The Jaguars opened up their 2017 training camp Thursday morning in front of a thousand plus fans. They began work around 10:30 and seemingly worked on every phase of the game.
The only non participants were rookie FB Marquez Williams, CB Jalen Ramsey, and CB Aaron Colvin. All of whom are on the PUP list to start camp, but will be able to return as soon as they pass a physical.
Arrelious Benn left the field with an apparent lower extremity injury. Telvin Smith and Abry Jones both left practice early and walked gingerly into the Cool Zone on the far side of the practice field.
The practice was cut just short due to weather.
Here's what we saw:
Blake Bortles' mechanics have held up to this point. Obviously, it's early on but if he can keep his throwing motion close to where it is right now, it'll help him and the Jaguars offense greatly in 2017. He played strong in practice today. Chad Henne was his usual self - not good, not bad. Brandon Allen had some nice plays and some not so nice plays. Overall he continues to display an NFL arm and touch, but occasionally a ball gets away from him.
At running back the focal point was Leonard Fournette. He continues to flash his immense talent. Chris Ivory was the primary back up on day one of camp. The running backs as a whole looked explosive including undrafted rookies I'Tavius Mathers and Tim Cook.
The wide receivers as a whole played very, very well. Allen Robinson stood out and made several truly impressive catches. Marqise Lee and Dede Westbrook looked explosive, while undrafted rookie Keelan Cole shined, save one drop.
The tight ends looked solid for the most part. Marcedes dropped the ball once while Neal Sterling let the ball hit the ground twice. Mychal Rivera looks like he may be a bigger factor in the offense than I previously believed he would be. He is easily the Jaguars most fluid receiving threat at the tight end position.
The offensive line was up and down, mostly down. It's hard to judge offensive and defensive lineman in "non contact" work, but the defensive line seemed to get the better of the offensive line more often than not. The starting group was Branden Albert at LT, Tyler Shatley at LG, Brandon Linder at C, AJ Cann at RG, and Jermey Parnell at RT. After practice Marrone said Cann could move to LG. Rookie Cam Robinson took some reps with the first team at left tackle.
The defensive line is BIG. Malik Jackson and Calais Campbell line up next to each other on most plays. It's hard to imagine that not being a problem for opposing offenses. Abry Jones, Stefan Charles, and Sheldon Day all look gifted inside. On the edge Yannick Ngakoue and Fowler both looked very athletic and Fowler even made a couple of would be big plays (we've seen that from him before in training camp).
At linebacker the expected guys were out there with the first team. Myles Jack manned the middle, while Telvin (prior to leaving the field) lined up on the weak side, with Paul Posluszny on the strong side. It seemed as if Poz was still helping Myles get the defense lined up. That will be a storyline to monitor. Rookie WLB Blair Brown didn't flash too much, but he'll continue to get opportunities.
In the secondary there were a number of impressive players. AJ Bouye looks ready to be half of the best CB duo in football. He went one on one with Allen Robinson a lot and held his own. On one play AJ Bouye would have likely had a pick six in a real game. Josh Johnson saw more reps than usual and looked impressive. He consistently stuck with his man and appears to have added some muscle in the offseason. One notable disappointment was Doran Grant who was forced into more playing time with the absence of Ramsey and Colvin. He got beat badly quite a bit. Rookie Jalen Myrick will still have an adjustment period catching up with the speed of the game. At safety Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson both looked good but weren't tested all that often.
Rashad Greene, Dede Westbrook, and Marqise Lee all took kickoff return reps. Westbrook was by far the most explosive and twitchy. If Greene can't establish himself as the team's best return man it'll be tough for him to find a roster spot.
There was a lot more chatter from coaches and players alike than there has been in years past. Head Coach Doug Marrone could be heard clearly from the sideline on several occasions including when he shouted at the team
"You better get your asses in the playbook!!"
Marrone wasn't the only coach that could be heard getting onto players. Keenan McCardell made sure to let his players know that walking was unacceptable.
There was certainly a higher energy level in this practice than there has been in years past.
Stay tuned fore more!
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