After their win in London, the Jaguars bye week came at just the right time according to head coach Gus Bradley. Not just to recover from the trip to the UK, but to get more players healthy and look forward to the second half of the season.
“Bonus Monday,” Bradley called it after practice. The Jaguars did introduce some new packages for the Jets game this coming Sunday but to just get out there and practice again was a bonus.
“I thought also to get the guys running around. They’ve been gone since Wednesday, four days, just to get them back running, throwing, catching and some of our base fundamentals. It was good.”
Apparently the players were fresh and ready as well. It’s mandatory that they get four days off during the bye week. Bradley encouraged the team to clear their minds and be ready to get back to work.
“Yeah, I think they’re excited to come back and get going, They’re concentrating a little bit more after being gone a couple of days but I think Wednesday you’ll see a spirited-type practice. I think it was more (today) we’re back, let’s get locked into it.”
After a quick start, the New York Jets have struggled a bit recently and needed to put Geno Smith in the game yesterday at quarterback after an injury to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Who starts Sunday against the Jaguars has yet to be determined but it’s the Jets defense that Bradley says can carry them.
“I think they’re talented across the board. Not just (Derrell) Revis; Cromartie, their defensive line and linebackers, very talented so it will be a great opportunity. You talk about respect, Revis, you hold him in high regard, that’s a fact.”
During the bye week, Bradley and the coaching staff did some self-scouting, looking at their own team with a critical eye. Gus did see growth and expects that to continue but on special teams, they’ll have some competition immediately. He’s not happy particularly with punt returns so although he’ll review what they’re doing across the board on special teams, he’s not saying what he might do.
“We do that with each of the units and I keep some of that to myself just out of a competition point, but that’s what we worked on today.”
As previously reported the Jaguars brought in some kickers to look at for a tryout during the bye week. After seeing them, they’re sticking with Jason Myers for now. But it’s safe to say, he has a bit of a shorter leash than before.
“We knew we were going to have some good games and some games that maybe weren’t as good but hopefully we see continued growth too,” Bradley explained. “We want to stay away from that one game good, one game bad. You’ve got to have consistency as a kicker so we believe in him, we trust him and we’re going to continue with him.”
Among those not practicing today were Zane Beadles and Marqise Lee. No word on Beadles progress of his sprained foot suffered against Buffalo. Regarding Lee, he remains the “albino tiger.” When you see him, it’ll be something you’ll remember. But for now, the Jaguars have no timetable for his return. Perhaps they were shooting for after the bye week (like with Rashad Greene who is beginning to practice) but Bradley made no predictions about Lee, only saying his soft tissue injury has to completely heal before he’ll be allowed back for fear he’ll suffer another injury.
“I think for the most part he’s had really good days,” Bradley said of Lee’s progress. “If there was a day where maybe we slowed progression it’s due to us saying let’s hold back a little bit. He was out there today and did short sprints and did very, very well in the short sprints. He’ll take the next step now and what that means I’m not sure.”
Since it was a “Bonus Monday” the Jaguars will be off tomorrow. (Although about a dozen players will make charity appearances). They’ll be back to their regular practice schedule on Wednesday.