It had been a week since the Jacksonville Jaguars last held a morning practice under the brutal and unforgiving Florida sun, something that became apparent early and often during Wednesday's training camp practice.
Day 13 of training camp saw a clear divide in terms of execution, though it also showed a team that is truly entering the dog days of camp and is having to push past it.
So, what all did we see at Wednesday's practice at Episcopal School of Jacksonville Knight Campus? We break it down below.
Offense and Trevor Lawrence have their worst day of camp as the defense stands tall
Wednesday was a day to forget for the Jaguars' offense. Trevor Lawrence said after the practice he felt the offense started slow and overall needs to be sharper and more consistent, and that is an accurate statement on all levels considering the production the offense had on Wednesday.
The issues started early on, with Lawrence missing several throws in the first team drill period. He overthrew Zay Jones on one potential first-down while an overthrow on a target to Christian Kirk was nearly intercepted by Tyson Campbell. He then threw his second interception of camp to Rayshawn Jenkins, making a poor decision on where to go with the ball and throwing it directly into Jenkins' zone.
Lawrence then had accuracy issues in 1-on-1s, with the defense mostly locking down the offense or instead just seeing Lawrence miss. Lawrence had been accurate throughout camp in these situations but he had several overthrows and underthrows on Wednesday. This preceded a team period where he had two passes tipped and had a pass broken up by Campbell.
Lawrence had a few bright spots, including some impressive middle of the field completions to Zay Jones and a deep shot to Kirk, but it just wasn't his day. He nearly threw a second interception on third-down in the red-zone on a poor throw near Chris Claybrooks, but he was sacked by Tre Herndon before he got the ball off.
It wasn't just Lawrence who struggled, either. Foley Fatukasi gave both right tackles fits all day, while the skill players saw Christian Kirk, Travis Etienne and Laquon Treadwell all drop passes. It wasn't a good day for almost anyone on the offensive side, something the Jaguars will need to work past and improve upon.
Jaguars feel the heat
It had been a week since the Jaguars held a practice on a day as warm as Wednesday. Friday's game was a 7 p.m. kickoff and Monday night's practice at TIAA Bank Field kicked off around 6:20. Wednesday was a blistering type of heat, one whose impact on the practice and each of its participants was palpable.
The Jaguars saw multiple players leave practice and head to the medical tent to the heat, including left guard Ben Bartch, defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris, outside linebacker Rashod Berry, wide receiver Tim Jones, tight end Chris Manhertz, offensive lineman Darryl Williams, and wide receiver Willie Johnson.
The impact of the heat is particularly noteworthy because of how it impacted the left guard position. Bartch went through parts of an early team period as the team's starting left guard, with Tyler Shatley instead running with the second-team offense. This looked set to be Bartch's chance to snatch the job from Shatley, but he instead sat out the rest of practice as Shatley took the remaining reps at guard.
Wednesday felt like the definition of a dog day of training camp. This was reflected in more ways than one, but perhaps the biggest way is the sheer impact the heat had on the day of practice.
Tyson Campbell continues to establish himself as a potential lockdown corner
It is hard not to think of Tyson Campbell as the Jaguars' No. 1 cornerback this camp based on performance, even if the Jaguars' scheme doesn't dictate it. The Jaguars line their cornerbacks up on sides and don't ask either of Shaquill Griffin or Campbell to travel, so there is no true top outside cornerback based on role. But based on play this camp, that player might just be Campbell.
"He's really locked down for us right now. He's out there handling the techniques, showing leadership skills in the back end. He's doing a great job," Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell said before practice.
"That's what you see in him. You see the versatility he's able to play outside, play inside, big receiver, small receiver. He can really cover any type of receiver he needs to, but right now we'll just focus on letting him play left and right and then if we need to we can have him travel."
Campbell has shown a massive leap from where he was at last season, which is encouraging considering he finished the season on a high point. He flashed lockdown ability over the final half of his rookie season and has been even better in this year's camp. On Wednesday, he was consistently a tough draw in team drills and one-on-ones for each of Zay Jones, Marvin Jones and Christian Kirk, showing especially tight coverage on Kirk and on Zay Jones in the end-zone.
Campbell was a thorn in the offense's side the entire practice, and this isn't the first time in camp this has been the case. He simply looks like he is poised to breakout in his second season, with the chances of him growing into a No. 1 cornerback seemingly increasing each day.
Ryan Santoso has a much-needed big day
It has been clear throughout training camp the Jaguars are unsure about their kicker situation. They have waived one kicker in Andrew Mevis and saw another get injured last Friday in Elliott Fry, leaving Ryan Santoso as the last kicker standing entering a pivotal week of training camp and the preseason.
"Yeah, he's doing a good job. He's doing a really good job. But the reality is every single one of these guys are competing against all these other rosters," Jaguars special teams coordinator Heath Farwell said before practice. "We're going to keep taking a look across the league. Right now he's our guy, and let's see what he does with it. He's going to get a lot of opportunities today. He'll get all of them. He'll get off the kickoffs today as well as on the preseason game this week. We'll see what he does with it."
Santoso did indeed get those opportunities, seeing extensive time as the team's only kicker for the second time this week, but for the first time in an expanded role since he didn't kick much on Monday. Santoso responded well, too, hitting all four of his kicks in the first special teams period of the day before hitting two 47-yard field goals to end practice.
Wednesday was probably Santoso's best practice this camp, which comes at a good time since the Jaguars haven't made it a secret the jury is still out on his chances to be the Week 1 kicker.
"He's got elite leg strength. That's hard to find across this league with not only kickoffs but field goals, as well. Great leg strength, accuracy is improving. He's doing a good job for us, so we're happy where he's at," Farwell said.
"Like I said, let's see where he goes with it. I think he's had a really good camp, and he's put some good stuff on tape, and like I said, I love what Elliott was doing. They had a great competition, but unfortunately the situation is what it is. But let's see what Ryan can do with it."
Play of the day
It was a rough day at the office for the offense, with the vast majority of plays going the defense's way in large part because of self-inflicted mistakes from the offense. Still, the offense executed the most impressive play of the practice as Trevor Lawrence hit Christian Kirk as he streaked open past Andre Cisco downfield, resulting in a field-flipping gain of at least 45 yards. It was a perfect pass deep down the field that hit Kirk in stride, one of the few such throws on Wednesday.
- When the Jaguars were able to shortly have Ben Bartch in with the first-team offense, they had Tyler Shatley run with the second offense at center, a first for this year's camp. The Jaguars started camp with K.C. McDermott as the second-team center before replacing him with guard/center Darryl Williams. Once Shatley went back to guard, Williams took back over as backup center.
- James Robinson started taking 7-on-7 reps for the first time in camp earlier this week, and the third-year back took another significant step forward in recovery today. Robinson took part in team drills for the first time, taking carries in offense vs. defense. He had a few impressive cuts on outside runs and even had carries in the red-zone period. He is still a non-contact participant, but the fact he is getting worked back into the fold is a big positive.
- The Jaguars' injuries at tackle are showing. The Jaguars saw Coy Cronk struggle with K'Lavon Chaisson and Da'Shaan Dixon on Wednesday, but Cronk is the Jaguars' only left tackle option behind Cam Robinson since both Will Richardson Jr. and Badara Traore are nursing injuries and Jawaan Taylor and Walker Little are still battling it out at right tackle.
- Jeff Cotton Jr. had another really good day of practice. He beat Shabari Davis for a deep catch during one-on-ones and then made a big grab for 30-plus yards during team drills. That is two really good practices in a row.
- Zay Jones and Jamal Agnew were the toughest Jaguars receivers to cover in one-on-ones on Wednesday. Jones forced a DPI on Darious Williams and nearly beat Tyson Campbell for Campbell's only near-loss of the period. Defensively, Campbell was the only corner who stood out with dominant reps.
- The Jaguars scored a red-zone touchdown on Wednesday: a four-yard run from Snoop Conner against the second-team defense. Robinson and Etienne took all first-team running back snaps.
- The Jaguars saw Arden Key beat both Cam Robinson and Tyler Shatley in one-on-ones before Key went on to dominate the Jaguars' second-team offensive line as both a pass-rusher and run-defender. He added a deflection and two pressures against the starting offense to make it a complete day.
- Laviska Shenault quietly had his best day of practice of camp. He beat Tyson Campbell in a two-on-two drill where he was forced to make an impressive catch near the sideline, while also coming up big on several intermediate targets from Lawrence during team drills.
- Gregory Junior nearly intercepted E.J. Perry near the end of practice, undercutting a route and stepping in front of the pass before dropping the near-pick.
- Kevin Austin had a nice catch near the sideline when facing Benji Franklin in one-on-ones. It showed an exciting skill set and was a play a lot had been waiting for him to make.