Jaguars Training Camp: What we have learned so far

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 18: A Jacksonville Jaguars helmet is seen at TIAA Bank Field on November 18, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 18: A Jacksonville Jaguars helmet is seen at TIAA Bank Field on November 18, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

After two weeks of Jaguars training camp and a preseason game with the Ravens on Thursday, this team is beginning to take shape.

That was quick. It seems like the Jacksonville Jaguars just took the field for training camp and now the team is preparing for its first preseason game in Baltimore. The team and the Ravens will hold joint practices in preparation for the game on the road.

There has been plenty to see and as head coach Doug Marrone said on more than one occasion as he has met with the media, he is pleased with the progress being made on both sides of the ball. That progress should be even better now that Yannick Ngakout is in camp.

Like 31 other teams doing the same thing as the Jaguars, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Players are stepping up, showing how competitive they are. Some non-drafted rookies are staking a claim to the 53-man roster and the coaching staff is implementing a new offense that should score more points than 2018.

We all know that won’t be too difficult.

Here are a few observations from the past two weeks.

DJ Chark is a better player this season – At least so far. The second-round pick out of LSU last season looks like he has a better grasp of the offense and is catching the football better in camp. That’s a good thing.

DJ Chark made an impression on the Jaguars as a special teams gunner. Now, he is going to be a possible starter this season if he continues to do the things he has shown since the start of OTAs. With his length at 6-foot-4 and his speed on the field, the Jaguars may have found another deep threat in the passing game to go along with Dede Westbrook.

Yannick Ngakoue is ready to go – It did not take long for Yannick Ngakoue to get on the field and play football. The morning he arrived at the Jaguars facility and out on the pads, he was ready to go.

That’s a great thing for the Jaguars and a bad thing for team opponents. Ngakoue said he will play like he always does, with an intensity that few players have. While a new contract has not been worked out, the fourth-year player is still in the final season of his rookie deal.

It will provide more motivation to show just how good he is on the field. Ngakoue has 29.5 sacks in three seasons. I suspect this will be the best year for the defensive end in a Jaguars uniform.

Nick Foles may be the best quarterback the Jaguars have ever had – No disrespect to Mark Brunell, but Nick Foles throws what might be the best deep pass in Jaguars history. The free agency signee and leader of the Jaguars offense has stepped on the practice field and shown he can be something this team hasn’t had in a long time.

More from Jacksonville Jaguars News

A winning quarterback who leads with his arm and his chemistry with his teammates.

Foles has shown he has already worked hard to build chemistry with Chris Conley, Chark and Westbrook – something that will be crucial to the team’s passing game this season. I don’t think it’s unheard of to think Foles can be a 4,000-yard passer with a 1,000-yard rusher (Leonard Fournette) in the backfield.

Leonard Fournette looks ready – And he should. Is there a player on this roster who will be more scrutinized than No. 27? Fournette must take the football with every carry and run like his pants are on fire.

He is being asked to become the focal point of a new offense and play better than his rookie season of 2017. Fournette not only needs to do this for the Jaguars organization, but he also needs to prove it to himself.

Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo said Fournette is being given the keys to the offense and will be asked to do a great many things – as will all the running backs on the roster. Let’s see if the man who wants to be the guy to bring a Super Bowl title to Jacksonville (from the words of running backs coach Terry Robiskie) can deliver an injury-free season.