JACKSONVILLE -- Here’s What We Learned in Week One of Jaguars 2014 organized team activities at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields …
1. Gus Bradley liked the first week of OTAs. Well, of course he did. The Jaguars’ Head Coach is nothing if not upbeat and positive. But what he liked in particular was the communication and teamwork. He emphasizes those areas, and it took a while last offseason – his first with the organization – to get them where he wanted. Bradley said the team is significantly ahead in the areas this offseason, and that may have been what he liked best about Week One. “We’re not there yet, but I feel like significant communication is taking place,” he said.
4. The Jaguars are bigger … The Jaguars made getting bigger up front on defense an offseason priority. A glance at OTAs made it clear mission had been accomplished. Defensive tackle
5…. and faster. You need to be fast in the NFL, and you need to play fast to play Bradley’s defense effectively. Bradley says there’s no question the Jaguars are faster than last season and the idea now is to be in shape to maintain that speed throughout entire games.
6. It’s hot in Florida in late May. Well, we regulars knew that. Bryant, for his part, learned in a day. He wore long sleeves for Tuesday’s practice, and after realizing the Florida heat was no joke, went shorter the rest of the week. Yes, he’s a big guy, and he’s no fool, either.
7. Bryant wants to earn his spot. Talking to Bryant early this week was intriguing. He didn’t talk much about schemes or Xs and Os, but was pointed about the need to earn respect in the locker room – emphasis on “earn.” “I’ve closed the chapter on my first years in the NFL,” Bryant said. “I’m trying to earn my right to be here, and earn the respect of the players who are already here,” he said. Bryant has a Super Bowl ring earned with Seattle last season, but said respect in any locker room “is a privilege and not a right. I don’t ever want to lose sight of that.”
8. There’s no more strong-side linebacker. The Jaguars are using the term, “Otto,” for the linebacker whose primary job is to hold the edge against the run. Second-year veteran
10. Specifically, Joeckel is really improving. Joeckel, like Brewster, spent the early offseason rehabilitating an ankle injury and aiming to return during the offseason program. There had been talk of bringing the players back slowly, but while the team will continue to be smart, the players worked extensively this week. “He feels like the game has really slowed down for him compared to last OTAs to where he is at now,” Bradley said of Joeckel.
11. Right guard remains uncertain. One question area on the offensive line is right guard, which Bradley called “competitive” this week. Rookie third-round selection
12. Henne is playing well … Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch likes how Henne is “owning the position” now that he is starting and Bradley mentioned multiple times this week that Henne is performing well.
16. Chris Clemons should be in Monday. Bradley after Thursday’s practice said of Clemons, “I say with really, really strong confidence he’ll be here Monday. The one thing I know about Chris Clemons is he’ll be ready to go and he’s in shape. I feel better now about his situation and he assured me he will be here Sunday and I say that with 98 percent confidence he’ll be here.”
17. Competition will be intense at the fifth wide receiver position … Shorts, rookies
18…. And a lot of other positions, too. Right guard. Fifth wide receiver. Both will be battles, and one of the most intense may be free safety. Third-year veteran