JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Jacksonville Jaguars training camp:
Jaguars coach Gus Bradley put the team through a lighter day Friday, going with a slower practice with more emphasis on individual work and correcting problems. Bradley said he had planned on giving the players a day like today but wasn't sure which day it would be. He chose Friday because the Jaguars are scrimmaging Saturday at EverBank Field, the young players' heads are swimming a bit after six tough practices and it was time to ease things up physically. "We really want them to understand that they need to trust us," Bradley said. "They just go out there and practice and practice and they need to learn to trust us when it's time we'll slow the tempo down a little bit, and just to go."
Fifteen players did not participate in the workout. Nine were out because of injuries: receiver Tandon Doss (ankle), receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring), guard Brandon Linder (foot), defensive tackle Jordan Miller (knee), linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring), linebacker John Lotulelei (knee), receiver Damian Copeland (wrist), tight end Clay Harbor (calf) and receiver Cecil Shorts (hamstring). Receiver Marqise Lee, running back Toby Gerhart, linebacker Geno Hayes, offensive tackle Austin Pasztor, defensive end Tyson Alualu and defensive tackle Roy Miller were given the day off. Linebacker Dekoda Watson (groin) and cornerback Aaron Ball (ankle) have yet to practice because of their injuries.
With Ace Sanders on a leave of absence and facing a four-game suspension and Doss out for at least two weeks, the Jaguars have to find another punt returner for the preseason opener against Tampa Bay on Aug. 8. Right now it's cornerback Will Blackmon, who held the job at the beginning of the 2013 season before giving way to Sanders. "We trust him," Bradley said. "You'll see [Nathan] Slaughter [as well]. He's a guy that's got to earn our trust. He's had a couple drops in practice and things like that. He might be a guy we single out and see him get some punt returns and see, under the lights [in Saturday night's scrimmage], how does he respond." Lee also will get work there.
NFL officials have been talking to the Jaguars' defensive backs about illegal contact with receivers, which will be a major point of emphasis in 2014. "I just talked to them [the officials] and they said our guys are doing a good job of trying to understand what the emphasis is," defensive coordinator Bob Babich said. "If there's a tug, it's a penalty if they see the shirt comes out. That's what they're saying they're going to do. It's great that we have them so we can see right now how the guys are going to call it, so it really helps them grow."
Admission and parking are free for Saturday's 6:45 pm ET scrimmage at EverBank Field. The team is off Sunday.