1.Marrone feels good about the safety position.
If there was a defensive position over which Jaguars observers expressed concern throughout the offseason, it was safety. Marrone made clear Thursday he doesn't share that concern. Second-year veteran Ronnie Harrison and fourth-year veteran Jarrod Wilson both are expected to enter a season as a starter for the first time, and Marrone said he expects the duo to provide balance and versatility. "We feel good about both of those guys in coverage, and we feel good about both of those guys being down [near the line of scrimmage]," Marrone said shortly before Day 1 practice of 2019 Jaguars Training Camp at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex adjacent to TIAA Bank Field. "We don't see a big difference." The Harrison/Wilson duo means a different feel for the Jaguars safety position compared to last season, when veterans Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church started Week 1. Harrison, a third-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, started eight games as a rookie. Wilson, who signed with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2016, made both of his NFL starts last season.
2.Marrone has Ngakoue in perspective …
Marrone as camp opens characteristically doesn't seem worried about issues beyond his control. Marrone said of defensive end Yannick Ngakoue's contract holdout: "This is the business side of it; I stay out of it." The Jaguars placed Ngakoue, who is entering the final year of his 2016 rookie contract, on the reserve/did not report List. Marrone said he has spoken to Ngakoue, and that he expects the 2016 third-round selection to report to camp at some point. It would be surprising if Ngakoue's holdout lasts past the first week of August. He must report no later than 30 days before the Jaguars' September 8 regular-season opener to accrue a season toward free agency and become an unrestricted free agent after the season should he not sign a long-term extension before that.
3. … and Ramsey, too.
Marrone unsurprisingly was asked early in his media availability about cornerback Jalen Ramsey arriving to '19 camp Wednesday in an armored truck – a reference to eventually wanting to sign a very large second contract. Marrone throughout his tenure as Jaguars head coach typically has shrugged off such behavior as part of the equation with younger players in today's NFL – and he took much the same approach with Ramsey's arrival. Marrone's money quote on the topic: "As soon as he crosses into our building, it's all about doing what's best for the team." And as long as that's the case, Marrone has little problem with Ramsey or other players saying – or doing – things that irk some coaches and observers.
4.The Jaguars are being diligent about injuries.
Anyone who followed the Jaguars last season knows injuries wrecked the season early – particularly offensively, and particularly along the line. Four Week 1 starting offensive linemen finished the season on injured reserve, and running back Leonard Fournette's hamstring issues cost him seven games and dramatically altered the team's offensive approach. Marrone on how the early part of training camp is being structured to reduce injuries: "I put a lot of time into making sure we make some changes in the schedule of what we're doing. There are so many things I wouldn't be able to go through and itemize each one, but what I'll say is we've tried to build in better recovery time. The one thing you're going to see in practice is we're looking to build up our practices, meaning that we're going to take it in a progression and build up to a level where we can go. We're really concentrating on these first 10 days. …These first 10 days [historically] have been a high level of soft tissue injuries, things of that nature. I guess it's player safety. I don't want to use the word cautious or anything like that because we're going to go … so, and that's where we are."
5.Marrone likes where the Jaguars are physically.
The Jaguars as expected opened camp with wide receiver Marqise Lee and left tackle Cam Robinson on the physically unable to perform list with knee injuries that cost them 16 and 14 games, respectively, last season. Marrone also said Thursday that linebacker Jake Ryan is beginning camp on the reserve/non-football injury list because of an offseason relapse after missing last season with a torn ACL while with the Green Bay Packers. But Marrone said Thursday he is pleased overall with the conditioning of the roster. "I'm very, very happy with where we are with what the players have done," Marrone said. "They're done a really good job making sure that they're ready to go for this training camp. So, we're excited."
Take a look at images as the Jaguars opened up training camp on Thursday morning.