense gave him, accomplishing more as a dink-and-dunker than a gunslinger. He worked short and intermediate throws to tight end Marcedes Lewis, wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns and running back Corey Grant.
Bortles has had some inconsistency with his downfield throws as of late. He missed Robinson and rookie wide receiver Keelan Cole on wide open throws downfield against the Buccaneers.
"There are some throws that I’ll think, ‘Hey, that’s a good throw,’ and then I’ll be like, ‘That’s a horse [expletive] throw," Marrone said, regarding Bortles' downfield throws.
"At the end of the day, I’m just trying to get more and get better. So we rested him the other day. I thought he came back and really had no issues for these two days. That was the goal was to get him out here and get him all that work."
He has had his moments in the deep game during camp, but too often he will miss guys by throwing way in front of them.
Following practice, Bortles acknowledged he has thrown more passes this training camp than in his previous three combined. He also stated that his arm is in good shape.
“I feel good," Bortles said.
"There’s definitely things to improve on, things to be better at. I feel comfortable with the system and the scheme and everything that we’re doing, it’s just continuing to run these reps. As an offense, I think one thing that is overlooked is it’s the first year in the system, so I think that’s something. Obviously we have older guys on the team now. Not everybody is young anymore. That’s not a crutch to use anymore, so I think guys are definitely more football-smart and able to pick up the scheme and system a little quicker."
More News and Notes
- Starting cornerback A.J. Bouye missed practice with an undisclosed injury. Defensive tackle Michael Bennett also joined the sidelined crew for the first time.
Running back Leonard Fournette, wide receivers Marqise Lee and Rashad Greene, cornerback Tracy Howard and tight end Mychal Rivera continue to miss practice. Lee and Fournette are not expected to play on Thursday night.
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey and guard Earl Watford continued to work on the sidelines.
Cornerback Aaron Colvin remains on the physically unable to perform list.
- The play of the day in team drills came on an accruate downfield ball from Bortles to Robinson on the sideline with Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves in tight coverage. Robinson was able to keep his feet inbounds.
- The play of the day during individual drills was this one-on-one matchup between Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns and Buccaneers cornerback Ryan Smith.
The double move forced Smith to run the other way, while Hurns calmly caught the pass near the sideline.
- Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is very, very good. He made at least six jump ball catches for touchdowns between 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. He absolutely dominated the Jaguars's backup cornerbacks.
Jacksonville cornerback Charles Gaines was actually able to breakup a pass on Evans in the corner of the end zone. That was a rare feat on Tuesday.
- Ngakoue had at least two "sacks" on the day. He achieved one during an all-Jacksonville 11-on-11 drill. He later scored another during an 11-on-11 session against the Buccaneers.
- Buccaneers cornerback Ryan Smith, as seen above, was consistently beaten by Jaguars wide receivers. It was a rough day for him.
- The Jaguars caused two interceptions on the day. Buccaneers backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was the victim on both.
- For the second straight day, I thought the Jaguars' offensive line was game for the Buccaneers' defensive line.
Left guard Patrick Omameh did a nice job against defensive tackle Gerald McCoy during individual drills.
The first interception was produced during 11-on-11 work when Jaguars linebacker Hayes Pullard caught a wobbly throw across the middle. The second occurred during 7-on-7 when cornerback Doran Grant collected the ball in the end zone off a fade pass.
- Would you like to see how Hard Knocks camera folks operate? Here it is:
- The Jaguars will host the Buccaneers for the second preseason game Thursday at 8 p.m. on ABC 25 locally. First Coast News will have live coverage of the game starting at 5:30 a.m. all the way until the postgame show.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.