JACKSONVILLE – The install is in, and Nick Foles said progress has been made.
If that’s the NFL formula for a successful offseason for a team with a new offensive scheme, new offensive coordinator and new quarterback, then consider the past few months just that for the Jaguars and their new quarterback:
“We have a healthy dose of the offense right now,” Foles said Wednesday afternoon on Day 2 of Jaguars 2019 minicamp at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex adjacent to TIAA Bank Field.
“I’m really impressed with how the guys are executing … Right now, when it is all new to everybody, it is a lot, but I feel like everyone is doing a really good job of executing the plays out there on the practice field.”
Foles, the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl LII following the 2017 season, signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent this offseason after two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. He replaced four-year starter Blake Bortles as the Jaguars’ starting quarterback.
Foles’ reputation is as a clutch quarterback and high-quality leader, and Jaguars veterans during minicamp this week spoke positively of the addition.
“I think he is a great player,” cornerback Jalen Ramsey said. “He has nothing to prove to anybody. He’s a Super Bowl champion, a Super Bowl MVP. More importantly, he’s a great person. A great teammate, too.
“Just in the few encounters that we have had when I met him and our interactions, he’s a great player, a great teammate. I definitely think that will help us.”
Defensive end Calais Campbell on Wednesday spoke of Foles’ competitiveness and attention to detail throughout the offseason.
“He comes in every day with a whole bunch of energy and he loves to compete,” Campbell said. “You see him talking to some of the young receivers like, ‘How do you want that ball placed? You’re in this position; where do you want it?’
“Then you see a practice and he’s putting it there. I’m like, ‘Man, that’s impressive.’ I’m looking forward to what we can do together.’’
Foles’ task this offseason has been many-fold. In addition to acclimating himself with new teammates and a new tone, he has been working to learn a scheme that he said Wednesday is at the same time familiar and new.
Foles worked with new Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in 2016 when DeFilippo was the quarterbacks coach with the Eagles. Foles said while the Jaguars’ current offense is similar to the one he ran in Philadelphia, it’s hardly identical.
“It’s probably 50 or 60 percent the same, 50 percent maybe,” Foles said. “There is a lot of new. I always love a lot of new because you get to talk about different concepts. Coaches are from different backgrounds and then you get to talk about the reason why this play is successful and what I’m looking for. That allows my football knowledge to grow and then my ability to teach the guys to grow even greater. The coaches are doing a great job of installing these plays and teaching us.
Foles and DeFilippo both said the offense has been installed multiple times in the offseason, and both like how players less familiar with the scheme are adjusting.
“We are putting so much in,” Foles said. “You have a lot of young guys. A lot of guys’ heads can start spinning because it is a lot. Once again, they have been executing great.”
Foles on Wednesday he personally feels much further along in the offense now than he did when the offseason began two months ago.
“I feel great,” he said. “I feel really comfortable. The big thing is just all of us getting on the same page and obviously working with the O-line and protections and run looks and working with all the receivers.
“The big part is just all of us talking and continuing to communicate so we are on the same page.”
Images from the second day of mandatory minicamp.