JACKSONVILLE – Eight Jaguars experts – Rick Ballou, Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton and J.P. Shadrick – are breaking down the Jaguars as the 2020 NFL season approaches; today: what we learned from 2020 Training Camp
Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter
What I learned from 2020 Training Camp: The Jaguars are going to be the youngest team in the NFL. I've got 14 rookies making the team, so penalties will continue to be a problem. The good news is this group is very athletic and of good character – something the organization is trying to change. The culture will be much better, but the wins are a year away.
What I like entering the 2020 season: New offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's offense. It's clear that quarterback Gardner Minshew II already understands it, and he's done a real good job getting everyone involved. Last season's offense went through running back Leonard Fournette; Minshew should be able to use all his weapons this season. Crossing patterns, the middle of the field, reverses etc. … it should be interesting to watch it develop.
What I see from the Jaguars in 2020: It's going to be a team in rebuild. I believe it will be an exciting team on offense with some young players who will begin to make their mark. I still have concerns with the defense stopping the run and getting to the quarterback. This is a bad combination with a young defensive backfield. The 2020 season is about finding out if Minshew is the guy and can the Jags change the culture for the future.
Tony Boselli, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars left tackle
What I learned from 2020 Training Camp: Not as much as I would have liked. An abbreviated COVID-19 Training Camp with no preseason games makes it very hard to evaluate and prepare a young team. The Jaguars will count on young and some unknown players across the board. This, coupled with trusting the offense to a second-year quarterback in a new offensive system, makes you wish it were the 1970s when you had eight weeks of camp and six preseason games. While I still have concerns/questions whether or not Minshew is the franchise quarterback that can ultimately take this franchise to a Super Bowl, after watching camp I am confident whatever is thrown at the young quarterback and this team Minshew will not be shaken. The guy is a natural leader, and super competitive, which the Jaguars will need if they are going to have a chance to be competitive this year. Defensively, I still do not see how they will consistently stop the run to put teams in obvious passing situations to allow defensive end Josh Allen do what he is best at: create havoc. While defensive tackle Taven Bryan looked good early in camp, the bone bruise to his knee tampered some of the excitement. They will need him healthy and to play like the first-round pick he was. He has all tools. Now, he just must apply them on the field. Overall, there are more questions than answers coming out of camp, but I am excited to see what this young team will do.
What I like entering 2020 season: I love the young players on this team, and I am not talking about the rookies; with limited camp and no preseason it's tough to make judgements on them. I am talking about a few of the second- and third-year players. DJ Chark Jr.'s breakout season last year established him as an up-and-comer; after this year, I don't think there will be any doubt he is a No. 1 receiver in this league. I am excited to watch him continue to grow as a professional receiver and he has one the best to help get him there in wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell. From last year's draft class, I think we have two guys in the trenches that will be foundational building blocks for this team: Allen and right tackle Jawaan Taylor. Both had outstanding rookie seasons; watching them in camp, I have high expectations this year. Allen looks leaner, quicker and stronger, and he has improved pass rush moves that will make him a pain in the butt for offensive tackles this season. I expect another season of ten-plus sacks for Allen; I just hope the Jaguars can get him a bunch of obvious passing situations for the opposing offense. Taylor will be fun to watch if you like watching offensive line play, which I do. He will end up being one of the best right tackles in the NFL. He has good feet, he's powerful and can effectively both run and pass block. The one thing that I want to see a little more improvement in is his hand placement, but I can't wait to watch him this year.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
What I learned from 2020 Training Camp: The team looks faster than in recent years. They drafted speed. Cornerback CJ Henderson can really run. Defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson and wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. can run. They signed Joe Schobert in free agency and he looks like he can really cover for a middle linebacker; he is definitely a three-down guy. If there is a concern, it is run defense. I really like the rookie nose guard, DaVon Hamilton, but I think it's a blow to lose Al Woods, the veteran nose tackle who opted out.
What I like entering the 2020 season: I love the depth at wide receiver. If the first three are Chark, Shenault and Dede Westbrook, that is pretty good, pretty dynamic. But Chris Conley, Keelan Cole and Collin Johnson give them great depth. Over the years, they haven't had that. I also like the running back room – even without Fournette, who is now gone. There are numbers there, too. And I like the potential of Minshew. This is now his team. I can't wait to see what he does with it.
What I see from the Jaguars in 2020: A team that will be really fun. I'm guessing they will throw it all over the place with Minshew and all those receivers. I think they will really get after the passer with Allen, Chaisson and others. I don't know how many games they will win — this is a really young team in a lot of spots. But they will be fun. They will be dynamic. I can't wait to watch them.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
*What I learned from training camp 2020: *The NFL as a whole did an amazing job of orchestrating the return to work amid a global pandemic. Players, coaches, staff at every level should be commended. The Jaguars as a team will be a work in progress, I believe. This team will be young – and not without trials and tribulations. These attributes are a sign of a roster that is in the process of rebuilding.
*What I like entering the 2020 season: *The edge rushers – and not just because I'm partial to that position. Allen is truly a great player in the making in so many different ways and will be a joy to watch as he continues to grow; you would take 52 more Josh Allens any day. Chaisson is going to be really good on the opposite side. Physically, he is ready to play with the big boys and he has some advanced pass-rush techniques already.
*What I see from the Jaguars in 2020: *A team that has many questions and new components – like most young teams – but that also has a youthful enthusiasm that will be fun to watch as this team evolves throughout the regular season. There will be rough spots with a new offense led by a young quarterback, there also will be excitement with the young weapons at wide receiver. I see a young defense that will play fast but must find a way to overcome some losses in the interior of the defensive line to be able to show that speed.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
What I learned from Jaguars training camp 2020: This is clearly Minshew's team, Allen is a stud, rookie wide receiver Collin Johnson might be a steal in the draft – and while the Jaguars are not close to winning a lot in 2020, they do have some promising young talent.
What I like entering the 2020 season: The Jaguars' offense and their pass rushers. The offense will be better than most people think – even with the departure of Fournette. They have quality receivers and have maintained relatively good health so far in camp. Despite losing defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, Allen and Chaisson are going to be a dynamic tandem getting after the quarterback.
What I see from the Jaguars in 2020: Ummm, oy, oof... the ceiling isn't very high. I think the Jaguars have a hungry, youthful group that is an overachieving bunch. I think they will be better than people think, but that still isn't saying much. We are looking at a six-to-seven-win team. If all the stars align, they might be able to get to eight wins.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
What I learned from 2020 Training Camp: This offense has a chance to be better than the past few seasons – maybe a lot better. Remember? The past two seasons? The Jaguars' offense sputtered to slow starts and had far too many game-defining long offensive droughts. That often kept the defense from having a chance to rush the passer and create turnovers. We still must see if camp translates to the regular season, but this offense has the feel of one that could improve.
What I like entering 2020 season: The wide receivers. What a difference a few seasons make. Wide receiver was a position of need that struggled two seasons ago. Now, with Chark and a pair of talented rookies – Shenault and Johnson – it could be the best position on the team.
What I see from the Jaguars in 2020: Uncertainty – and a lot of it. The defensive tackles went through major turnovers during training camp and you wonder if the pass rush without Ngakoue can support a young secondary. The Jaguars will stay in some games because of a talented group of skill players around Minshew, but you wonder if there's enough playmaking veteran experience to win games late.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
What I learned from 2020 Training Camp: There are some very talented young building blocks on defense, and a few guys you can expect to develop. But the defense won't have the same suffocating pass rush or the same dependable coverage to which we've grown accustomed recent years. I'd like to think they will improve against the run, but it's tough to know until the season starts. This group could really have used the time together in the offseason, but now must figure it out as the year goes along. Patience will be required.
What I like entering the 2020 regular season: Head Coach Doug Marrone has a pretty good coaching staff; the focus on the little things during camp really stood out. This isn't a deep and experienced roster, but it's good enough to compete and get in a position to win some games in the fourth quarter if they don't beat themselves. Marrone believes in minimizing mistakes and maximizing chances to be in just that situation. Watching his staff work in August gave me the sense this team won't kill itself with the mistakes, penalties and turnovers we saw in 2019.
What I see from the Jaguars in 2020: This is a team in transition with a question mark at the most important position on the field. Either Minshew can carry a team, or he can't. If he can, they will find themselves in some close games with a chance to see a little of that Minshew Magic we experienced last season. If he's not, the Jaguars will find themselves in a position to try and answer that question in the 2021 NFL Draft.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
What I learned from 2020 Training Camp: The league did a great job getting the organizations to the doorstep of the regular season. In an environment changing daily during COVID-19, officials put together a road map to the season and the players and staff around the league have successfully followed it so far. On the field, I learned the Jaguars offense has the possibilities of playmakers all over. DJ Chark Jr. is coming off the Pro Bowl, Chris Conley has a veteran presence, young receivers Laviska Shenault and Collin Johnson flashed in camp, tight end Tyler Eifert is ready to contribute and the young running backs will share the load. That means it is up to quarterback Gardner Minshew to distribute it to all them, and that could be fun to watch. I also learned that defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson could have more of a rookie impact than I first anticipated, especially if the defense can get to favorable down-and-distances to put that pass rush to use.
What I like entering the 2020 season: I like the depth at wide receiver and the possibility of Josh Allen and K'Lavon Chaisson on the field together at the same time on defense. I also like the idea of consistency on the offensive line – lets see it on the grass in games in a new offense.
What I see from the Jaguars in 2020: This is a young football team that already has plenty of critics and pundits looking ahead to the 2021 NFL Draft. I hope we see a football team circle the wagons, take on teams week-to-week and leave the playbook empty at the final gun each week. The "tanking" talk is not being spoken in that locker room, and as Gardner Minshew said this week, they're "not going to let that crap happen." Let's see if the Jaguars make some noise early in the season and shock some critics, and if they do, we're in for a fun watch this season.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Jaguars digital reporter and host
What I learned from 2020 Training Camp: This offense has potential. The players have called Jay Gruden's offensive system exciting and user-friendly. There is a noticeable difference in the speed of the offense and spreading the ball out to multiple options. I am excited to see this offense in real time and see how Minshew has adapted.
What I like entering 2020 season: The tight ends. Tyler Eifert could make a big difference as defenses now have to plan for his presence. James O'Shaughnessy is back healthy and is coming off a season where he had a solid connection with Minshew. This could be the season where the Jaguars get the production out of the tight end that they have been looking for.
What I see from the Jaguars in 2020: I expect the first couple of games to be a little rocky. This team could have benefited from some preseason games with live reps in this new offensive system and for the defense to see how it holds up with multiple shifts on the defensive line during training camp. I think it will take until about Week 4 to truly know what this team is going to look like.