JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's six takeaways from Day Two of the Jaguars' 2015 mandatory minicamp Wednesday at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields …
1. A better day.The heat stayed significant on Day Two of 2015 minicamp. It was how the Jaguars handled the conditions that improved. With temperatures reaching 97 degrees and feeling near 100 for a second consecutive day on the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields, Head Coach Gus Bradley said the Jaguars "handled the elements better" Wednesday than Tuesday. "The players really took the challenge and came out there invested," Bradley said, "so it was a good learning opportunity from yesterday and (I was) glad to see how they handled it today." Bradley said the team did less individual work Wednesday and got into team drills more quickly. He also said the tempo was more consistent Wednesday and that the offense had a better mentality and competed better.
2. Red-zone threat.If there has been a standout in the last two weeks of the offseason, it has been second-year wide receiver Allen Robinson. The 2014 second-round draft choice from Penn State worked limited early in OTAs, but returned close to full strength last week. He had multiple eye-catching days last week, particularly in red-zone drills, and made a big play Wednesday with a long, athletic reception on a deep pass from quarterback Blake Bortles. "He's been unbelievable," Bortles said. "I know he worked really hard in the training room to rehab and get back as quickly as he could and he's done that. You guys have been able to see him go and make plays and he's definitely a threat now in the red zone, an added threat with (tight ends) Marcedes (Lewis) and Julius (Thomas) as well that are big guys that can jump and catch fade balls. He's physical, he can run and do everything out in the open field, so he's been fun to throw to."
3. Grrrrrrr. Bradley on Wednesday said it appeared Robinson was indeed back to 100 percent, adding that Robinson was taking the allotted four repetitions per period for a fully participating player. Bradley also said the Jaguars have talked to Robinson about playing angrier, meaning competing for every ball on every route. "He is extremely competitive," Bradley said. "He's got a forty-plus vertical jump and we want to be able to throw it up to him and know he's going to come down with the ball. Sometimes when you do that in training camp, when we've got the pads on, you want to see that part of him. I believe he has that and hopefully we see that." Robinson talked about the need to play angrier during an appearance on Jaguars.com LIVE early Wednesday afternoon. "That's something I didn't do last year as much as I did in college," Robinson said. "In college, I always had a chip on my shoulder. Coming into last year, I kind of relaxed a little bit, but I'm back on it this year."
4. Taking precautions.Veteran safety Sergio Brown, first-year veteran wide receiver Damian Copeland and rookie wide receiver Neal Sterling were held out of practice Wednesday for precautionary reasons because of tightness. Bradley said none of the issues for the trio were related to heat, adding that the training staff has helped plan practice to deal with the high temperatures. "I rely a lot on them," Bradley said. "I know their advice was to cut a few reps here and there to get a productive practice today and they were on. I have meetings with them (Wednesday) afternoon and we will base tomorrow off of that." Wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee) and tight end Clay Harbor (calf) continued to work on the side, and defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee), center Stefen Wisniewski (shoulder), safety Josh Evans (shoulder) and wide receiver Bryan Walters (calf) worked limited in individual drills. Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks (knee), defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (knee) and safety James Sample (arm) did not practice.
5. Aiming for the opener.With the offseason program closing and training camp just over five weeks away, Marks said his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament continues to go well. Marks said he is ahead of schedule and that the return from the injury sustained in the regular-season finale has gone better and less traumatically than he expected. "I'm right where I'm supposed to be," Marks said. "My mindset is to get back for the first game of the season." The Jaguars open the season September 13, which for Marks would mean playing essentially eight and a half months after the injury. Marks said he doesn't know what his role in the opener would be, and that he will focus on returning to play in some capacity. "In my mind, I think I can go," Marks said. "It depends on what they say and where I'm at. We've had no setbacks and everything's looking good."
6. No thanks necessary.Marks spoke on Wednesday shortly after receiving a gift of appreciation from the family of Khameyea Jennings, an 18-year-old cancer patient who Marks took to her senior prom on May 2. Jennings died of liver cancer May 21. Quan and Makayla Jennings, Khameyea's mother and sister, arrived late in practice Wednesday and presented Marks a collage of pictures from the prom, including a picture of Marks and Khameyea in Marks' Lamborghini. "They basically wanted to come out and say, 'Thank You,'" Marks said. "I've been in contact with her mom and her family. I've talked to them. She's said it enough to where I told her she doesn't have to say it. I know it was genuine. She understood where I was coming from. It was great."