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That happened a lot around the NFL – and in Jacksonville, it meant the long-reported trade bringing left tackle Branden Albert to the Jaguars is now a done deal.
Cincinnati took a 21-3 lead with a 21-yard touchdown pass from A.J. McCarron to Alex Erickson before the Jaguars made it 21-11 with 3:07 remaining in the third quarter with a 7-yard run by Joe Banyard followed by a two-point conversion run by Denard Robinson. Backup quarterback Chad Henne passed three yards to Neal Sterling before a two-point conversion pass to Tony Washington made it 21-18 Jaguars early in the fourth quarter.
Linebacker Hayes Pullard’s 62-yard interception return with 7:48 remaining gave the Jaguars their first lead, 26-21.
“The transition from high school into college can be an eye opening experience. You go from being the best on your high school team to having to compete for a spot on your college team,” said Jones. “The best thing you can do is surround yourself with positive and like-minded people who have your best interest in mind to help you get to the next level.”
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Jaguars Wide Receiver Tony Washington, an Appalachian State University alumnus, walked the Jacksonville Jaguars jersey students through his own journey from high school football through college and into the pros. He specifically focused on was the importance of education and life after football.
“We had some success as the ones in the first few preseason games, and this is our first chance going against Cincinnati,” Bortles said. “Some things did not go our way – but I think just learn from it and be better.”
Pullard’s touchdown-negating penalty was one of six first-half penalties against Jacksonville for 25 yards. For the game, the Jaguars were penalized 11 times for 65 yards.
Albert, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, joined the Jaguars in a trade with the Miami Dolphins for the Jaguars’ seventh-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. The deal that had been reported since mid-February became official Thursday at 4 p.m.
“Brandon is an experienced left tackle,” Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said in a statement. “He will compete for the starting role and has proven over his 120-game career that he has the mental and physical tools to excel in this league.
“The play of the offensive and defensive line will be of significant importance to our organization’s success and the acquisition of Branden Albert is a step in that direction.”
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The Jaguars made their belief in Branden Albert official Thursday.
But left tackle Branden Albert, acquired by the Jaguars in a trade last month from the Miami Dolphins, indeed reportedly did not attend the opening of the 2017 offseason program Monday – and indications are he wants the team to address his contract. My interpretation: though the Jaguars obviously would prefer if Albert were here, they likely figured this scenario was possible.
The move to acquire Albert is a major one for an offensive line that improved its pass protection last season, but that has struggled at times in recent seasons in the running game. Albert is considered a good run blocker. The team opted during February not to exercise a four-year option for Kelvin Beachum, who started 15 games at left tackle for the Jaguars last season.
If there’s an overriding, central theme around the Jaguars this offseason, that may be it. Luke Bowanko knows it, and so does pretty much everyone involved with the offensive line.
Bowanko said not only must it happen, he very much believes it will happen. And that’s something else he has in common with the rest of the offensive line.
“We’re a confident group,” Bowanko said Wednesday afternoon during an appearance on Jaguars.com LIVE with J.P. Shadrick and John Oehser. “It’s not like we’re out here looking over our shoulder trying to figure out, ‘What’s going to happen next?’
“We know we have the ability to do it. We just have to come together as a group. We need to get better, obviously – get stronger as a unit. But working together for a year, that stuff comes along with it.