LONDON -- The Jaguars have arrived and held their first and only practice on British soil Friday at the training grounds of rugby union powerhouse Saracens F.C. The team is rotating their sleep cycle experiment and hoping to find the correct answer after previously coming a week before the matchup.
Here's what we learned from workouts on Friday:
- The Jaguars are committed to a rebuild from top to bottom, which is why Gus Bradley still stands out as the perfect head coach for this team. This was always going to take time and the need for a coach that had developmental skills, but who was also relentlessly optimistic and energetic, was crucial. That translated well on Friday in front of a few hundred fans at the rugby facility. Bradley had Michael Jackson blaring over the speakers and orchestrated a high energy workout with 53 players that spent the previous night trying to sleep on airplane beds that were unkind to their longer frames.
- Blake Bortles is growing on the field, but off the field, he's a tremendously personable player. Bortles was grilled by the British media, including a comedy segment that involved U.K. correspondents from CBS's Late Late show with James Corden. Bortles was asked to describe football in 15 seconds or less, and quipped: "You try and score more points than the other team."
- The Jaguars are hoping that T.J. Yeldon is good to go. As we noted earlier he took carries at a slow walkthrough pace on Friday but was at least in the rotation with Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart. The statistics say that the Bills are the fourth-best run defense in football, though those numbers are quirky given that the Bills are seeing fewer carries than other teams. They give up roughly the same yards per carry as the Houston Texans, who the Jags played last week.
- The team has been talking a lot about fourth quarter leads these past few weeks as a sign of progress, which can agitate certain fans who don't want to hear it. But in looking at it from a bird's eye perspective, it's a tremendous way of keeping these players positive and focused -- and not spiraling down the 1-5 wormhole of negativity. There is a zen-like quality about the team which gives hope.
Wake up and watch with the world. The NFL is live on Yahoo. For the first time ever the NFL is streaming a live game on Yahoo. Bills vs. Jaguars live from London, Sunday, October 25th, at 9:30 a.m. ET.