JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's notes and observations as LB Myles Jack and OG Andrew Norwell speak to the media on Day 9 of Jaguars 2018 Training Camp at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex …
1.The Jaguars' practice Sunday was as physically difficult as any in camp thus far: a long practice in 90-degree temperatures featuring extensive 11-on-11 work for the first-team offense. To hear Jaguars middle linebacker Myles Jack tell it, the mental aspect of Sunday may have been just as important. "He definitely has a plan, and I fully believe in it," Jack said of Head Coach Doug Marrone, who stopped practice twice late in drills to offer specific instructions. "Obviously coming off a day off (Saturday), guys came a little sluggish. We had to go back in time and do over a couple of periods. At the end of the day, that's just sudden change. That's Coach throwing in surprises and elements that will happen in games. There will be times when the defense has to go back on the field when we weren't expecting to go back out on the field – or the offense. Just those little elements of surprises and twists and turns of practice we have to adjust to … he's not going to let us come out of there and not get anything out of the day. As a player, you have to appreciate that."
2.Norwell is one of the Jaguars' quieter players, and his media availability Sunday was among the shorter player podium appearances of '18 camp. He did discuss the Jaguars' running game. The team's run-heavy approach helped the Jaguars lead the NFL in rushing yards last season, with Norwell's presence on the interior expected to help what was a very good area last season be more consistent. "Like Coach said, 'We want to get 100 yards a game,''' he said. "That's a big statistic he believes in to win games around here." Told running back Leonard Fournette last week had said he had trouble getting Norwell to speak to him, Norwell smiled. "I'm locked in and doing my job," Norwell said. "I can only control what I can control. I'm learning my teammates as well. I just go about my business very seriously. I'm building trust and all of that stuff."
3.Marrone when speaking to the media Sunday talked extensively about the linebacker position, saying that beyond Jack and weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith the team is still in the process of determining which player should play where. Rookie Leon Jacobs has worked with the starters at strong-side linebacker thus far in camp with second-year veteran Blair Brown working with the second team at the middle and weak-side positions. "I think you feel comfortable with the two (Smith and Jack)," Marrone said. "I think Blair has played really well behind the ball (at weak-side and in the middle). We know that. Then I think that we are still trying to look at things and see where guys fit and see how they play and perform. It's early on. We still have a lot of practices left and we still have a long way to go as a team, but I think that when you make decisions too early and cement those decisions, you are in trouble. … We are looking at those backup positions and the [strong-side] position and seeing what the best situation is for us."
4.Jack on Sunday had high praise for Jacobs, saying the seventh-round selection from Wisconsin is ahead of where he was two seasons ago at the strong-side position. Jack played that position full-time as a rookie in 2016 and in base situations last season before moving to the middle full-time this season. "He knows what he's doing; that's the coolest thing," Jack said. "The coach will ask him a question in meetings and he'll be spot on, no hesitation. Leon is very bright, very intelligent. You can tell he goes home and studies at night. Physically, he's a specimen and he looks the part. I'm very excited to see what ends up happening on him, but he's doing very good. Very good." Jack said he has "no problem whatsoever" playing next to Jacobs. "He's out there communicating like me and Telvin, and the cool thing is he's kind of feeding off me and Telvin," he said. "The more he hears us talking, the more he's talking and saying the right things. That's a breath of fresh air. Instead of it being, 'OK, I have a rookie and I have to worry about him and tell him what to do … Leon's spot on. I don't have to worry about him.''