Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

2015 Jaguars Golf Classic: Five takeaways


ST. AUGUSTINE – Senior writer John Oehser's five takeaways from the Jaguars Golf Classic Wednesday at the Slammer and Squire Golf Course in St. Augustine …

1. Going local.Jaguars President Mark Lamping since joining the franchise in 2012 has talked often about the importance of local revenue to its long-term stability. The team has made progress there under Owner Shad Khan and Lamping, with 25 percent growth each of the last two years. Lamping said during an appearance on live Wednesday afternoon from the Jaguars Golf Classic that local revenue very much remains a priority. "We have gotten a lot done," Lamping said. "Then you realize we have a long, long way to go. We have some challenges in front of us. We feel good about the progress we've made thanks to everybody in the organization on the football side as well as the business side. We've talked about local revenue quite a bit as far as it's the one thing we need to focus on to stabilize the franchise here in Jacksonville. We need to continue to fuel that. We can't sit back and rest because we're nowhere near where we need to be." Lamping said the franchise would like to become more aggressive bringing big non-football events to EverBank Field. "I think even the most honest person would say it's been woefully underutilized in terms of big events," he said. "We'd like to play a part in bringing big events here." …

2. Picking up the defense.Jaguars safety Sergio Brown, a sixth-year veteran who signed as an unrestricted free agent from Indianapolis in March, said he sees progress in the speed of the defense since the beginning of organized team activities. The Jaguars are in their final week of the on-field OTA period and will close the offseason with a three-day mandatory minicamp at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields next week. Jaguars defensive coordinator Bob Babich and Head Coach Gus Bradley each spoke earlier in OTAs about liking the speed with which the defense is reading and reacting. "I feel like we're definitely playing faster than we were when I first got here," Brown said. "People are able to take more ownership of the defense and therefore play faster." Brown, late in his appearance on live, was asked how he might shoot in the day's event. He thought a moment. "Bad," he said.

3. Night-and-day difference. Second-year center Luke Bowanko also appeared on live Wednesday, discussing his progress during OTAs and the expected progress of what last season was a young, struggling offensive line. Bowanko, who likely will compete with Stefen Wisniewski – who signed from the Oakland Raiders as an unrestricted free agent – at center once training camp begins, said personally he sees a huge difference compared to last offseason. "I know the snap count, so that's pretty good," he said with a smile. "It's really night and day. I know why I'm doing things as opposed to just remembering the snap count and (trying) to tie my shoes right. In two weeks, I've gotten much better than I thought was even imaginable at this time in my career. There's a ton of room to go. I just need to make the most of my opportunities." Bowanko said the addition of assistant head coach-offensive/offensive line Doug Marrone has made an immediate difference for the entire line. "A lot of the confidence is coming from the top," Bowanko said. "What Doug is doing for us is really explaining why we do things – not just what to do, or who to block but why we block that guy. For us, that helps. It helps you know what the guy next to you is doing … I think just knowing why we do things is really bringing the group together." …

4. Biggest, faster.Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell closed Wednesday's live, and with OTAs ending this week and the offseason ending with next week's three-day minicamp, Caldwell said the acquisitions made this offseason are showing up on the field. "I think from a physical standpoint we're a much bigger team probably than we have been the last couple of years," Caldwell said. "From a speed and athleticism standpoint, there is lot of young talent, especially at the skill positions. The speed looks different." The Jaguars not only signed unrestricted free agents such as defensive end Jared Odrick, right tackle Jermey Parnell, tight end Julius Thomas, linebacker Dan Skuta, Brown and cornerback Davon House, they selected running back T.J. Yeldon, guard A.J. Cann and wide receiver Rashad Greene among others in the 2015 NFL Draft. "I really like the way the guys are coming together," Caldwell said. "It seems it's a group of guys that's forming a team. You can tell they really care about each other. It's a great competitive atmosphere, but at the end of the day they're all moving in the same direction." …

5. Impressed with Bortles.Like most of the Jaguars' organization, Caldwell said is pleased and impressed with the offseason approach of quarterback Blake Bortles. The second-year veteran spent two months in January, February and March working in California with a group associated with quarterback Tom House. Bortles said this week he plans to spend a week with House in the offseason working on fundamentals. "Some of the best things that Blake does you're not going to see in these settings," Caldwell said of Bortles in OTAs. "He's done a really nice job and he's come a long way since last year. I'm proud of him and the work he's put in since the end of last season. He was organized in how he was going to approach this offseason. He's handled it like a pro and the leader we thought he was going to be. The results have shown for him on the field. We're excited to get him out there on game day."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content