JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's notes and observations Monday as S Tashaun Gipson, HC Doug Marrone and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins speak on Day 4 Jaguars 2018 Training Camp at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex …
1.Seferian-Jenkins offered the best soundbite of Day 4 Monday when discussing Blake Bortles. He talked early during his 10-minute session with the media about developing chemistry with Bortles, then talked extensively about the difference between perception and reality when it comes to the Jaguars' fifth-year quarterback. "I know Blake knows what type of quarterback he is," Seferian-Jenkins said. "I think he is a hell of a quarterback. I think he makes plays when it counts. I think he wins football games when it counts." Seferian-Jenkins noted that Bortles is the only quarterback from the 2015 NFL Draft class to have won a postseason game. "Quarterbacks are drafted to win Super Bowls and win playoff games and win big games and he has done that," he said. "He had made that progression. I think the perception is wrong, and I think the perception needs to be changed because people aren't realizing it is a progression. It takes time. Blake is going to keep going back there, he is going to keep making throws and when he needs to run, he is going to run. He is going to do what it takes to win and that is what you want in a quarterback. A guy that wants to win and does the job every single day. If he messes up, he is going to go out there and sling it again – not timid at all. That is what I want in a quarterback. That is what we need in a quarterback. I am happy we have Blake Bortles here."
2.An intriguing '18 camp storyline: the growing relationship between Jaguars veteran defensive end Calais Campbell and rookie defensive end/tackle Taven Bryan. Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin said after drafting Bryan No. 29 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft in April that Bryan would be wise to get Campbell's coffee very day. No word on Bryan's status as coffee caddy, but Campbell can be seen talking to Bryan throughout most practices. Campbell counseled Bryan following one of Bryan's repetitions during a pass-rush drill Saturday, after which Bryan with a smile bowed several times in respect to the three-time Pro Bowl selection and 2018 All-Pro selection. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said Monday Campbell is helping Bryan with "the way you go about your business, meaning how you show up, how you take care of your body, what you are doing to study, how you watch tape. I really think that is probably one of the toughest things that I have learned over the years. … You have to be detailed of situations and how you watch it and how guys play. I think Calais [Campbell] brings a lot of that, along with Yannick [Ngakoue] and a lot of other guys. …"
3.Seferian-Jenkins on Monday also discussed his progression as a run blocker, a critical issue considering the run-oriented nature of the Jaguars' offense. Seferian-Jenkins, signed this past offseason as an unrestricted free agent from the New York Jets, excelled as a receiver during the offseason and appears likely to make an impact there. His reply Monday when asked about run blocking: "It's hard; I will tell you that right now. I got beat a couple of times today going against [Calais Campbell]. I do not know too many guys that are better than him, and I am going to continue to put my nose in there and go as hard as I can and get better. Not every play is going to be perfect and not every play in the season is going to be perfect. I will get beat one time. I am sure of it. It will happen, but it is about coming back and making that next play and making that block for your guy. I believe I can block anybody."
4.Gipson was effusive in his praise of rookie safety Ronnie Harrison Monday, saying he loved the third-round selection's game and calling him a player who can play both safety positions. Harrison, who played collegiately at the University of Alabama, currently is backing up strong safety Barry Church and also has the skill set to play behind Gipson. He is expected to be a major contributor on special teams this season. "I truly believe that he is a unique player, and I think that somehow, someway Ronnie is going to be on the field," Gipson said. "He is a good young player. … He understands football, and that is one of the things that you look at. He knows how to play the game of football, and I don't know if you want to give [Alabama Head Coach] Nick Saban all that credit. He is just genetically gifted. I am excited to have young guys like that that give us depth. … He is quiet, he doesn't talk much, but when he goes out there he plays, and all he does is make plays."