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Jacksonville Jaguars

How much benefit will come from Jaguars and Vikings practicing together?

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Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of an exciting 2017 season for each of them, the Jaguars and the Vikings were already playing in the preseason this August, and now they will try to benefit from that, even more.

On Thursday, the teams that each won their division and made their conference title game a year ago,  jointly announced that they will be practicing together in Minneapolis in advance of their August 18th preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Jags announced the move on social media around lunch time:

There are some intriguing elements and benefits. And Jacksonville coach, Doug Marrone laid those out in the team release:

“We look forward to traveling to Minnesota to work with Coach Zimmer and his team at their new state-of-the-art facility, the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center,” said Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone. “Having the opportunity to practice with another conference finalist during training camp will allow us to compete with great players and coaches and continue to push ourselves. We believe that these joint sessions will provide us with an opportunity to improve as a football team, which is always the goal for training camp.”

He’s absolutely right that by the third week of training camp, the mundane repetition of practicing against yourselves day after day in the summer heat needs to be broken up. And many teams for years have begun to do with with another club.

In fact, last season, the Jaguars hosted the Bucs in joint practices prior to their August exhibition match-up at their facilities adjacent to what’s now, TIAA Bank Field.

However, things don’t always go as intended for either or both teams.

Example, during those practices last August, as was documented on the HBO training camp all access “Hard Knocks” that featured the Bucs, coach Dirk Koetter was displeased with the effort and the execution of his team against the Jags in the workouts.

Even worse though, Jacksonville played terribly as a team, in the first half of the actual game, and QB Blake Bortles looked so bad, that Marrone and the coaching staff decided to bench him for the following week in favor of veteran backup Chad Henne.

Henne was largely ineffective in that role to end the preseason, and the Jags went back to Bortles. And, he went on to a solid start to the regular season and was good, not great, for the most part in 2017.

As for the Vikings, they are anxious to get all of the work in that they can for new high priced free agent QB Kirk Cousins, as this would be his second exhibition game. And there work with the Jaguars should benefit them, leading to the game.

Still both teams won’t show much, to each other in practice, and usually the second preseason game sees starters gone by half time.

So, how much will really be gained by this?

Coaches will tell you it helps evaluate. Players will tell you they like limited blocking and tackling someone else.

Fans will get to see the practices for free.

Other than those points? Not a lot else will be.

It is after all, practice.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Report- Jaguars to hire former Giants coach McAdoo as QB coach

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Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars are trying to fix things offensively and especially, at the quarterback position. And, to that end, they have apparently settled on another hire, involving another former NFL head coach to lead their QB room.

ESPN Giants reporter Jordan Raanan reported Tuesday night the Jacksonville is hiring former New York Giants head coach, Ben McAdoo, to be their quarterback coach:

McAdoo had been under consideration by head coach, Doug Marrone, for the offensive coordinator vacancy that occurred when the team dismissed John DeFilippo after just one season.

Eventually, Marrone decided upon another former NFC East coach, Jay Gruden, from the Redskins, as the offensive coordinator hire. Gruden, the younger brother of Jon Gruden, is known as an innovator in the passing game.

However, the Jags, including GM Dave Caldwell, were obviously impressed with Macado’s previous work with the Giants and Eli Manning. McAdoo began as an offensive coordinator in New York in 2014 – 15. He was then given the head coaching job, basically at the uriging of the two-time Super Bowl champion QB Manning to take over in 2016.

The Giants finished 11 – 5 McAdoo’s first year as the head coach and made the playoffs. However, the relationship with Eli Manning quickly soured and the team fell apart going 2 – 10 in its first 12 games with McAdoo actually benching Manning late in the 2017 season. McAdoo was fired the week after that benching and has been out of the NFL the last two seasons.

McAdoo will replace QB coach Scott Milanovich, who took over as head coach of the CFL Edmonton Eskimos for later this summer.

The Jaguars still have to resolve their quarterback situation, as they have high price free agent signing Nick Foles, who did not perform well in his first season in Jacksonville.  And then, they have fan favorite rookie 6th round pick Gardner Minshew, who did play well at times in relief of the injured Foles and when Marrone benched Foles for the final four games of the year.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars president Lamping continued to defend two London games

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Sep 17, 2017; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan watches his team during the second half of a football game against the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

With a fan base that is unsure whether or not Jaguars owner Shad Khan really wants to move half his team’s schedule, if not the team entirely to London, team president Mark Lamping took to the national radio airwaves Thursday morning trying to defend this week’s announcement that they will be playing a second home game in the U.K. this fall.

Lamping was a guest on “Sirius XM NFL Radio” morning show with co-host Bob Papa and Charlie Weis and tried to make clear that playing a second home game in London starting this year, is in the best interest of keeping pro football in North Florida:

Lamping told the hosts that Khan is “taking all the actions he believes are necessary to ensure the future of the NFL in Northeast Florida,” during the conversation. He went on to discuss Khan’s commitment to land development around TIAA Bank Field and how playing this second home game in London will be able to help with revenue.

Still, it’s totally understandable that Jaguars fans who hear those comments and say, “your words are empty and your actions of moving a second game to London’s Wembley Stadium mean everything.”

And, they would not be wrong to say or think that.

A franchise wanting to stay committed and strong in the market/region where they are, isn’t looking to take 1/4 of the regular season home schedule and play games five time zones away.

The point Lamping was trying to make is the same that Khan did earlier in the week: that the Jaguars make easily $500,00 and maybe north of $1 million more money by selling their home games to the NFL to put on abroad vs. playing in a half empty stadium in Jacksonville,.

The real bottom line with respect to attendance/revenue is: the Jaguars have only had one winning season in eight years under Khan’s ownership. In fact, they’ve lost at least 10 games (including the last two years) in those 7 other seasons, and the losing has caused fan apathy, which therefore results in a lack of revenue.

And, most Jaguar fans were unhappy, or just met with that apathy, Khan’s decision last December to not go ahead and wipe the slate clean from coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell, who were part of those last two years. This especially, after firing VP of football,, Tom Coughlin, late in the 2019 season.

The belief from many fans, who post online or call Jacksonville sports radio, etc., is that there’s going to be more of the same of losing in 2020. And then, the owner threatening to move more games every year to London, while still being based in Jacksonville.

For now, the NFL is willing to allow Khan to play more games in the U.K., while being based in Jacksonville.

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