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Rookie minicamp: Joeckel impressive early

Posted May 4, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars OL coach George Yarno on first-round offensive tackle Luke Joeckel: "I love what I’ve seen so far"

JACKSONVILLE – Two days in, Luke Joeckel has seen what he wanted to see.

The Jaguars have, too, because what you want with an offensive tackle – or any player, for that matter – selected No. 2 overall in the NFL Draft is to see if he has all of that stuff you thought you saw on film, and if all of that stuff will translate to the NFL.

The Jaguars now have seen two days of Joeckel, and even with those two days being without pads and with a disturbing amount of rain, they like what they see.

“I love what I’ve seen so far,” Yarno said Saturday afternoon following the second of three minicamp practices being held over the weekend.

That stands to reason, because much of what the Jaguars have seen in a three-day rookie minicamp at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields are the traits that caused many to consider Joeckel the best prospect in last weekend’s 2013 NFL Draft.

Yarno on Saturday talked about Joeckel’s movement skills, balance and intelligence. Those traits, he said, will allow Joeckel to improve quickly.

“He’s a great young man,” he said. “He has a great future. He has great work ethic. We’re just going to try to get him better every day.”

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley talked Friday of Joeckel having a different mindset, an impressive level of focus, once he got on the field Friday. That was when it was truly time to begin the much-discussed transition Joeckel is making from collegiate left tackle to professional right tackle.

“We’re really watching to see how he takes it all in,” Bradley said. “He’s a note-taker. He comes in early in meetings – the whole thing that goes about being a pro. He’s had an impressive couple of days.”

Joeckel, who hasn’t played right tackle since his junior year of high school, said the transition overall is going a bit more smoothly than he anticipated.

“It’s a different feeling because your weight is balanced in a different way,” he said. “You have different stagger, different post foot – stuff like that. But I feel a lot better than I thought I would.”

Yarno said the Jaguars likely will work Joeckel on the left side at times during organized team activities, but said the majority of his reps will remain on the right. “We don’t want to put him at too many places too fast,” he said.

Joeckel said he didn’t anticipate an issue if and when he lines up on the left side.

“I think I can go back there any time,” he said. “That’s where my comfort zone is. Right tackle is an adjustment. I haven’t done it in so long, and the competition I went against when I was a right tackle was just totally different. I’m just really trying to adjust to right now.

“I’m trying to get more comfortable with the offense.  I feel comfortable with blocking this offense against a base defense, but when they start throwing blitzes, I get a little uncomfortable. I’ve got to get more comfortable with that.”

Also Saturday:

*Quarterback Matt Scott, a college free agent from Arizona, missed practice with what Bradley called a “low-grade” high-ankle sprain sustained in practice Friday. Wide receiver Ace Sanders missed with what Bradley called a minor groin injury, as did wide receiver Tobais Palmer. Bradley said the decision to hold out Sanders and Palmer was “more precautionary than anything.” Quarterback Jordan Rodgers practiced with a groin injury.

*Bradley said the team was impressed with Scott’s arm strength before he was injured Friday. “Hopefully, as he gets better and healthy, we can see that even more,” Bradley said.

*Practice ended about 15 minutes earlier than scheduled Saturday, but Bradley said the team accomplished all he wanted to accomplish. “Some periods instead of 20 plays we went 15, but that was planned,” Bradley said.

*Bradley said he was pleased with the effort and tempo in a second consecutive day of difficult conditions. “We talked about it in the team meeting, ‘Hey, this is what we do,’’’ Bradley said. “It was the same message as yesterday, about an opportunity to go out and see how we can handle the situations. They’re young. You can see some of that, but it’s straight teaching for us tomorrow in the meeting.”

Photo Gallery of Day 2


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