JACKSONVILLE -- Senior writer John Oehser's five takeaways from Jaguars 2015 Training Camp Monday at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields …
1. All in.We begin these takeaways with an eye on the offense, where much of the preseason heavy lifting appears to have taken place. "Heavy lifting" in this case means the installation of the new offense brought in by coordinator Greg Olson in the offseason. Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley on Monday said the offense is mostly installed as the team enters its third and final week of 2015 training camp, with the emphasis now on situational work. "You might see a play here or there, but as far as the number of installs, they're completed," Bradley said, adding that the team focused on "move-the-ball" situations Monday in practice. "Any time we have the move-the-ball for both our offense and defense it's good for us. It's what we need, so since the scrimmage we've incorporated more of those situations and we had two of them today."
2. Center of attention. The highest-profile camp competition remains center, with no obvious leader as the battle nears its end. Luke Bowanko and Stefen Wisniewski have split days working with the first team throughout camp, with Bowanko starting the preseason opener Friday against Pittsburgh and Wisniewski playing into the fourth quarter. Bradley on Monday said he doesn't yet know who will start against the New York Giants Saturday, but added, "If it's the order that we worked on, then it would be Wiz (Wisniewski)." Bradley added, "I thought they both did pretty well (Friday). We're trying to get them even reps. I thought they both did some very good things – different in how they handle some things. Their strengths are different and their weaknesses are different, but I see them and they're both of great value." Bradley has said he would like to have a starter decided by Preseason Week 3.
3. Halfway there.The Jaguars could have most of their defensive line Saturday. All four starters – ends Chris Clemons and Jared Odrick and tackles Sen'Derrick Marks and Roy Miller missed Friday's preseason-opener, but Odrick, Miller and Clemons returned to practice Monday. Odrick (knee) worked close to full and Miller (knee) worked a little more limited, with Clemons working individual drills after spending the first two-and-a-half weeks of camp on the active non-football injury list. While Clemons' status against the Giants is uncertain, Bradley said the 12-year veteran is expected to play at some point in the preseason. That means of the starting defensive line, only Marks likely won't participate in the preseason. He is aiming for a return from offseason reconstructive knee surgery in the regular-season opener against Carolina at EverBank Field September 13.
4. Deep – as expected.We're moving on to pre-Giants stuff on jaguars.com this week, but a final takeaway from the preseason opener Friday is that the running back position is deep. Perhaps really deep. That was the plan when the Jaguars selected T.J. Yeldon No. 36 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft with Toby Gerhart and Denard Robinson already on the roster. The team also had signed Bernard Pierce as a free agent, so on paper it looked like a good position. This is a situation where what's happening on field at last matches what was on paper. Robinson on Friday appeared to be as good as or better than last season, and Gerhart looked far stronger/better than last season. Pierce has looked good throughout camp, so while it still feels like Yeldon will be the go-to-guy sooner rather than later, this position in no way depends on one player.
5. Keep an eye on … Marcedes Lewis.This will be easy to do the next few weeks – and this entry could have Clay Harbor in the title, too. With Julius Thomas out for the rest of the preseason with a hand injury, Lewis and Harbor will take on more prominent roles. And that's OK. Bradley was effusive in his praise for Lewis following the preseason opener, and the eye test agrees with Bradley: Lewis, a 10-year veteran indeed has looked as good in camp as he has in the last five years. He remains a talented player who can impact games. Harbor, despite a drop Friday against the Steelers, has looked good in camp and caught a 31-yard touchdown later in the game. With the signing of Thomas in the offseason this instantly became one of the Jaguars' most-talented, deepest positions. Now, it will get a chance to show it.