JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's notes and observations Wednesday from Day Two of Jaguars 2018 Veteran Mandatory Minicamp at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex …
1.Todd Wash said it, but Malik Jackson said to make no mistake: Jaguars players agree with the sentiment expressed Wednesday when Wash – the Jaguars' defensive coordinator – told reporters: "We did not accomplish jack last year." Wash was discussing the team-wide sentiment that the Jaguars' motivation is high this offseason after winning the AFC South title last season and advancing to the AFC Championship Game. Jackson, the Jaguars' Pro Bowl defensive tackle, said Wednesday that without question is a major offseason theme. "That's exactly how we approach it because we didn't win the AFC Championship," Jackson said. "It's something to get there, but as long as you're sitting at the house watching teams play in the Super Bowl you really didn't do anything. … I think everybody gets that. They have no choice. We all say it; the leaders say it and the leaders feel that way. Plus, last year was last year. I went to the Pro Bowl and that's awesome, but what have you done for me lately? That's the type of league we're in. Unless you're retiring, you can't hang your hat on last season. Nobody's retiring around here, so …"
2.Running back Leonard Fournette was a major topic Wednesday during offensive Nathaniel Hackett's last offseason media availability, with Hackett saying he liked the second-year veteran's progress learning the offense. "Understanding the system and understanding how we are trying to attack … the more he can understand that, the more he is going to be able to protect himself and get more out of each run play," Hackett said. Fournette, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, rushed for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie with a hard-nosed style that Hackett said defines the team's offensive personality. "We want that," Hackett said. "We want everybody to feel that way. [Wide receiver] Marqise [Lee] gets after it; he is one of those guys that kind of does the same thing. It's a contact sport, and you want guys that want contact and get excited for it. That is how you can wear a defense down and really bring it to them. Defenses are always trying to hit you, so it is about being able to be the enforcer. I don't want him [Fournette] to change. I want him to be him. I want him to do his style. I never want him to change. I just want him to be able to understand the system more so he can run even smarter, but still never lose that aggressiveness. That is what makes Leonard, Leonard. That is what gets everybody excited."
3.The speed and athleticism of tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has been a major offseason focus, and Hackett on Wednesday called the unrestricted free agent signee's offseason approach "awesome." Seferian-Jenkins signed with the Jaguars in March, with the team releasing longtime veteran Marcedes Lewis two days later. Seferian-Jenkins has appeared to be in sync with quarterback Blake Bortles throughout the offseason, and his athleticism and downfield ability has been impressive. "His work ethic has been awesome – just coming in here and learning a new system," Hackett said of Seferian-Jenkins, a 2014 second-round selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who caught a career-high 50 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns for the New York Jets last season. "His desire and want is great. Then, you add in his size and his speed and ability to block, which I think has been something that has been really exciting to see from him. … He definitely adds another dimension."
4.One of the Jaguars' most-improved areas next season is expected to be offensive line – and while little can be gauged until padded work in training camp, the group's athleticism has been evident this offseason. So said Wash, who said the offensive line has looked good against the Jaguars' defensive line, which is considered one of the best and deepest in the NFL. "We don't have pads, but you can tell they're going to be stout," Wash said. "We've gotten a lot stronger; you've got to give credit to (strength and conditioning coordinator Tom) 'Mylo' (Myslinski) here in the offseason really building some muscle mass on our offensive line – and our defensive line. You see the size and the strength. We're just in gym class (in the offseason), but they're athletic. … We're going to be stout up front, but they're athletic enough to control obviously our athleticism, so that's an encouraging group as an offensive line."