JACKSONVILLE – This group won't struggle with philosophy or approach.
Jaguars offensive line coach George Warhop made that clear – that when it comes to the mentality and culture of Head Coach Urban Meyer, the group he coaches has no issues.
Plus-two? Maximum effort?
"That's always been our mindset anyway," Warhop said.
Warhop, speaking last week as Jaguars 2021 Minicamp presented by Baptist Health drew to a close, discussed multiple issues – and also discussed multiple members of the Jaguars' offensive line. Among the topics: right tackle Jawaan Taylor and left tackle Cam Robinson, a duo that has been a focus of coaches and observes this offseason.
"They both have done a nice job," Warhop said.
Meyer has expressed confidence in the duo since taking the job in January. He also has said the duo must improve from last season – a stance Warhop, the team's offensive line coach the past two seasons, reiterated when speaking to the media via videoconference last week.
Warhop, asked about Taylor, discussed both players in detail.
"My biggest issue with Jawaan is just consistency and pass protection," Warhop said. "In the run game, he's physical. Same with Cam [Robinson]. From a run standpoint, I really can't [complain] about any of our guys and how we approach it. I'm of the belief that there [are] very few teams, if we decide that we want to hand a ball off, are going to stop us from running the ball.
"Where we struggled last year at times was in pass protection. And that's a technique issue and a consistency issue. And that's been addressed and will continue to be addressed, those guys know it. It's something that we're not shying away from, so it'll get better."
Warhop added, "The stuff we have to get better at, I think both those guys have made strides this offseason. We still have to make more strides coming back into the season."
The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Robinson shortly before the mid-March start of the 2021 NFL League Year, meaning he is playing the 2021 season on a one-year contract. They then selected tackle Walker Little in Round 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft, with Little – once projected as a potential Top 10 selection before a torn anterior cruciate ligament cost him most of his 2019 season – impressing during the offseason program that recently concluded.
"I'm going to be completely honest with you: I've had multiple tackles drafted in the first or second round and he came in as prepared or more prepared than any of those guys – in terms of movement skills, in terms of intellect, in terms of communication," Warhop said of Little, a 2018 All-Pac 12 selection before missing most of the 2019 season with a torn anterior cruciate and all of the 2020 season after opting out because of COVID-19.
"We ask guys to do things differently than they do in college, so there's a learning curve there. But in terms of how he came in, the fact that he didn't play for two years, you really couldn't notice that."
Warhop lauded Little's "unbelievable flexibility."
"He can really bend," Warhop said. "He's a smooth pass blocker, so when you watch his tape, even from his sophomore year and then going into his junior year right before he got hurt, it's his fluidity of movement. You knew he could come in and that he was going to be an efficient pass blocker.
"What you didn't know is how physical he was going to be in the run game. … If he develops, he could bring some competition to those guys. But you won't ever know that until we get to training camp, we put the pads on and we're hitting people, [whether he'll] be consistent day-in and day-out at a high level, to really put pressure on the guys that we have."
Warhop on how the Jaguars' offensive line has embraced Meyer's philosophy: "For me, that's how we want to play, that's how I like to coach my guys. We want to be down the field, finishing and pass protecting. We want to be physical in the run game, we want to try and diminish the defense over time. So, what Urban is talking about and his philosophy really goes hand-in-hand in how I believe we have to play as an offensive line. We don't want to be a soft group. When we go play a team, we want them concerned about having to deal with us from a physical standpoint, and that's his whole mantra."