Jacksonville Jaguars OTAs: Impressions from Week 1
By David Levin
After three days of OTAs, the Jacksonville Jaguars have already shown they are working to improve their offense with Nick Foles under center.
For three hot days under the North Florida sun, the Jacksonville Jaguars gave the media in attendance glimpses of what the offense may look like. As the team takes time off for the Memorial Day weekend, here is a look back at a few observations from the first week of OTAs from the practice fields at TIAA Bank Field.
Leonard Fournette has a clear path – Leonard Fournette, the much-maligned Jaguars running back told the media on Friday he is already focused on 2019 and starting fresh as the team’s leader on offense.
After a promising rookie season in 2017, this last season was lackluster or just plain lacking. A commitment to getting in shape this offseason and working with the front office instead of appearing to be at odds will go a long way toward reaching success in 2019.
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"“I kind of put a lot on myself this offseason by getting my body right,” Fournette said. “Just mentally coming back ready to play football. No distractions, leaving the outside stuff where it is at. I think that is one of the biggest things that I think us players have a problem with.”"
Nick Foles looks impressive – It may only be the first few practices, but Foles throws a tight spiral and when he and Chris Conley connected on an 80-yard pass play on Friday, it showed the team could be better at the quarterback position.
Nick Foles means everything to this offense and the franchise right now. That’s what $88 million will do. But it’s more than that. You already see his leadership in the huddle and on the field. His connection to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is crucial to the Jaguars success this season.
Foles also told the media the running backs will play an important role in the passing game. He and Fournette have spent time this offseason already working on chemistry, which is what you want to see from the two most important players on offense.
Still no Telvin Smith – This is really a non-factor for the Jaguars. As head coach Doug Marrone said on the first day of OTAs, unless something changes, he is not discussing the situation. Telvin Smith has decided to take the year off and hasn’t spoken to him.
Also, in his place, there is competition at linebacker. While Jake Ryan has not been on the field yet, Myles Jack continues to play in the middle like he said he would last week at a charity event hosted by Calais Campbell.
Ngakoue wants to play football – That’s why Yannick Ngakoue is at OTAs. The fourth-year defensive end is concentrating on playing football and isn’t distracted by the talk of a possible contract extension.
Ngakoue is in the final year of his rookie deal and does not have a fifth-year option.
"“My production speaks for itself at the end of the day,” he told the media on Tuesday. “That is really a question for the front office. I can’t control that. All I can control is me getting better each and every day.”"
Ngakoue has 29.5 sacks in the three seasons he has been in a Jaguars uniform.