JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars are moving camp for a night.
The venue for Jaguars 2015 Training Camp shifts from the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields to Mandarin High School Monday.
The Jaguars will hold an open practice at Mandarin at 6 p.m., so with a few hours remaining before that practice, we figured now's a good time to take a look at the first three days/practices of training camp. It's a little premature to call it "What We Learned" or "What We Know," because what do we really *know *after three days of non- and light-padded work?
But there are a few things of which we're pretty sure after three days, just as there are a few things we're waiting to see when the pads come on.
So, here goes …
1.We're pretty sure … Blake Bortles is better.He looks better, and the offense appears to be moving a bit better early. The second-year quarterback appears more accurate and comfortable – and to watch practice and listen to Head Coach Gus Bradley, he appears to have a good early grasp of the offense. Those are really good signs.
2.We're waiting to see … how that improvement translates.Three good practices don't mean Bortles has arrived, and his true test won't come this week, or even next week. Preseason won't show if he really has improved. Remember, he dazzled at times last preseason. This one will wait until the regular season.
3.We're pretty sure … Allen Robinson is going to be good.This is the continuation of an offseason theme, but it's important. The second-year veteran has looked good in practice. He has shown he can get open consistently and shown he can use his size and athleticism. It's too early to know if Robinson can be a No. 1 receiver, but it's hard to imagine him not being productive and reliable. The Jaguars need to start developing players on which they can rely, and Robinson's starting to have that feel.
4.We're waiting to see … about Marqise Lee.Lee has been alternatingly enticing and inconsistent early in camp. The positive is he has gotten open consistently. The problem has been he has dropped some catchable long passes. Drops don't crush you in practice, but the Jaguars need Lee to get open the way he's doing in practice and complete the plays once it's real. He's the most explosive player on an offense that needs big plays.
5.We're pretty sure … this is going to be a good tight end group.On paper, Julius Thomas and Marcedes Lewis look like a very good tight end duo – maybe the best in franchise history. So far, they've looked that way on the field, too. Thomas is an athletic, pass-receiving threat who looks like he can give Bortles a downfield and red-zone weapon. Lewis also appears likely to have an extensive role in the offense, and still has the athleticism to be a real threat.
6.We're waiting to see … about the pass rush.This was a strong area last year and could be again. But the loss for the season of rookie Dante Fowler Jr. doesn't help – and neither does defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks still returning from offseason knee surgery. The Jaguars need production from Leo defensive ends Chris Clemons and Andre Branch, and they will be watched throughout preseason and early in the regular season.
Take a look at the top 10 images from the first day of Jaguars training camp.
7.We're pretty sure … the Jaguars are going to be an improved running team.Call this a gut feeling, but the way the Jaguars are focusing on this area in training camp you have to believe they will run more effectively than last season. Having T.J. Yeldon and a deep running back group contributes to that feeling.
8.We're waiting to see … how the offensive line looks in pads.Yes, there is a focus on the run game. Yes, right tackle Jermey Parnell looks like an upgrade and it appears the interior should improve. And yes, left tackle Luke Joeckel has added size and strength. But those are all storylines lingering from the offseason. The story for this season begins Wednesday when full pads go on.
9.We're pretty sure … Aaron Colvin's on the rise.He's starting camp playing both inside and outside, and it's starting to look like he could start on the outside at corner and move into the nickel in passing situations. That's difficult, but there has been nothing around the Jaguars in recent months to indicate anyone thinks Colvin can't handle it.
10.We're waiting to see … just how much the Jaguars have improved.There's no question this team looks and feels improved. The Jaguars continue to look a lot deeper in many positions and better at most positons. We'll get a better feel when the team starts hitting full, so time will tell.