JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's five takeaways from Day Five of Jaguars 2015 Organized Team Activities ...
1. Familiar faces.The Jaguars moved to improve their quarterback depth Monday; on Tuesday, Jeff Tuel practiced in Day Five of 2015 Jaguars OTAs a day after being claimed off waivers from Buffalo. Tuel, a second-year veteran, started one game for the Bills as a rookie in 2013, then spent last season on the practice squad after Buffalo signed veteran Kyle Orton to be the backup shortly before the regular season. Tuel signing with the Jaguars reunited him with Jaguars assistant head coach-offense/offensive line Doug Marrone and quarterbacks coach Nathaniel Hackett. Marrone was the Bills' head coach and Hackett was the quarterbacks coach in Buffalo the past two seasons. "You never know who it's going to come down to, who you're going to be claimed by – or if you are," Tuel said. "It's a great phone call and I'm ecstatic for the opportunity to be here." Hackett called Tuel, "a great guy who works hard." Hackett added, "He's athletic and he's been in the fire before. I've been through it with him and I've seen all the things he can do. He's a guy who's going to be able to pick it up and come right in and help."
2. Star power.In a little more than three months with the Jaguars, veteran defensive end Jared Odrick has proven to be comfortable in front of a camera. So, it's not entirely surprising he has a role in the HBO series, "Ballers," which will premiere June 21. Odrick plays himself in the series, a "dramedy" starring Dwayne Johnson as a retired-football-player-turned-financial-manager and chronicling his dealings with clients/current players. Odrick said he has a couple of scenes in Season 1 – and he has heard he could appear on one or two episodes. "It was really interesting," Odrick said. "It's very similar to a practice here. There are a lot of reps. … I thought I was semi-prepared, but obviously it's a whole different industry in terms of entertainment." Odrick said he got the opportunity through his agent, Eugene Parker, and Parker's management team. The series is based in Miami, and Odrick said the opportunity arose before he signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent from the Dolphins. "It was a learning experience," the dreadlocked Odrick said. "Hopefully, something came from it – that I'm not too hairy to be on film, on camera."
3. New role, new fit.A new role may be the right fit for Austin Pasztor. Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley, when speaking about the offensive line on Tuesday, said switching from tackle to guard has been a good move for the fourth-year veteran. A 20-game starter at right tackle over the past two seasons, Pasztor moved to guard when the team signed Jermey Parnell as an unrestricted free agent in March. Pasztor started three games at left guard as a rookie in 2012. "I think he's doing a really nice job," Bradley said of Pasztor. "He's caught our attention. He's doing some good things. It could be down the line where he could maybe be a swing guy, play guard and tackle. Until we get the pads on, we'll see, but that could be a possibility, so I think that adds even more depth for us at tackle."
Take a look at images from the Jaguars fifth day of OTAs held on Tuesday, June 2.
4. The right approach.Though Jaguars offensive coordinator Greg Olson has yet to see the offensive line in pads, he said he is encouraged by the group's offseason approach. The line struggled at times last season, and the area has been addressed not only by the hiring of Marrone, but by the free-agent signings of Parnell and center Stefen Wisniewski and by drafting third-round guard A.J. Cann. "In my time in coaching, I've never been around a group on the OTAs where every guy comes out to the practice fields and they're over here individually trying to better themselves," Olson said. "They're an extremely intelligent group and they work well together, so it has been encouraging." The Jaguars' offense allowed a team-record 71 sacks last season.
5. A lot cleaner, a little more experienced.When Jaguars defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker on Monday referred to third-year strong safety Johnathan Cyprien playing "cleaner" thus far in the offseason, it was meant as a compliment for a player who is playing more quickly and with fewer errors. Cyprien, a second-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, said he agrees with the assessment and said he believes he is seeing the field better – the result of starting 30 games in his first two NFL seasons. "I think I'm of showing more of an understanding of the defense and I think I'm playing with a little more patience," Cyprien said. "I want to make sure the game gets slower and slower. It's exciting for me to see what's going on. I'm still progressing. There are things I'm working on and I'm excited for the rest of these OTAs."