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Jaguars camp report: Gerhart different kind of workhorse

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch doesn’t envision 300-carry season for starting free-agent running back Toby Gerhart.


JACKSONVILLE – Jedd Fisch knows what Toby Gerhart brings, and wants to use it.

What the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator doesn’t want is to over-use Gerhart, which is why Fisch said Thursday he doesn’t see Gerhart being a 300-carry running back this season.

Twenty carries a game? Twenty-five?

While such workloads haven’t been uncommon for backs in the past – and while Gerhart perhaps would not mind that many carries – Fisch said that’s not the plan for the player the Jaguars signed as an unrestricted free agent this past off-season.

“I think 300 carries is a lot of carries,” Fisch said Thursday before the sixth practice of Jaguars 2014 Training Camp at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields. “We have to really see how we’re running the football and what we’re running well.”

Fisch called Gerhart and second-year veteran Jordan Todman “a pretty good one-two punch,” and added that the Jaguars like how second-year veteran Denard Robinson and rookie Storm Johnson are running in camp.

“We need to be able to utilize all of our players’ strength,” Fisch said. “Toby should be a good workhorse, but that workhorse spot might not be what it was four years ago when you would feed a workhorse twenty carries a game.”

Fisch on Thursday discussed a variety of topics, including the continued development of veteran starting quarterback Chad Henne. Henne is in his second season running Fisch’s offense, and Fisch said the comfort level is evident, particularly in Henne’s ability to get in – and out – of plays at the line of scrimmage.

“You feel really comfortable that he can get us out of plays,” Fisch said. “Sometimes, you’re calling plays thinking you’re going to get a certain defense. That’s not always going to be the case. But when you’re in Year One, you’re trying to process the play call you’re going to get. In Year Two, you can take that play call and say, ‘I think I know what he (the coordinator) wanted, but defensively we’re not getting it. Let me get out of this and get to something different.’

“He certainly has more of a green light in terms of getting us out of things and getting us into something that’s more of an advantage.”

 

LOOKING ON . . .

*The Jaguars got good news shortly after practice when it was learned that wide receiver Tandon Doss had sustained a sprained right ankle late in practice. The injury originally was feared to be a broken ankle. An update on Doss’ status is expected Friday.

*Outside linebacker Telvin Smith worked on Thursday with the first team as a nickel linebacker, a move Bradley said should utilize the rookie’s speed. “When you have three wide on the field (on offense), I think it’s important to get some speed,” Bradley said. “We’ll see how that works out with Geno (Hayes). Right now, how we’re doing it is Geno is going with the first and second down, Telvin on third down.” …

*Rookie Brandon Linder continued to work with the first team extensively Thursday before leaving with a foot injury that was not thought serious. Jacques McClendon got first-team repetitions at right guard after Linder left. “He’s had a really nice camp for us,” Fisch said of Linder. “He’s moving laterally probably a little better. He’s coming off the ball and getting a good first step.” …

BRADLEY SAYS

“We made (the run game) a little bit more (of an) emphasis (Thursday). We took one-on-ones and did a different period of practice so that we could go team run – get everybody involved. With the full pads, we really have to capture that. We’re putting more of an emphasis on the run game and it’s come along. We’ll just keep working at it.”

--- Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley

 

SEXTON SAYS

A daily training camp thought from Jaguars.com senior correspondent Brian Sexton …

“I’m watching to see how the passing game finds some rhythm without Cecil Shorts III, Ace Sanders or Clay Harbor. Those were three critical parts last year and they’re gone. There are three rookies out there, and so far so good. In fact, this may be a really good time for guys to miss. But as we go through August, Chad Henne would like to have all his options out there and with Harbor and Shorts recuperating, it has to be frustrating for them and it has to be frustrating for him (Henne).”

 

LAGS SAYS

A daily training camp thought from Jaguars Radio Network analyst Jeff Lageman …

“(Jaguars defensive end Chris Clemons) has a quick twitch, and a great motor. He still has speed, savvy. He’s exactly what you’re paying for (as a free agent). When I had my (torn) ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) I couldn’t play for a year. He was getting six sacks before a year (had passed). He had a veterans day off today and he deserved it. He works his butt off in practice. He’s not a veteran who coasts through camp.”

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