JACKSONVILLE – This whole “transition-to-the-NFL” thing is going pretty much as expected for
He is playing well, according to Jaguars coaches and personnel officials, and his transition from college left tackle to NFL right tackle has been largely uneventful. All signs point to the No. 2 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft being very good very quickly.
Joeckel said if there are areas in which he’s struggling, they’re in the details.
“It’s going pretty good, but there are definitely some habits I need to break,” Joeckel said Thursday following a two-and-half-hour practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields adjacent to EverBank Field.
Joeckel said his biggest focus is using his hands better in pass protection.
NFL defensive ends and pass rushers will tell you hand placement and techniques are the key to pressuring quarterbacks at the professional level, and Joeckel said Thursday getting used to the jump in skill in that area in the NFL is his biggest adjustment thus far.
“You have to realize that your hands and feet have to work independently,” Monroe said. “You can be in the greatest position in the world, but if you’re not cognizant of how you’re using your hands – and more so, how the defender is going to attack your hands – you can get yourself into trouble.”
“If you watch a defensive line drill in practice, most of the drills their running through it’s, ‘hands, hands, hands,’’’ Monroe said. “That’s half the battle and footwork is the other half. He’ll continue to learn and get adjusted to it. He’s doing a good job.”
Joeckel said he feels confident in his footwork, but “but the biggest difference between the NFL and college football is just the hands.”
“Defenders use their hands so much better here,” Joeckel said. “They’re better at their craft. To be able to block the guys I’m going against, it’s something I need to learn how to do. I have to learn every trick to block those guys.
“Getting my feet there is one of the biggest things, but just as big is hand placement, being able to play games with them and not giving them the same punch every time.”
Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell, asked Thursday during his “Twitter” takeover about Joeckel, replied, “haven’t even noticed him, which is a great thing.”
Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley had a similar sentiment Monday.
“He’s quiet,” Bradley said. “He’s a second pick overall and he’s the quietest camp for a guy of that stature. He’s doing a really good job. He’s picking up the offense. I think he’s getting used to our training camp feel and the intensity and the competition every day.”
Also on Thursday:
*With wide receiver a focus early in camp, Bradley said young players such as rookie
*Bradley said players such as defensive tackle