JACKSONVILLE – Whatever the circumstance, his approach is the same.
Compete. Work every day. And yes, get better.
That’s Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley’s mantra, as it is for any rookie free agent, so Reynolds -- a linebacker from the University of Virginia – figures there’s no reason to change this week, just because he’s working with the first team for the first time.
“I’m just going out there, and being accountable and doing my job,” Reynolds said Tuesday following the Jaguars’ practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields.
Reynolds did that throughout organized team activities and the early part of training camp, impressing coaches and teammates as one of the standout rookies of camp.
“He’s going to help us out for sure,” middle linebacker
Reynolds, after standing out early in camp as a reserve middle linebacker, played extensively in that role in the preseason opener against Miami. He moved outside to the strong-side spot this week to work with the first team with veteran
“We’d like to give him an opportunity to play … against the Jets” Saturday, Bradley said. “You talk about strain now, he’s feeling it. He’s playing Sam and Mike so he’s going with the first groups of Sam reps and he’s going on for two reps at Mike.
“What a great opportunity for him. He comes in and he’s a free agent player and he’s got a chance to show us what he’s all about.”
“He stands out right away because of his ability to run to the football,” Posluszny said. “He learned the Mike well, and now the opportunity has come up and we can move him around and see where he fits best. That’s a challenge. To flip a switch and be able to play something else is not an easy thing. For him to be able to come in and do it and be comfortable is really an advantage for us.”
Reynolds said he never lost confidence that he could play in the NFL. As for why a player of his ability went undrafted, he shrugged. It was circumstance, he said, as much as anything. He moved from safety to linebacker his second season, and then didn’t play well in his first season as an outside backer. He said he played better the following year, but missed two games with a broken hand as a senior.
“I didn’t put up the stats I could have my senior year, and we didn’t have a winning record,” he said. “Everything factored in.”
The Jaguars this past offseason made it known to agents and players that collegiate free agents would have a very real chance to make the team. Reynolds said that, as well as the close relationship he developed with Jaguars scout Brian Simmons, contributed to him signing.
“My agent was big on me coming down here, with everything being new,” he said.
Reynolds said while he has played well at times, he said there are mistakes made every day on which he must improve, too.
“I tell myself every day, ‘You’re a rookie, undrafted, so you still have to know what you’re doing and continue to play fast,’’’ he said. “One thing I’ve always told myself is, you always have everything to prove. I know I always have to prove myself and always have to push myself.
“I always tell myself, ‘You’re competing with yourself and competing to get better.’ If I can push every day to get better, then I’m doing something.”
Also on Tuesday:
*Bradley said Jones-Drew has been “showing up” consistently in practice, and Jones-Drew was among the veterans the head coach praised after practice Tuesday. “He’s still not where we want him but every day you see his weight coming down and he’s getting more and more in shape and you’re seeing where he’s gaining confidence in it,” Bradley said. “I like the way he’s improved.” . . .
*Jones-Drew said he doesn’t yet know if he will play Saturday against the Jets. “If I get the green light, I get it,” Jones-Drew said. “If I don’t, I go back to work next week and do it over again.” Jones-Drew said he can prepare for the regular season whether he plays extensively in the preseason or not.
*Bradley on Lewis’ talk with team: “Our guys are great. They have a level of expectation and when we talk about getting better and everyday we’re getting better, when you get better then you raise the bar again.” . . .
*Bradley lauded Lewis’ approach throughout training camp, and also praised rookie right tackle
*Bradley also mentioned linebacker