Cole Pepper: Jags Take The Field In Annual Scrimmage, Armada Roster To Feature Local Talent

Aug 4, 2014

The Jaguars got back on the field and the Jacksonville Armada Football Club took another step towards finalizing their roster this weekend. Cole Pepper has it all in his weekly sports wrap.

Jags Quarterback Blake Bortles, the third overall pick in this year's NFL draft, winds up for a pass during Saturday's scrimmage game at EverBank Field.
Credit Jacksonville Jaguars

Bortles flashes talent at Jags scrimmage

The Jaguars held their annual scrimmage inside EverBank Field on Saturday night. It was a very controlled environment.

No tackling, it was, as Gus Bradley called it, a "thud" practice. No tackling, which meant no sacking of the quarterback, which would have been a very interesting thing to see how Blake Bortles handled the pressure.

I thought that by-and-large, Bortles looked better than he had in the training camp practices. Chad Henne looked comfortable until the end when he had a number of passes batted down, which has been a problem for him traditionally.

Bortles certainly showed reason for optimism and overall, the Jaguars head coach liked what he saw.

"It was really good," said Bradley of the performance.

One of Bortles' best plays probably would have been a touchdown if it happened in a game situation.

"I would've got my head taken off, but those things you've got to work on," he said of the play.

It was a good chance for the players to get in the stadium.

The defense looked better than the offense, which isn't unusual at this point in training camp, and it isn't unusual considering the number of weapons who weren't on the field.

No Cecil Shorts, no Ace Sanders, no rookie Allen Robinson, no RB Toby Gerhardt, it was a bit thin.

Nonetheless, it's the next step for Chad Henne, who is still, and will continue to be, the starter for the Jaguars. Next for the Jaguars, the preseason opener on Friday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Armada roster taking shape

The Jacksonville Armada continue to build toward their first roster. Over the weekend, the team held tryouts with around 70 players, some of whom were invited, others who earned their way in via open tryouts last week.

This is the second in a number of steps that the team is taking before they sign their initial roster, but GM Dario Sala tells me that they will have a strong local flavor to part of the roster.

"The talent has been higher than what we were expecting," Sala said.

Some of the 30 players who they add to their Elite Performance squad, basically an off-season roster, will have a chance to make the final roster next spring.

In other news... The Jacksonville Axemen won the Southern Conference Championship in rugby. They'll host the National Championship on August 23 at the University of North Florida.

There's a special thing going on Sunday at the Baseball Grounds. Cheerleaders from the Suns, Axemen and Jaguars are joining forces and instead of cheering for different teams, they're cheering for the same cause.

A group called Girl Power 2 Cure, a local charity that raises fund to find a cure for Rett Syndrome, is holding what they're calling Power the Flower Day at Bragan Field during the Sun's game Sunday.

It's a great example of how involved these local sports teams are in the community and a great cause, too. For more info on Girl Power 2 Cure, visit them online.

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax and Cole Pepper @ColePepper.