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Inside the Jaguars: New locale, focused approach

Posted Sep 18, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars preparing for Seattle Seahawks in San Jose, Calif.; HC Gus Bradley says while Maurice Jones-Drew won’t practice Wednesday he may play Sunday.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The locale was new, and the time zone was, too.

But for the Jaguars on Wednesday afternoon, the task was to very much make the day – and the week, for that matter – not about those things, and not about preparing for a difficult opponent in an unusual situation.

So, while Head Coach Gus Bradley talked about the news of the day Wednesday – the biggest of which was the possibility Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew could play Sunday and that quarterback Blaine Gabbert almost certainly won’t – he also talked of working at San Jose State University as a privilege and very much not a distraction.

“It’s been great so far,” Bradley said Wednesday before the Jaguars held a two-and-half hour practice on the practice fields at San Jose State. “This is a good situation. Our team really has adjusted well to this.

“What a privilege to be here, and for them to open up the facilities. For them to give us this opportunity to be here, it’s really worked out well.

“I give a lot of credit to our organization for how organized it is. It’s really awesome.”

Said Jaguars guard Uche Nwaneri, “It’s all about adjusting. As a team, being out here actually gives us the ability to grow closer to one another. Being here together as a group, and being able to hang out with teammates, it allows you to get a closer camaraderie with your teammates. That’s always good.”

The Jaguars adjusted to their new locale on the same day Bradley updated several key injuries.

Jones-Drew, the three-time Pro Bowl running back who sustained a strained tendon (ankle) injury in the Jaguars’ loss to Oakland Sunday, was held out of practice Wednesday because of swelling in the area. Bradley said the hope is that Jones-Drew will practice Thursday and play Sunday.

“They felt like it was doing pretty good and then it had some swelling,” Bradley said. “He feels better about it today than he did yesterday, so we’ll just see how it goes.”

Bradley also said Gabbert almost certainly won’t play, confirming what he said Monday. Gabbert, who missed last week’s game with a laceration on his throwing hand, had stitches removed from the area this week, and did what Bradley called “some easy throwing” on Wednesday.

Bradley said the plan was for Gabbert to do some agility work on the side in practice Wednesday.

“It’d be a stretch to see him (play) probably this week,” Bradley said.

Chad Henne will start at quarterback for a second consecutive game in Gabbert’s place, and said the chance to work a second consecutive week with the starters during practice is key.

“Most importantly, it’s just getting the time in with the receivers,” said Henne, who started the final two preseason games before backing up Gabbert in the regular-season opener. “Being able to go through our signals in the no-huddle is definitely beneficial.

“What really helped, too, was the two preseason games. This team is still young. The more we play, the more experience we’ll get and the more experience we get in this offense, we’re only going to get better.”

Cornerback Alan Ball (sore groin) will be monitored as the week progresses, and Bradley said the plan was for tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf) and wide receiver Mike Brown (back) not to practice. Bradley said Brown likely will not play Sunday.

“Today will be a big test to see how he does,” Bradley said of Lewis.

Lewis said he ran and tested the calf Tuesday.

“It’s better than it was two weeks ago,” Lewis said. “I’m still getting that explosiveness back in my calf. I’m taking it day by day. If I can’t go for Sunday, for sure next week. It’s just being patient and doing what your bodty tells you to do.”

Bradley also said the following players would be limited Wednesday:

Nwaneri (knee), wide receiver Stephen Burton (hip), wide receiver Ace Sanders (rib), linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring), defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee) and guard Will Rackley (knee).

Also Wednesday:

*Bradley said crowd noise will be a factor in Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, considered the NFL’s loudest stadium. The Jaguars typically work with music during practice, and Bradley said the music will be turned up as high as possible while the Jaguars work this week.

*Bradley also said center Brad Meester and defensive end Jason Babin did not practice, getting veteran days off.

*Jones-Drew said he didn’t believe the tackle made by Raiders safety Charles Woodson on the play on which he sustained his injury Sunday was a dirty play. On the play, Woodson – a 14-year veteran – dove over a Raiders defender and tackled Jones-Drew around the neck, twisting Jones-Drew in such a way that he strained the tendon. “It was a great play, for a guy at his age to sell out to do that,” Jones-Drew said. “It was a horsecollar (tackle), but it was a phenomenal play. It wasn’t dirty at all.”

*Jones-Drew also on Wednesday had fun with comments made this week by former NBA player Tracy McGrady, who tweeted to the effect that the Jaguars should sign him to play quarterback or wide receiver.  Jones-Drew said McGrady could sign a waiver and practice with the Jaguars. “We’ll see how that works out,” Jones-Drew said

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