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Notes and observations: OTAs Day One

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Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) hands the ball off to running back Leonard Fournette (27) during organized team activities, Tuesday, May. 22, 2018 in Jacksonville, Fla. (Logan Bowles / AP)

JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's notes and observations from Day 1 of Jaguars 2018 Organized Team Activities at Dream Finders Home Flex Field at Daily's Place …

1. A Year 2 jump could be real for the offense this season. That has been a big offseason storyline around quarterback Blake Bortles as he enters his second full season in offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett's offense, but Bortles said he saw good signs during the first 2018 OTA practice Tuesday from second-year wide receivers Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook and running back Leonard Fournette. "You could tell today," Bortles said. "You could see it in their eyes in the huddle. It's less of, 'I hope I've heard this before' and [more] knowing exactly what they're going to do. Their confidence just continues to grow the whole offseason." The Jaguars last season ranked No. 6 in the NFL in yards and No. 5 in the NFL in points in Hackett's first full season as coordinator; Hackett took over the offense with nine games remaining in 2016, but last season was the first with Hackett's entire offensive installed.

2. Two veterans to watch during OTAs: tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and wide receiver Donte Moncrief. The duo signed as unrestricted free agents in March and both are expected to play key roles as starters in 2018. "Donte had a bunch of catches and was in the right spot; he hit all the right landmarks," Bortles said, adding "He [Moncrief] is going to give us another target down in the red zone. With Keelan, Austin and Donte, we have three big guys who can go play one-on-one, catch fades and do different things down in the red zone. The most impressive thing about him (Moncrief) is how hard he has worked. All offseason, during Phase 2 – throwing routes on air – the effort and precision in his route-running has been extremely impressive." Bortles appeared particularly in sync with Seferian-Jenkins Tuesday, connecting several times on intermediate routes and once downfield between the hashmarks and sideline. "We've gotten a chance to throw these past couple of weeks," Bortles said. "I think he's going to do a lot for us. I think he's going to be a mismatch nightmare."

3. A highlight of Doug Marrone's media availability Tuesday came when the head coach was asked about any specific structural changes that might have been made entering OTAs. Marrone said the Jaguars indeed have changed "some schematics," adding that they are "going to try some things" from a "schematic standpoint, to see some things that we thought could help us." He also added, "There are some things that maybe fit better with the skillset of some of the players that we have. We're just trying to see what they can handle and what they can do." Because this was vague, Marrone was asked if he could elaborate. "Hell, no," he said, laughing and drawing laughter from the gathered media. "I'm not going to put myself out there. When it works, then I'll tell you what it is." …

4. Marrone as he often does during offseason practices cautioned multiple times about the inherent limitations of this period. When outlining what he emphasized to players in a Day One team meeting on Tuesday, he said he told veterans and rookies what he had told participants in a rookie minicamp earlier in the month – that players staying on their feet was a major priority because players on the ground often leads to injury. "We do not want that physical type of contact because again we are really not playing football; we're still in pajamas," he said. He added later that while running and stopping the run are top priorities, "It's very difficult to train that now. It's very difficult to train the mindset of the finish, the physical finishing a block. The physical part of it [is difficult to train] because we're playing in basically our pajamas. We're playing with our hands and feet, we are not putting our full body towards finishing." …

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