Eben Britton feels fine, and while it's still May, that's a good feeling.
Certainly, it's a different feeling than he had last season and although it's only organized team activities, the Jaguars' offensive tackle said that's very good news.
Britton missed much of last season with a back injury, but is working with starters during OTAs and said he is doing full work and going full speed.
"It feels great," he said.
Britton, a four-year veteran, started in 2009 and 2010 at right tackle, and said though the training camp is two months away, he said he believes he will continue to improve between now and late July.
The Jaguars are working in shorts and helmets during OTAs, but Britton said he has been cleared for full contact and would be practicing full whatever the situation.
"It feels awesome," Britton said. "Before you get out there and start hitting people you put in all the work and hope for the best. You hope your body is where it needs to be. When you get a chance, you go full speed and see where you're at."
Britton said that he's not thinking about the injury while working is perhaps the best sign.
"It's one of those things, with injuries – that's almost as big a deal as your health, is our mentality," Britton said. "It's a long way from the season. It's for real. It feels really good."
If Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey liked anything about the first week of OTAs it was how the special teams and defense responded to down days.
Next up: see how the offense responds to the same situation.
Mularkey said the special teams struggled on Tuesday and responded Wednesday, with the defense following the same pattern Wednesday and Thursday.
Mularkey said the offense had a down day Thursday.
"We'll see how the offense responds when we come back in here next week," he said.
Mularkey said the offense actually had a very good day Wednesday reducing mental errors to 21 from 40 on Tuesday, and he said overall he has been pleased with the team's ability to retain information during installation this week.
"We got a lot accomplished, in the classroom and on the field," Mularkey said. "We're trying to do things the right way. We've thrown a lot at them. We've thrown more at them this camp them than we did in the orientation camp (in mid-April) and the (subsequent) coaching sessions. They're getting a lot of information and they're grasping it."
WHAT MULARKEY SAYS
"That's how you tell how they feel about you and if they believe in you – is how they respond. We've had very high-tempo practices. There hasn't been a lot of standing around. It's been hot. To see what they have done has been very impressive, especially on a voluntary basis. We keep saying that, but they don't have to be here. I think they see how we've approached everything on our end, and I think they believe we want them to be successful on and off the field."
WHAT CB AARON ROSS SAYS ABOUT MULARKEY
"He's a cool guy. The first week I couldn't understand if he was joking or if he was serious. Now I'm starting to get grips on him. He'll come up to me and say a little joke and now I'm able to laugh instead of waiting to see if it's a joke or not."
WHAT LB CLINT SESSION SAYS
"We are definitely a playoff-caliber team. We're starting off the right way."
WHAT S DAWAN LANDRY SAYS
"The atmosphere around here is through the roof right now. A lot of guys are excited. I'm excited. We're just trying to get better each and every day."
WHAT WE SAW
Tight end Marcedes Lewis returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday while cornerbacks Rashean Mathis and Will Middleton each missed practice. Offensive tackle William Robinson missed a second consecutive day with a knee injury, and cornerback Ashton Youboty, defensive tackle Tyson Alualu and defensive end Aaron Kampman continued to work on the side. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew and kicker Josh Scobee also were not at practice and wide receiver Taylor Price was on crutches with a stress fracture in his foot.
The 90 Jaguars players on the off-season roster will have resume organized team activities practice Thursday, with OTAs scheduled to run through June 1. The team's mandatory veteran mini-camp is scheduled to run June 12-14 and training camp is scheduled to begin in late July.
*The Jaguars' offense ranked 32nd in the NFL last season, but with a new coordinator, new system and a slew of new receivers, defensive players said the difference in the unit is dramatic during the first week of OTAs. "They're looking like the greatest show on turf right now compared to what it was last year," linebacker Clint Session said. Safety Dawan Landry called the difference, "Definitely night and day," adding, "The veteran mini-camp we had a couple weeks ago it came out and showed. It looked like we ran a lot more plays in that camp than we did all of last year, so it's exciting."
*Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who is not been participating in the off-season program, does not have a playbook, and Mularkey said that's because the entire playbook isn't yet installed. Mularkey said Jones-Drew has been sent basic information about the offense, and that he doesn't know how far behind Jones-Drew will be when training camp begins. "I haven't been around him to see how he responds to terminology and coaching," Mularkey said
*Mularkey, asked about second-round draft choice Andre Branch, said the defensive end from Clemson "is not really a nice guy" – and Mularkey said he meant that in the best way possible. "He's not really a nice guy. He's relentless. Just with helmet and shorts on, he has a great work ethic. A great work ethic." Told that listening to defensive line coach Joe Cullen coach Branch on the field it sounds as if Branch "stinks," Mularkey said of the hard-coaching Cullen, "I feel that way when Joe talks to me."