As the Jaguars finished the stretching portion of their seventh Training Camp practice, the second practice in pads, two things happened:
1. The PA Announcer (Fernando Lovo, the team's Chief of Staff) announced that Wednesday would be "Winners and Losers Day"
2. Meyer launched into a five minute soliloquy in the team huddle, featuring no less than 45 cuss words.
Unfortunately, due to NFL PR reporting guidelines, we're not able to share the video here. A helicopter also flew overhead during half of it (naturally). But the gist? Wednesday -- "Winners and Losers Day" -- was the day the Jaguars coaching staff should start to see who wants to be there and who wants it more. And who refuses to lose.
"I'm driving home after a loss, and I'm [expletive] shaking the steering wheel, saying 'how the [expletive] did that happen?" Meyer said at one point. "This isn't about friendship. This is about... you took a program and slammed the [expletive] out of it."
The Jaguars have had these post-stretch huddles nearly every day of Camp. Different coaches and guest speakers have been featured. But this was easily the most direct and vocal Meyer had been in one of his speeches through seven practices. And for good reason: the process of dwindling a 90-man roster to 53 has begun.
"I don't believe in subjectivity. I believe in: what's your record?" Meyer told reporters after practice. "Every man's got a record. What is it? You are what you are. If you lose a lot but you have a lot of potential, that's not real good."
So, who had the best record after the two-hour plus practice?
2021 Draftees Walker Little, Andre Cisco shine
Much to Meyer and his staff's satisfaction, the Jaguars' second-round and third-round selections in this April's NFL Draft were two of the most physical players during one-on-one's. As part of "Winners and Losers Day," the Jaguars had four periods of one-on-one's for various position groups. Lovo, the PA Announcer, would announce the "winner's" name after every single rep.
Little and Cisco heard their names called quite frequently.
Little continued to give fellow Houston, Texas, native K'Lavon Chaisson fits, going 3-0-1 against the Jaguars' 2020 first-rounder. He did struggle against veteran Jihad Ward, with Ward just slipping past Little at the last second twice -- but, as we'll detail later, Ward had one of the stronger days of any D-Linemen Wednesday.
Meyer conceded to reporters after practice that they're "not quite there yet" in regards to running the former Stanford tackle and No. 1 high school prospect in the nation with the first-team offense. But Meyer, like everyone else at practice, is clearly noticing Little's efforts.
"He's 300-whatever he is [pounds] and he's under 20-percent body fat. He had a nice set today in pass-protection -- lifted the guy off the ground a little bit. He's got a lot of tools."
Cisco wasn't able to partake in many drills during OTAs and Mini-Camp as he rehabbed from a torn ACL. He's been full-go since Training Camp began. While many players struggle once the pads come on, Cisco has stood-out even more. The former Syracuse safety was 3-1 against running back Devine Ozigbo in one-on-one's, punishing him into the ground on one occasion. He also had success against tight ends Tyler Davis and Tim Tebow. For the first time in team drills, Cisco ran with the second-team offense.
"He's a competitor. You can see it on his face: he's a young professional, and I told him that," veteran safety Rayshawn Jenkins told First Coast News after practice. "I wasn't like that [at his age]. I'm gonna be honest. I wasn't as focused and locked in as he was. And I've made sure to tell him that because people need to hear that."
Other "Winners" from Wednesday
It's been a quiet Training Camp so far for Jacksonville-native and 2020 fourth-rounder Shaq Quarterman. But the second-year linebacker's name was called seemingly every three or four minutes over the PA system on Wednesday. Quarterman, regarded as a "thumper" coming out of the University of Miami, went 3-1 against Chaisson. At one point, the duo ran into a back-pedaling Meyer. Quarterman not only held off Chaisson: he simultaneously helped pick Meyer off the ground. Veterans Joe Schobert and Myles Jack are all but guarantees to make the roster. The Jaguars are high on Dakota Allen and Damien Wilson, too -- especially given Wilson's ability to defend the run and Allen's versatility as a pass rusher. Quarterman, perhaps the most natural "MIKE" linebacker of the whole group, made his case that he and his physicality belong on the 53-man roster.
Free agent signee Jihad Ward proved he's more than a funny follow on Twitter. He might've quietly been the most successful pass rusher during offensive-defensive line one-on-one's. In addition to slipping past Walker twice, he tossed veteran center Brandon Linder to the ground and made light-work of second year lineman Austen Pleasants.
Two younger pass rusher's also heard their names called more than a handful of times. Second-year Edge Aaron Patrick had success in one-on-one's, going 3-0 against tight end Tyler Davis. He also found success against the offensive line. While fifth-round rookie Jordan Smith struggled mightily against veteran Lerentee McCray (0-for-4, and getting tossed like a rag doll on the third rep), Smith found success against the offensive line, obliterating Garrett McGhin on two occasions. He had similar success in team drills, and honestly looked surprised when he was able to stuff the Jaguars' third-team offensive line with a single pass-rush move.
Schobert also had success in one-on-one's, going 2-1 against second-year tight end Ben Ellefson, putting him on skates in the second rep.
Tim Tebow and Chris Manhertz split their one-on-one reps 2-2 (a massive victory for Tebow, after being tossed by Manhertz on the first two reps). He had a pair of wins during one-on-one's with safeties.
Charting the Jaguars Quarterbacks
None of the three quarterbacks was a true "winner" per say on Wednesday. Rookie Trevor Lawrence received the bulk of the reps with the first-team for a third consecutive day, going 10-of-18 with five touchdowns (NOTE: due to the timing of post-practice interviews, First Coast News did not chart the final, two-minute drill team period). With defenders now allowed to initiate contact, Lawrence fell victim to pass break-up's at the hands of Shaq Griffin (twice) and D.J. Daniel. He had touchdowns during the 7-on-7 red-zone period to D.J. Chark, Pharoh Cooper, and Devine Ozigbo. He connected again with Chark during 11-on-11 red-zone drills for a beautiful, corner end-zone score about three feet from the touchline. Lawrence did have another instance of miscommunication with his receivers: during the first team period, he threw into an area where the only two players to be found were defensive backs Rudy Ford and Tre Herndon. Coaches continue to say the rookie knows the playbook very well, so it remains unclear why these instances continue to happen.
Gardner Minshew was 9-of-14 with three touchdowns to Collin Johnson, Chark, and Cooper. James Houston had a pass break-up of a jump-ball, would-be touchdown from Minshew to Chark in the end-zone. Minshew was sacked twice (Gotsis, Smoot). Once again, he continues to take what the defense gives him; if the underneath route is available, Minshew is going to focus on completions as opposed to gambling down the sideline. He did chuck the ball up once (for Collin Johnson) and his underthrown pass was nearly picked off by Tyson Campbell. Campbell, who has been largely quiet in his first NFL Training Camp, pancaked Johnson in the process.
In contrast, Jake Luton had no issues throwing the ball 20-plus yards downfield... even after getting picked off by Corey Straughter on the first such throw. Seriously: after the interception, Luton went back to the same play twice, nearly getting picked off again by Jarrod Wilson before finally hitting Tevin Jones, the target on all three passes, for an outstretched touchdown. Luton went 4-of-8 Wednesday. He also had a touchdown to Collin Johnson during 7-on-7's.
- C.J. Henderson (Reserve/COVID-19) was back at practice Wednesday, working out primarily with Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Anthony Schlegel. Meyer said Henderson is in the "acclimation period" of his return from COVID-19 and should be back with the team Friday or Saturday.
- Second-year guard Ben Bartch struggled mightily in one-on-one's, getting tossed by both Malcolm Brown and Ward. But he was then inserted into the first-team offensive line in favor of left guard Andrew Norwell during team drills and immediately created the largest hole the running game has seen all summer. Carlos Hyde went basically untouched into the end-zone from 15 yards out.
- With Laquon Treadwell and Cooper continuing to produce, second-year wide receiver Collin Johnson desperately needed to have his name called as a "Winner" on Wednesday. He didn't hear it called a whole lot in one-on-one's (rookie Jalen Camp got the best of him twice), but he did haul in a pair of touchdowns during red-zone drills.
- Rookie Travis Etienne has reached a point where he is turning water into wine. Initially lined up outside, Etienne seemingly improved a wheel route from Minshew that would've gone for a touchdown. It's the second time in three days this has happened. While opposing defenses will quickly learn to not leave the 25th overall pick all alone on one side, the dude is special.
- Despite getting beat in one-on-one's, second-year tight end Tyler Davis showcased the quick burst in space that originally had many calling him "Travis Kelce Light" coming out of Georgia Tech. While Davis has only played the position for a handful of years and is easily the most raw prospect in the position group not named Tim Tebow: if the Jaguars were to release him, someone else will snatch him up on waivers almost instantly. With proper grooming, it could be a decision the Jaguars regret.
- Kicker Josh Lambo was 3-of-3 on field goals Wednesday.
The Jaguars are off on Thursday before returning to the practice field on Friday for the first of three, open practices this weekend.
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Want to sound off? Sports Anchor/Reporter Mia O'Brien can be reached at @MiaOBrienTV and email@example.com