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Minicamp Day One: Marrone speaks, practice begins

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JACKSONVILLE – All are accounted for, and all are present.

That was expected, and Head Coach Doug Marrone confirmed that was the case when speaking to the media shortly before the beginning of Jaguars 2018 Veteran Mandatory Minicamp.

All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the lone Jaguars player to miss all voluntary organized team activities the last three weeks, was scheduled to participate in Tuesday’s first minicamp practice. So was running back Leonard Fournette, who missed the last two weeks of OTAs.

This week’s minicamp is the only mandatory offseason work under NFL rules.

“I’m excited,” Marrone said before Tuesday morning’s practice at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex. “Anytime you have the team together and everyone’s here, you get a chance to really go out and start laying the foundation, which we’ve been trying to these last couple of weeks and in the OTAs.

“It will be good to see those guys out there, have some fun and get a little competition with each other.”

Marrone also addressed the status of two players who were limited during voluntary work, saying that guard A.J. Cann likely will get repetitions in practice Tuesday with linebacker Myles Jack working in individual drills Tuesday and possibly getting practice repetitions Wednesday.

Marrone said the difference between this week’s three practices and the 10 OTAs the last three weeks is minimal.

“We’re still not in pads,” Marrone said. “You’ll see the practices as pretty much the same as the OTAs. Every player will be out there, but really the only difference is one is voluntary and the next one is mandatory.”

Marrone said he has been in contact with both Fournette and Ramsey throughout the offseason.

“I was talking to those guys during the week,” Marrone said. “Like always told you guys: I always wanted to touch base, make sure where everybody is, what’s going on, if there was anything we could do to help in certain situations, how workouts were going, what the expectations are…

“The communication from that standpoint has been fine.”

Marrone said both Ramsey and Fournette could be worked in gradually to full-speed work.

“They’ve worked hard; Jalen has worked extremely hard and is training with his dad,’’ Marrone said. “He’s anxious to say, ‘I’m ready to go; let’s go.’ I’m more like, ‘Listen we’re going to get you in there for a couple [of repetitions], take you out and see where you are,’ because the worst thing you can do as a coach is put somebody out there who maybe isn’t ready. Not to say Jalen isn’t ready, but we want to make sure we’re doing the right thing for all of the players.’’

Asked his expectations of a player such as Fournette as he returned to practice, Marrone spoke in general terms about unpadded offseason work.

“I don’t think I go out there with any expectations,” Marrone said. “I just want to go out and see how we’re communicating, how we’re working with each other, how we’re handling the installation [of the offense and defense] and how we’re grasping what we’re doing. Obviously, there are new things in that we want to take a good look at and this is really the first time to take a good look at it.

“I’m looking for things more as a team than individually. I’m looking for how, ‘How is our communication? How is our execution? Are we running on and off the field? How’s the huddle? How do we look?’ I told the players in this morning’s meeting, ‘It has to come from within.’ Individually, you go out and try to see, ‘What can I do better?’ But somewhere along the line after you’ve done the individual of what you want to do, you want to take a step back and look at the whole.

“You can say words and talk, but you are what you put on tape. What do we want to look like? You keep trying to pull it from within from the players for how they want to look when they’re out there.”

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