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Notes and observations: OTAs Day Two

Jacksonville Jaguars during an OTA practice session Thursday, May, 24, 2018 in Jacksonville, Fl. (Rick Wilson/Jacksonville Jaguars)

JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's notes and observations from Thursday's Day 2 of Jaguars 2018 Organized Team Activities at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex …

1.Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell addressed the NFL's Topic of the Day Thursday, saying it was too early to say much in detail. "It takes time to process," the 11-year veteran and defensive leader said when asked about the league's new national-anthem policy shortly after OTA Day 2. "This was brand new; it just happened yesterday. Definitely guys have mentioned it and tried to gauge how guys feel about it. At the end of the day, it's just brand new." NFL owners on Wednesday voted to require players to stand for the national anthem if they are on the field, giving them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer. "The ultimate goal is to try to create some social change," Campbell said. "There are issues I believe in strongly and a lot of my peers believe in strongly, and we want to find a way to create change. … It's always hard when you get to the thick and thin trying to figure out which ways to do things to try to make a change." Campbell was asked if he expected players to "push back" on the new policy. "Every guy has a different mentality," he said. "At the end of the day, I know that most of the guys have the mentality of wanting to do something positive."

2.Rookie defensive tackle Taven Bryan has been a major topic in Week 1 of OTAs, drawing praise from teammates and coaches. "He is definitely eager to learn," Campbell said of the No. 29 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. "He's still learning the system, so he's trying to learn the actual plays and the techniques to use in certain situations that can give him advantages. He is really learning the basics right now. I try to give him a lot of information and see what he can retain. He's a very talented player and has shown a lot of flash, a lot of potential. I'm just eager to see what he does when we put pads on him. It is a long way away. He's getting better each day." Defensive line coach Marion Hobby smiled when asked what he liked about Bryan: "I like that 6-feet-4, 290-pound frame … that great first step. That kind of jumps out at you. …. That's what you really love about him." Hobby added more seriously of Bryan, "The way he learns … he fits in well with the guys. He's not doing a bunch of talking, but he's not afraid to ask questions. He's assertive. He's not a meek guy. He wants to please. …. We like good guys; we don't like nice guys."

3.Hobby discussed multiple players during his podium appearance Thursday, including fourth-year defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. As Head Coach Doug Marrone said earlier in the day, Hobby said he had seen no negative signs from Fowler regarding the team opting not to pick up his fifth-year option for the 2019 season – a non-move that means Fowler will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2018 season though the team is still interested in working out a long-term deal. "We communicated all through the offseason," Hobby said of Fowler, who had eight regular-season sacks last season and two more in the postseason. "His presence is felt. He had a great year for us." Hobby said Fowler improved as the season went on last season. "The ceiling is high for him," Hobby said. Hobby also addressed third-year Pro Bowl defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who has registered 20 sacks in two NFL seasons with 10 forced fumbles – including 12 sacks with six forced fumbles this past season. "We talk to him more or less about being consistent – and doing it over and over again," Hobby said. "We talk to him about being consistent reading schemes. He comes every day to work – and game day he comes to play.  You just keep pouring water on that flower and let it grow."

4.A player to watch early in OTAs continues to be tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who has shown good on-field rapport with quarterback Blake Bortles during the week's first two practices. The Jaguars signed Seferian-Jenkins as an unrestricted free agent in mid-March with the hope that he can upgrade the downfield threat of the position. "It is early, obviously – very early," Marrone said. "From his preparation to his ability to do what he has been doing in the drills and on the field, I feel very, very good about where he is at knowing that we are probably just tapping the potential, and I think he has done everything we have asked him to do." Marrone cautioned overanalyzing any player early in offseason, unpadded work. "I learned a long time ago, never get too excited and never get too down," he said. "You don't want to get yourself in that position. At least I don't put myself in that position as a coach. That is what I have learned from my experiences."…

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