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"Football Comes Naturally to Him" | Jaguars Kickoff Week 2 of OTAs

0528 Campservations

JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars held Day 4 of 2024 Organized Team Activities Tuesday.

The team is scheduled to hold 10 such non-padded, non-contact practices at the Miller Electric Center during May/June followed by a three-day mandatory minicamp. OTAs mark the start of Phase 3 of the voluntary offseason program, with teams able to hold 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.

Here are Tuesday's "campservations" from four members of Jaguars Media – senior writer John Oehser, senior correspondent Brian Sexton, senior reporter/editor J.P. Shadrick and team reporter/producer Kainani Stevens:

Jacksonville, Fla. — Jaguars wide receiver Joshua Cephus (19) during OTAs at the Miller Electric Center on May 28, 2024

John Oehser, Jaguars Senior Writer…

  • First: The usual caveat that little can be gleaned from OTA practices because of their non-padded, non-contact nature. A second caveat: With the Jaguars wearing caps rather than helmets, there was perhaps littler to be gleaned than usual on Tuesday's Day 4 of '24 OTAs. What we can continue to glean is the team appears pleased with wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. – the No. 23 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft – for various reasons, with the most obvious being that Thomas looks smooth, fast and athletic running routes in individual drills and against coverage. That's as you would expect from a player who caught 17 touchdown passes in his final season at Louisiana State in 2023. "Brian has done a great job," Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor said Tuesday. "Brian is what we expected. He is long, fast and smart. So those things have shown up early on getting him involved. You see obviously the intelligence – in the quick twitch, in the long speed – show up throughout our practices as we go through things, or even routes on air. He grows every single day. He is a guy that's very easy to communicate with because he's intelligent. Football comes naturally to him: Learning, picturing concepts, understanding routes, how we're attacking certain coverages. So, you see his growth every day, which is fun to see."

Brian Sexton, Jaguars Senior Correspondent …

  • Communication has been a strong buzzword throughout this on-field portion of the offseason program and it was on full display Tuesday. The players worked without helmets, which facilitated a loud-and-clear stream-of-consciousness sort of conversation. You could clearly hear linebacker Devin Lloyd calling the scheme fits in the middle of the defense just as you could hear the offensive lineman talking before the snap of the ball. It was also apparent on the sidelines when the players talked about the play on the field and not about their Memorial Day Weekend. Head Coach Doug Pederson, Taylor and defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen have been crystal clear in their desire for better, more-effective communication both between players and between players and coaches. How effective they were is up to Doug and Co. to decide, but it's easy to see they have made the point clear to the players who understand the assignment.

J.P. Shadrick, Jaguars Senior Report/Editor …

  • The Jaguars returned from the holiday weekend with OTA No. 4, working out without helmets for about an hour and a half. It feels like this could be the pace the rest of the way during OTAs and the following mandatory minicamp – just to likely slow down the tempo a little. That said, any definitive assessment you see regarding OTA performances should be taken with grain of salt. I watched wide receivers most of Tuesday: veteran wide receiver Christian Kirk is a precise route runner, a technician in the individual drills, and seems to be helping some younger players if they need it. Thomas has the height, speed and smarts that Taylor described. Davis, who doing individual work but nothing in the team periods as he works back from a knee sprain last postseason with the Buffalo Bills, said after practice that when he signed he reminded cornerback Tyson Campbell that he scored a touchdown on him in London last year. Campbell appears primed and ready for his contract season and had a few nice plays in coverage. While Nielsen said earlier they are rotating players in at other different positions to get a look at what they have to offer, they'll solidify more come training camp, especially on the back end. Also, quarterback Mac Jones had a couple of nice pinpoint throws downfield in 7-on-7 work Tuesday, while quarterback Trevor Lawrence connected with Kirk in 7-on-7 red zone work for a touchdown – with Kirk making a leaping catch in the back of the end zone and getting two feet in bounds.

Kainani Stevens, Jaguars Team Reporter/Producer…

  • The Jaguars' "powers that be" have made it clear their offseason focus was on getting bigger, faster and stronger. The "faster" part has been evident through the first four OTA practices. Lawrence on Tuesday connected with Thomas Jr. for a deep touchdown that was remarkable in the sense that both throw and catch looked easy on something that is clearly not "easy" for just anyone. Undrafted free agent wide receiver Joshua Cephus has also shown some flashes down the sidelines. It will be a tough room to crack into with Kirk, Davis, Devin Duvernay and Thomas guaranteed spots. That leaves maybe two spots for the likes of Parker Washington, Cephus or another dark-horse candidate. The training camp battles within this group will certainly be one to keep your eye on.

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