JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's five takeaways from Day Three of Jaguars 2015 Organized Team Activities …
1.Good first week.Not that you'd expect much different, but Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley on Thursday said he was pleased with the three practices during the first week of 2015 OTAs. He also added that the work felt improved over the first week of OTAs last offseason, saying, "It feels better to me, it does. It feels like more of a presence, I think." Bradley said he was pleased with the number of defensive players understanding their responsibilities and that the offensive progress has been good considering the unit is installing a new system under new coordinator Greg Olson. "I don't know how it compares," he said. "I just know they're picking up pretty good right now. When you talk to the guys about the offense they're excited about it." The Jaguars focused on third downs Thursday, with a third-down pressure period and extensive seven-on-seven work. "I think we're finding out about each other as far as the tempo of how practice should be run," Bradley. "Guys are competing now. You're seeing it on both sides of the ball and that's always a good thing."
2.Lee is in a good place. Marqise Lee has been a topic this week, with the Jaguars liking what they have seen from the second-year wide receiver despite his absence from practice. Lee (knee), who could miss the next couple of weeks, struggled handling injury situations last season, but wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan on Thursday said he was pleased with Lee before he sustained the injury earlier this month. He also said he particularly has liked his approach since. "I was excited about him and still am," Sullivan said. "He's into it. He's been good taking notes in the meetings. We have a saying here, 'No whining, no complaining and nobody wants to hear your sob story.' He's been really good about that. From that standpoint, he's light years ahead of where he was last year.' Lee agreed, saying, "It's just another couple of weeks and I'll be OK; I've got no worries. Last year, I sat down and moped about it, but not this year. I'm still getting my mental reps as far as watching and helping out as much as I can."
Take a look at images from the Jaguars third day of OTAs held on Thursday, May 28.
3.Robinson to return.Whatever Lee's status, the Jaguars figure to get healthier at wide receiver sooner rather than later. Second-year veteran Allen Robinson, who started the first 10 games of last season, said he is ahead of schedule and expects to begin working in individual drills next week. He also expects to work limited in team situations the following week – and certainly by the mandatory minicamp June 16-18 that signals the end of the offseason program. Robinson missed the last six games with a stress fracture in his foot. "I'm excited to get back out there," he said. "I'll try to do as much simulation as possible, but it's not the real thing until you get out there. It couldn't be better right now. The main thing is to stay on track and make sure I'm taking care of the foot."
4.Still standing out.With media limited on reporting specifics from OTA practices, it's tricky to tell exactly who's standing out this week – and that's tricky anyway in a non-padded situation. But to listen to coaches, it's clear that third-year receiver Ace Sanders is continuing to have a very good offseason. Sullivan praised the receiver/punt returner Thursday, saying "Ace has been really on top of his game. It looks like he's got himself in good condition. He's playing very fast and his consistency level is where you would hope it would be." Bradley also spoke of Sanders this week, as he did during the team's rookie minicamp, saying "I'm hoping what I see from Ace (Sanders) as a wide receiver shows up as a punt returner." Bradley also mentioned veteran Tandon Doss, undrafted rookie running back Corey Grant and rookie fifth-round wide receiver Rashad Greene as possibilities for return duties. "I think we've got guys in house," Bradley said. "We've just got to find out who stands out."
5.Focus up front. If assessing standouts in OTAs is tricky, it's particularly tricky to assess standouts in the running game; it's even tough for teams to focus on the run because of the unpadded-, minimal-contact nature of the work. Still, to listen to Bradley this week there is less and less doubt that the Jaguars want very much to develop the running game for next season – and as much as possible they're emphasizing that during OTAs. "What I like about what we're doing is we're getting garbage cans out there (in run) drills and we're going through every run-blocking scheme and the communication takes place," Bradley said. "It's a great emphasis to our players. We're not going to line up and go against each other three periods a day but we can get all these things done, and I think it's really sending a message to the team that the run is important. It's easy to talk about it but that part demonstrates it."