Yannick Ngakoue Shows Intensity On Practice Field As Well As Game Day

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 11: Yannick Ngakoue /

It’s hard to look at a player who has 20 quarterback sacks in his first two NFL seasons and say the third year could be his “breakout season.” But in the case of Yannick Ngakoue, he is just breaking the surface as a feared pass rusher.

Yannick Ngakoue, a third-round draft pick out of Maryland in 2016, has been a terror on the field since coming to the NFL. He is one of the best at his craft, causing strip sacks and putting the heat on opposing quarterbacks. His efforts on the practice field are well documented, which head coach Doug Marrone spoke about on Monday prior to the team’s seventh OTA practice.

"“He never seems to not impress, Marrone explained. “I can’t speak for the overall reasons of why he is such a great player. In other words, there are so many things that go into it. That is why I can’t speak for it. But one of the things that I see, which is amazing, is that every day he comes with a genuine purpose to really improve his game and really from the technical standpoint.”"

Ngakoue and Calais Campbell were one of the better pass rushing combinations in the NFL last season. Add the play of Dante Fowler, Jr. and the Jaguars have three defensive ends capable of double-digit sacks this season. Marrone gushed a bit over his player during his press conference on Monday morning.

"“I have been around a lot of offensive linemen and defensive linemen, and a lot of great ones and he reminds me of some of those players that come in and really focus in on what he wants to work on. He goes out there and is very competitive.”"

Defensive coordinator Todd Wash told the media last week he does not need to motivate someone like Ngakoue, but he does try to trip him up in team meetings and does challenge him to be his best every day on the practice field and during the regular season.

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Yannick Ngakoue comes to practice with a chip on his shoulder, hoping the NFL takes notice of him as one of the best sack artists today. The fact he does not get the notoriety of others (a Pro Bowl snub where he went to the All-Star game as Campbell’s replacement) is part of what makes his special.

Marrone sees someone who is striving for greatness with everything he does.

"“I think now that I have been around him for some time, I think it is very easy to see why he is so successful and why he has had success in this league and why I think he will continue to have success in this league because of the work that he puts in,” Marrone said."