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'15 rookie minicamp: Five takeaways from Day One


1.Anxiety overcome.Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley didn't focus entirely on the knee injury to No. 3 overall draft selection Dante Fowler Jr. when speaking to the media after the first practice of 2015 rookie minicamp Friday. Bradley initially discussed the nature of the minicamp, and said a primary focus is to get rookies as acclimated with as much as possible before they begin working with veterans in the coming weeks. "A lot of growth will take place," Bradley said. "Obviously you saw some guys that haven't put on a helmet since January and got a little tired out there, but that's to be expected. We just talked about sometimes through conflict comes growth. They are feeling a little bit of anxiety right now but as long as they continue to grow from it we'll be in good shape." Bradley late in his post-practice media availability discussed second-round running back T.J. Yeldon, who had a fumble early in practice but who also was impressive and quick, showing good vision and smoothness on several runs. "A lot of the same things that we saw on tape – his ability to make quick decisions, spontaneous decisions, his instincts," Bradley said. "One play really jumps out at me, and it's the same thing we saw on tape."

2.Bennett: Ready soon.In the hours after the 2015 NFL Draft Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell remarked that this year should be different for rookies in Jacksonville, with the class having more time to develop and less pressure to play immediately. The Jaguars would like to see a number of their picks filling a role and that includes defensive tackle Michael Bennett from Ohio State, who is a particular lid for a particular pot, so to speak. He's a compact 300 pounds on a broad frame with quick feet and an explosive first step. "I'm a three-technique defensive tackle," the sixth-round draft choice said. "I get up the field quickly and get after the ball. I understand that Sen' Derrick (Marks) has the knee and they may need me to contribute, and I'm ready to get ready to do be able to do that." Bennett won't get ready this weekend. He'll be on the sidelines watching as he continues to rehab the hamstring he strained at the Ohio State Pro Day in mid-March. "The training staff has a plan and I'll stick to it so I am ready to go soon," Bennett said. "Until then I'll get an understanding of how things work here and for the other guys."

3.Intriguing rookie. Seventh-round wide receiver Neal Sterling on Friday showed the athleticism that has the Jaguars coaching staff intrigued. The Monmouth University product is a tantalizing blend of size and athleticism with a decent amount of speed. He didn't run by anyone on the practice field during Friday's practice, but he looked smooth in his route running and had a nice burst when accelerating. If anything looked out of place it was his hands on a couple of drops which Sterling attributed to thinking too much. "I have to get the plays down," he said. "I'm thinking too much and that takes away from my ability to just go out and do what I need to do." Sterling was the lone small-school player drafted last week and he's fully aware that everyone is looking to see if he belongs. "In the end it's just mental," Sterling said. "When I first walked out there I was a little nervous being on this big stage, but once you are out there running around, catching the ball it's the same game I've played all my life." Sterling's athleticism was perhaps most noticeable during special teams drills. That fits because that's a place a seventh-round selection must excel if he's going to stick in September.

4.Confidence in transition: Nick Marshall, the former Auburn University quarterback, switched back to his original position of cornerback prior to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, where he worked with the Jaguars' coaching staff. "They (Jaguars staff) just helped me get back into defensive back shape, showing me the fundamentals again at defensive back," Marshall said before Friday's rookie minicamp practice. "I was kind of rusty, but I started getting better each day." Marshall played 13 games at cornerback during the 2011 season, his freshman year at the University of Georgia, with five tackles. He then changed to the quarterback position at Garden City (Kan.) Junior College in 2012 before passing for 4,508 yards and rushing for 1,866 yards in two seasons at Auburn. Marshall feels that experience under center can help him as a defensive back. "Being a quarterback, going up and switching (at the line), it helped me with route concepts, and I have a better anticipation of what's coming at me," he said.

Images from the first day of the Jaguars rookie minicamp.

5.Ready for transition: Wide receiver Rashad Greene, the Jaguars' fifth-round draft pick, said mistakes happened the first day on the field. "It was about going out there and playing hard and trying to play as fast as possible," Greene said after practice. "Understand the mistake you made and correct it and don't make it again. It's a process." Greene could compete as a punt returner, after returning 44 punts for 468 yards with two touchdowns in his Florida State career, with both scores coming in the 2012 season. "I've got a good feel for the ball, I'm comfortable catching it, making decisions back there and making plays." In his senior season of 2014, Greene was second in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 18th in the NCAA with a 10.7-yard punt return average (15 returns/160 yards).

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