What have Jaguars fans learned from the OTAs?
By Kathy Clark
A Jaguars fan can learn a lot by following the storylines of the team during OTAs.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are at the very beginning of the 2019 season. The voluntary offseason activities can give fans valuable clues about the state of the team. This is a team that lost its way last year and is looking to rebound from a very disappointing season.
Take a look at some things we have learned during OTAs that will help the Jaguars become a winner in 2019.
First Nick Foles is a huge upgrade at quarterback – The Foles enthusiasm is apparent in every fan, teammate, and coach. Maybe the most important complement came from defensive teammate A.J. Bouye.
"Per David Levin of Black and Teal, Bouye stated, “You can see that he is a leader out there the way he carries the offense. The tempo is different, they are more upbeat, and they are attacking us.”"
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Additional comments about his accuracy and ability to throw the long ball have been stated by coaches and offensive teammates.
"From June 5, according to Jaguars Wire, “Drills were an impressive aerial display and leading the way was none other than Nick Foles who comntinued to impress as he has all summer.”"
Voluntary is not mandatory – According to the contract with the NFL Players Association, OTAs are voluntary. Obviously, coaches want all the players to attend but they are allowed to attend or not. Tom Coughlin was upset that some of the players chose not to attend OTAs.
As reported by several media outlets following his comments made at the State of the Franchise address, Coughlin, the executive vice president of football operations for the organization, spoke his mind about those not attending including the need for hard work, building team chemistry, and overall selfishness of players not wanting to be a part of these activities.
It was believed the comments were directed at both Telvin Smith and Jalen Ramsey.
This is not conducive to building a winning culture. It is understandable that he has this opinion but the NFLPA (players association) was not amused and he was called out for making public comments. Training camp is mandatory as is the mandatory minicamp starting on June 11. All players must attend, no excuses.
New leadership on the field – Finally there is no doubt that the lack of leadership and infighting hurt the team last season. There seems to be a determination by all that this will not happen again.
Name calling and anger have given way to an upbeat attitude of players and coaches. Nick Foles is a leader for the offense and Calais Campbell has become even more vocal as a leader on defense. They are the right kind of players to bring this team together. Both are encouraging the play of others and helping the young rookies and free agents to learn what the NFL is all about.
There are smiles, cheers, and calm talk. Head coach Doug Marrone has a relaxed manner in his press conferences. This atmosphere is a great start to building a winning team.
The Jaguars have a quarterback who looks solid and competent. Negative comments are discouraged. Young players are given guidance and an opportunity to shine. This atmosphere gives me great hope and produces a team that won’t fold when adversity strikes.