Thursday afternoon marked the final day of Bradley’s first minicamp as Jaguars Head Coach, and entering the event he clearly laid out what he wanted to establish over the three days.
Tempo, mindset, style.
“That’s really what I wanted our guys to focus on,” Bradley said inside EverBank Field early Thursday afternoon following the last of three minicamp practices at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields.
“I know there are questions about competition. I’ll welcome them, but that (mindset) was really what we talked to our guys the whole time.”
Bradley said as long as that was the focus – the day’s practice and nothing else – success could be achieved, and a tone could be established. Mission accomplished.
“You started to see some of the vets actually take over,” defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks said. “Once they instill exactly how they want it done, it’s not going to be a problem. Everybody’s figuring out exactly what they (the coaches) want.
“He (Bradley) already has told everyone what the motto is: get faster, get smarter, get better. He’s preached it and that’s what’s happening.”
Marks, who spent the past four seasons with the Tennessee Titans, said while the tempo of the mini-camp was “different” for some veterans, he also said, “it’s cool at the same time.”
“I know I need to get in better shape for the tempo we’re running,” Marks said. “I haven’t had a workload like this on my legs since the season, so it’s something to get used to, but I’ll be ready for it when I come back.”
“When you do this type of full-speed, tempo stuff, it becomes a habit for you,” Meester said. “When you get to the games, it makes it that much easier. Do that in games, you’re going to wear the other team out. We want to use that as an advantage for us.”
While NFL rules limit contact and competitive situations in offseason practice, Bradley said it’s still possible to create competition.
“I told them to compete in individual drills, to compete against themselves,” Bradley said. “I told them to always just get better, whether it’s techniques, fundamentals. I told them work on those things. Yeah, the rules limit us, but we didn’t talk much about that. We really just talked about the things that we wanted to get accomplished.”
Bradley said he told players beforehand that they would be “busting their tails” all week, giving maximum effort to establish the competitive atmosphere Bradley stresses.
“One of our key points to these guys is, ‘Don’t focus on the results – focus on the process,’’’ Bradley said. “Our message today was, ‘We had a good day two days ago and a good day yesterday. Now, what does that mean? It means we have an opportunity for another good day today, to string three good days in a row.’ That’s it. That’s all that was needed.
“I’m really trying to build that mindset with the guys. They really responded well.”
*The Jaguars signed defensive end Pannel Egboh and safety Chris Banjo to contracts shortly after Thursday’s practice. They were among 18 workout players in the three-day camp, and Bradley said he doesn’t yet know if any of the other 16 will be signed to the roster. “We’ll see what happens in the draft and make decisions accordingly,” Bradley said. “They showed some flashes.” Bradley said he and General Manager David Caldwell planned to meet with all workout players Thursday afternoon. “They totally bought into everything we’re doing – everything we asked them to do,” Bradley said, adding that he and Caldwell likely would discuss some of the players in the coming days. Egboh played in 12 games for Tennessee last season and Banjo was not with a team.
*Bradley said he had a better feel for the team as a whole than before the minicamp. While he had studied veterans extensively on film, and while he had been in meetings with players the past two weeks, he said seeing players on the field three days gave him a different perspective. “Is there anybody ahead of anybody else on the depth chart? I don’t know if I can say that,” Bradley said. “What I was looking to see was, ‘Did they compete within themselves? Did they try to get better within themselves?’ That’s the mindset I wanted to see.”
*Wide receiver Cecil Shorts and linebacker
*The music that had helped define the first two days of minicamp was shut off for the final few minutes because of an amp problem. “We’ll make sure we get that taken care of,” Bradley said, laughing.
*Bradley said he was going directly from his post-minicamp press conference to begin focusing solely on draft preparation. He said he and Caldwell likely would spend most of the weekend together in draft preparation. “That’s really my focus now,” he said.