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Jacksonville Jaguars team report: Players rave about Tucker's first practice

PUBLISHED 5 hours and 11 minutes ago

Gene Frenette
Sporting News Text size
JACKSONVILLE - Players raved about the first practice under interim head coach Mel Tucker, saying it was more snappy and up-tempo, which helped put Tuesday's events of Jack Del Rio's firing and the Jaguars' franchise being sold behind them.

"It was a different feeling in practice, he's a stickler for tempo," TE Marcedes Lewis said of Tucker, also the team's defensive coordinator.

Players raved about the first practice under interim head coach Mel Tucker. (AP Photo)
C Brad Meester, the team's longest-vested player, said it was "a great day of work" and that he was impressed players didn't mope around after the turbulent events of the previous 48 hours.

Tucker was especially proud of the fact that the Jaguars sped things up enough to finish practice 18 minutes ahead of schedule. Whether Tucker's approach translates into any wins these last five games, starting with a Monday night matchup against the San Diego Chargers, might depend on the Jaguars' ability to jump-start an offense that is averaging a league-low 12.5 points per game. Tucker is putting more emphasis on situational reps, especially the two-minute drill, where the Jaguars have struggled all year in end-game situations.

Tucker, at the urging of general manager Gene Smith, shook up the receiving corps Wednesday by firing coach Johnny Cox and releasing starter Jason Hill. With Hill gone, that means Jarett Dillard, rookie Cecil Shorts and Chastin West will each get more snaps and have a chance to secure more playing time.

"It's not my place to even think on them, decisions have to be made and you got to roll with the punches," Dillard said. "It opens up opportunities for myself. And if I don't do anything with them, it'll be the next guy's opportunity."

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