JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's four takeaways from Day Eight of Jaguars 2015 Organized Team Activities …
1.Finishing strong.The Jaguars on Tuesday held the eighth of 10 scheduled 2015 organized team activities practices. As was the case with Day Seven on Monday, the practice lasted nearly two hours – a few minutes longer than most of the earlier OTA practice this offseason, with Head Coach Gus Bradley afterward calling it a "really good day." While media is limited in the details of what can be reported from OTAs, Tuesday's practice featured an extended red-zone session that Bradley later called "highly spirited." Safety Craig Loston had an end-zone interception during the period, and second-year wide receiver Allen Robinson was perhaps the standout of the day with multiple red-zone touchdowns. "What I loved most about it is we're learning," Bradley said. "The defense held up on some throws, offense made some plays, no contact throughout … I thought it was really well handled. We can build on that, too. Plus, it was highly competitive. You saw some plays made out there and that part is good. We'll have another dose of red zone on Thursday." Also on Tuesday, tight end Julius Thomas was held out of practice for precautionary reasons.
2.Robinson shows up.Robinson, limited early in OTAs while returning from a stress fracture in his foot, has had his repetitions increase in the last week and a half. He took advantage of his most extensive offseason work to date on Tuesday, making several strong touchdown receptions in the late-practice red-zone drill. "I think he's awesome," quarterback Blake Bortles said. "You saw some of the catches he made today. He can go up and get it. It's something he's always been able to do, something he definitely likes to do and something we have to take advantage of." Said Robinson, "It definitely feels good going out and doing it against a defense rather than just on air. With my size, I want to be able to help my team out and be a better asset for us in the red zone."
3.Williams working back.Brennan Williams said he likes his offseason so far. The second-year veteran offensive tackle has been able to work full throughout 2015 OTAs, and he took added repetitions last week with Sam Young limited with a foot injury. Williams said that's a good start with the Jaguars, with whom he signed in February after missing his first two NFL seasons while undergoing two microfracture knee surgeries. "I got to get a little more comfortable and started feeling better with my legs," said Williams, a third-round selection by the Houston Texans in the 2013 NFL Draft. "It feels good so far." Williams said the offseason schedule – with an increased workload as Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the offseason have progressed – has fit well with his rehabilitation. "It goes perfect with the natural progression," he said. "By the time camp comes around, I should be feeling really good." The Jaguars signed right tackle Jermey Parnell as an unrestricted free agent shortly after signing Williams, and third-year veteran Luke Joeckel is the starter at left tackle, but Williams said his spot on the depth chart isn't his main concern. "I'm trying to be the best I can and everything else will sort itself out after that," he said. "Right now it's about getting comfortable, learning the technique and focusing on that. I feel like if I'm healthy I'll stick around. It's about getting to that point."
4.Secondary looking up.The Jaguars are thinner at safety during OTAs than they hoped, with the broken arm sustained by rookie James Sample last week and Josh Evans' ongoing rehabilitation/return from offseason shoulder surgery leaving them with four healthy players – Johnathan Cyprien, Loston, Matt Daniels and Sergio Brown – at the position. Defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker said on Tuesday that Evans, who is working at strong safety this offseason after two years at free safety, is working in coverage situations in OTAs and will be ready for training camp. Loston's repetitions have increased this week in the wake of the injury to Sample, and Walker said the second-year veteran from Louisiana State appears more comfortable this offseason. "You're just starting to see some of his natural athletic ability show up," Walker said. "He has a knack of getting the ball, so I think with him – and we knew this about him last year – once he's comfortable with what he's doing, I think he definitely has playmaking ability." Walker said while the secondary as a whole isn't as far along as needed, "I do see improvement." Asked if the secondary would be better next season Walker smiled and replied, "It better be."
Take a look at images from the Jaguars eighth day of OTAs held on Tuesday, June 9.