JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone set the tone quickly and emphatically:
"Now we're starting to play."
With that, the Jaguars' head coach late Saturday afternoon ended the preliminary phase of 2018 Training Camp and looked ahead to the coming days.
The Jaguars' practice session at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex Saturday evening was the third practice of '18 camp, but the first in pads.
And for Marrone, that meant the real part of '18 camp at last had arrived.
The Jaguars were scheduled to work for about two and a half hours Saturday evening, with a week of padded practices scheduled to begin Monday following a players' day off Sunday. The first two practices on Thursday and Friday had been non-padded.
"It is tough for the players, but in my opinion everyone's training camp is tough," Marrone said.
Marrone spoke for a little more than 10 minutes about an hour before Saturday's practice, updating the status of several players. He also offered one of his better quotes of '18 camp when he was asked about a collective chip of the shoulders of the Jaguars' defense.
"I like it when people have a chip on their shoulder," he said. "I've got a boulder on my shoulder."
Among the day's news:
Tight end David Grinnage, who spent camp's first two days on the physically unable to perform list with a knee injury, was scheduled to come off PUP for Saturday's practice. Two other players – defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (shoulder) and offensive guard Brandon Thomas (knee) – remained on PUP, and offensive tackle Brandon Smith remained on the reserve non-football injury list.
Marrone also said wide receiver Donte Moncrief was expected to try to practice Saturday after sustaining what appeared to be an ankle issue Friday.
"He's OK enough to give it a try tonight," Marrone said.
Also, cornerback Jalen Ramsey remained away from the team following the birth of his daughter earlier this week. Marrone said nothing had changed regarding the status of the All-Pro cornerback, saying he spoke to Ramsey Friday and that the third-year veteran will return to the team when his girlfriend and daughter are settled.
"I've talked to Jalen," Marrone said. "He's at home making sure everything's right and everything's going to be in order, then he's going to show up. … He's going to try and get back here as fast as he can. He'll be here when he can get here."
Also on Saturday, Marrone addressed the strong-side linebacker position.
Leon Jacobs, a seventh-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft from the University of Wisconsin, has worked with the starters early in camp. He is expected to compete with second-year veteran Blair Brown for the starting position vacated when third-year veteran Myles Jack moved to middle linebacker full-time following the offseason retirement of longtime starter Paul Posluszny.
"Blair's very good off the football; he's done a good job," Marrone said. "Leon's done a nice job. We're just going to look at the way they're playing."
Marrone said of Jacobs, "I like his length. I like his speed. I think he has good change of direction. Again: the pads are on now, so I think we'll see."