This is the first installment of a training camp feature that will focus on one player, position or theme throughout camp. The themes may be dictated a standout player or play at camp or a developing storyline.
by Cole Pepper
On day one of Jaguars training camp, the defense certainly outshone the offense. With the exception of wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who looks like he’s ready to be a legitimate #1 receiver, the defense made the majority of the big plays.
Among those big plays, second year defensive back Mike Harris intercepting a Blaine Gabbert pass intended for Marcedes Lewis (it appeared that Lewis didn’t run the route Gabbert expected) and returned it for what would be a touchdown. Harris is an interesting player to watch this year. He’s a physical corner who played well when pressed into service at the nickle last year. His name hasn’t come up in many conversations about the competition at that position this year, but he certainly got off to a good start on Friday.
“Definitely nice to make a play on the first day and make a first impression,” Harris said. “When there are so many new players, you definitely want to make a play to stand out.”
The Bradley/Bob Babich defensive scheme would seem to play to Harris’ preference for physical, aggressive corners. Those were the kinds of attributes tagged on the corners in Seattle last year when Bradley was the defensive coordinator.
“A lot more aggressive on the outside,” Harris said. “It’s something I embrace–being more aggressive so I think its going to be great for us this season.”
There were a few times when the aggressive play led to opportunities for the offense, but if Harris is the nickle or dime back, the Jaguars would figure to be in good shape in the defensive backfield.
“We want to take advantage of every opportunity,whether that’s a missed route or a bad pass,” said head coach Gus Bradley. “He did. That’s good to see.”