Leftwich, offense shine in Jaguars' scrimmage Print
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Friday, 03 August 2007 16:19
NFL Headline News

 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -Byron Leftwich might finally be paired with the right offensive coordinator.
Leftwich, working with his third coordinator in five seasons, completed 12 of 17 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown in Jacksonville's first scrimmage of training camp Friday night.
He looked confident and comfortable from the start, completing 11 of his first 12 passes while directing the offense to a field goal and a touchdown.
``What you just got a glimpse of is what our offense is going to be about this year: we're going to have an explosive offense,'' coach Jack Del Rio said. ``Byron Leftwich has had a tremendous camp.''
Leftwich missed 10 games last season with a broken ankle. Aside from his injury problems, he never felt comfortable in any of Jacksonville's offenses.
He worked his first two years under Bill Musgrave, then spent the last two with Carl Smith. Neither of them could keep Leftwich healthy or happy.
Former Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter, now Jacksonville's offensive coordinator, hopes to accomplish both.
So far, so good.
``It's almost like my offense, to be honest with you,'' Leftwich said. ``I feel as though it was meant for me and Coach Koetter to work together. These are the type of things I've always done before I got here. These are the type of things that made me that first-round pick, made me the seventh pick in the draft.
``I'm just going to ride this thing until the wheels come off.''
Leftwich had ankle surgery last season and feels completely healthy for the first time since before breaking his leg in college. Maybe equally important, Koetter seems unafraid to let Leftwich throw the ball. Koetter's offense uses tight ends more often, and utilizes more short drops and quick releases - both in hopes of keeping Leftwich off the ground and in the huddle.
``Don't ask me to be a robot,'' Leftwich said, taking an obvious dig at his former coordinators. ``I'm not good at playing a robot. I'm fortunate enough that Coach Koetter came in and had that much belief in me to give this power to go out there and do what I'm doing.''
The scrimmage, won 46-13 by the offense in an intricate scoring system, was designed to feature the passing game. Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew played sparingly.
So did the defensive starters.
Still, Leftwich's touchdown pass - a 23-yard strike to Matt Jones - came against the first-team defense.
Backup David Garrard was 9-of-16 passing for 125 yards with a touchdown.
Tim Couch, working with the third-team offense, was 1-of-2 for 2 yards. Lester Ricard misfired on all three attempts.
``We're playing good at quarterback right now,'' Koetter said. ``But it's not real football yet.''
Notes: Reserve QB Quinn Gray (ankle) was activated from the physically-unable-to-perform list Friday, but didn't play in the scrimmage. WR Charles Sharon (mild concussion), DE Paul Spicer (back) and DE Jeremy Mincey (calf) also sat out the scrimmage. Sharon and Spicer have been cleared to practice and should return Monday. ... Seventh-round pick John Broussard led receivers with three catches for 62 yards.
 

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