Marrone on Ngakoue’s return: “We’ve had good communication”

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JACKSONVILLE – A top pass rusher has reported for OTAs.

That was the No. 1 story on Day 1 of Jaguars 2019 organized team activities, and Head Coach Doug Marrone discussed Yannick Ngakoue’s presence at practice Tuesday.

“It’s always good when you’re around your teammates,” Marrone said shortly before the team’s first ’19 OTA practice at the Dream Finders Home Practice Complex outside TIAA Bank Field. “Consistency and being around … I think that’s part of the chemistry and all of the other stuff.”

Ngakoue, who reported for the early part of the Jaguars’ 2019 offseason workouts, had been away from the team since those few days in mid-April before reporting Tuesday. Marrone said Ngakoue had communicated with him that he planned to attend OTAs.

“We’ve had good communication,” Marrone said. “I have no issues with that. He always has been a good communicator on where he’s at, what he’s doing.”

Ngakoue, a third-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He made the Pro Bowl following the 2017 season, and has registered 29.5 sacks in three NFL seasons.

All offseason work including OTAs are voluntary under the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL Owners and NFL Players Association. The only mandatory offseason work is the team’s June 11-13 minicamp.

“I’m appreciative of all the players that are here during this voluntary period,” Marrone said.

Two players not attending the offseason program are cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith. Ramsey, a Pro Bowl selection the past two seasons, did not attend the voluntary portion of last year’s offseason program and isn’t expected until mandatory minicamp.

Smith, a Pro Bowl selection in 2017, recently announced on Instagram that he doesn’t plan to play in 2019. He has not communicated officially with the team and remains on the offseason roster.

“The way I’m going to approach that is if something new comes, I’ll announce it to you,” Marrone said. “We respect his decision, and what has been made. There hasn’t been communication. But to me, I’m going to accept that [his decision]. We’re here to help him, but obviously have moved on.

“Daily, if you ask me that question, I’m probably going to move on to the next question. So, that’s what we’ll do with that.”

Wide receiver Dede Westbrook also did not attend OTA Day 1. He has been participating in the offseason program, and Marrone said he is expected Thursday for OTA Day 2.

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