The Jacksonville Jaguars will hold mandatory minicamp from June 11-13. With everyone back on the field this week, here are three things to look for.
After listening to Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone on Thursday talking about the team during OTAs, he is happy with the way these players have performed the past three weeks.
The Jaguars are starting anew, working on building cohesion and a game plan that will bring them back to the playoffs, erasing a 5-11 forgetful season in 2018.
"“The players who are out here now have done the best job I’ve ever seen of not being on the ground,” Marrone said prior to the team’s ninth OTA session. “Helmets aren’t getting involved in anything. A lot of times inside when you go 11-on-11, those helmets can hit a shoulder. Guys are working with each other.“This is the best group I’ve ever had as far as working together and staying up, so if that remans through training camp and the mandatory minicamp, then we’ll be fine.”"
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The Jaguars have had to take a step back and reassess the roster, the veterans in camp and the new additions added to this franchise. There has been an adjustment period like any other situation and sports team. Now, with practices under their belts and three days of mandatory minicamp this coming week on Tuesday through Thursday, what can we expect from this roster with key players returning to the field?
Here are three things to look for at the Jaguars mandatory minicamp.
100 percent participation – Unless there is a reason for injury look for the Jaguars to be 100 percent participation.
There was plenty made about what is considered “voluntary” and what is mandatory this offseason – especially here in Jacksonville. There is no reason to believe every player who is supposed to be on the practice field on Tuesday morning won’t be. That means Jalen Ramsey will be in attendance and Leonard Fournette and Yannick Ngakoue will return after being in camp and leaving after a few days on the field.
If the Jaguars are going to be a better team in 2019, the growth on the field must continue, especially on offense. I am curious about what happens over three days and how everyone comes together.
I am also curious to see who steps forward in a leadership role. Calais Campbell and Nick Foles have been the biggest influences on the field so far in camp. Does Ngakoue assume that role as well as he told the media he wanted to do in 2019?
Does someone like Marqise Lee become the inspirational leader on the field once he plays for the first time since 2017?
More continuity on offense – From the moment he walked into the locker room, Foles became the leader of the Jaguars offense. While the hope is the game plan will run through Fournette, I am looking forward to watching more chemistry between the quarterback and wide receivers Dede Westbrook and DJ Chark.
Expect Terrelle Pryor to get more reps and the combination of Foles and Chris Conley continue to grow,
Also, the tight end picture is a bit clouded. When the Jaguars open the season, figure Geoff Swaim should be the starter, but that does not mean he remains there. Josh Oliver is going to be given every chance to start this season. The team should carry three tight ends with James O’Shaughnessy the other player at the position.
Can the Pryor and Conley deals prove to be the best moves the Jaguars made this offseason besides bringing Foles in to play under center?
Starting spots to fill – The Jaguars roster isn’t as open as you might think. There is still some quality depth on both sides of the ball. Jacksonville has a few starting positions open that should be interesting to watch over the three days and into training camp.
Right tackle should be won by rookie second-rounder Jawaan Taylor. Where do the other offensive linemen who were brought in during free agency fit into the plan? The weakside linebacker role is still up for grabs, but rookie Quincy Williams is the odds on favorite to claim Telvin Smith’s slot.
There may be some discussion about how to fit Josh Allen in the starting lineup on the defensive line.
There should be more jockeying for position in the middle of the defense. The Jaguars brought in middle linebacker Jake Ryan in free agency and then overhauled the unit by adding other veterans to increase size and speed.
The one thing Gus Bradley said when he was the head coach here in Jacksonville was competition is a good thing. It’s certainly a good thing here this camp. Things should progress nicely this week.