Jacksonville Jaguars: Taking baby steps as training camp begins
The Jacksonville Jaguars are navigating through different roads as they prepare for the upcoming 2020 season that has been affected by COVID-19.
As the Jacksonville Jaguars continue to put together the next phase of training camp now that all players on the current roster have reported – with the exception of one – it’s beginning to feel more like football is back.
But that doesn’t mean everything is back to normal. The loss of time on the field this offseason and the lack of a true program to help rookies and their acclimation to the NFL have the Jaguars and other teams in a predicament of sorts.
This is the first time the coaching staff has been able to see the 2020 rookie class on a practice field and because of limitations due to COVID-19, that has once again been limited.
It’s not just how the organization has had to make changes with their rookies. It’s every facet of how the offseason has taken a different turn.
"“Locker rooms and weight rooms also have been split in accordance with NFL policies to create space between players, coaches, and staff,” John Oehser of Jaguars.com wrote. “Players are mandated to be physically distanced while eating – and while in meetings. Coaches’ meetings with players are being conducted via videoconference.”"
And let’s not forget the Jaguars brought in new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to install his game plan that was taught through Zoom conferencing in a classroom-like setting. Hopefully, these changes have affected the other 31 NFL teams as well.
We can all hope a little change will do this franchise some good this coming season.
"“Normal is really out of the picture,” head coach Doug Marrone said when he met with the media via video conference on Thursday. “From really A to Z, you can’t really say, ‘This is the same.'”"
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For now, this is the “new normal” a catchphrase we are all talking about because it has become the one thing we use when discussing the changes made due to COVID-19. The Jacksonville Jaguars are dealing with players who have been placed in their Reserve/COVID-19 protocol and players – Al Woods and Lerentee McCray – who have decided to opt-out of playing this season due to fears of the virus.
It may get worse before it gets better. That’s a reality the Jacksonville Jaguars and the rest of the NFL must face. This offseason has hampered this team. There were glitches in how the offense and defense were installed, as Marrone explained earlier in the offseason.
But as fans know, repetition on the field and building chemistry are vital to the success of this team. That has not happened yet.
"“There’s going to be a lot of challenges for us,” Marrone said. “I think there will be a lot of anxiety in different areas. It’s hard to pinpoint what’s going to come up next. You’re really just doing the best job you can at the time.”"