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OTA 7: Fowler misses, practice time moved


JACKSONVILLE – Week 3 got an early start.

The threat of inclement weather caused a schedule change at 2017 organized team activities Monday, a day when most Jaguars players who have been held out of the voluntary work remained out.

The start of Monday's session was moved to 8:45 a.m. from 11 a.m. because of the threat of rain.

"The weather hasn't really cooperated from my standpoint," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said after the Jaguars' OTA 7 was held in cool, overcast conditions. "I actually want it to be the opposite way, where it might have been a little bit tougher. Today was obviously cool.

"We went out early because of the weather. We are going to try to go out early again tomorrow [Tuesday] to beat the weather."

Defensive Dante Fowler Jr. missed Monday after attending all previous 2017 OTA sessions.

"Today was the first time he's missed," Marrone said. "He communicated. We spoke to him about it."

Marrone on Monday also lauded the Jaguars' 2017 rookie class overall, saying that technological advances have helped young players adjust more quickly to the NFL.

"The younger guys have done a nice job," Marrone said, adding of using technology such as Microsoft Surfaces and IPads for study and video review, "This class has really done a nice job taking advantage of those situations. They've also done a nice job in the weight room from a strength-and-conditioning standpoint.

"I'm positive about that. You hope that carries over to results on the field, which we won't know until we put pads on."

Marrone said coaches will have introduced all situations by the end of this week. The Jaguars have four OTA practices scheduled this week, OTAs No. 7 through 10 of the 2017 offseason. They will hold a mandatory minicamp next Tuesday through Thursday, three days that mark the end of the offseason program for veterans.

"Each day we are adding different things to what we want to see – whether it is something we want to do or something we are going to have to go against during the year," Marrone said. "We tried to add those situations in as we go. We have three (OTAs) left this week and really after this week is over, we will have done pretty much everything that you can do situationally, meaning third-down, red zone, backed up, two-minute, empty (sets), no-huddle, whatever it is. We have pretty much covered that."

Also at OTA 7 Monday:

*Second-year defensive end Yannick Ngakoue spoke to the media after OTA 7, saying he likes Marrone's straightforward approach with players. "I definitely appreciate it," Ngakoue said. "You have to be straightforward. This is a business. At the end of the day, I like how he just tells you how it is instead of just sugarcoating it." Ngakoue also said he has seen progress this offseason from a defense that finished the 2016 season sixth in the NFL in yards allowed. "I feel like we'll see that during the preseason going into the season, but right now, we're hitting on all cylinders, all nose-in," Ngakoue said. "We're definitely doing a good job, definitely have a made a big step from last year in the last game." Ngakoue finished 2016 with eight sacks, a franchise rookie record. …

*Marrone said cornerback A.J. Bouye "looks great" after missing the first four OTA sessions with an undisclosed injury. Bouye, who signed as an unrestricted free agent from Houston in March, has practiced in the last three OTA sessions. "It's tough when people get injured," Marrone said. "Some guys can come back quickly and some guys can take their time. He was someone from Day One … he wanted to be back on the field and worked hard enough and was able to overcome not being on the field. He looks 100 percent, so he's fine." …

*Wide receiver Dede Westbrook remained out of practice working on the side along with cornerbacks Aaron Colvin and Tyler Patmon, tight ends Marcedes Lewis and Neal Sterling, running back T.J. Yeldon, safeties Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson. Defensive lineman Stefan Charles returned to practice. …

*Marrone said both Peyton Thompson and Jarrod Wilson have taken advantage of the OTA-long absence of Church and Gipson, saying Thompson has had a more professional approach this offseason and that Wilson could have a more general role next season as opposed to the short-yardage-based role he played last season. "There is opportunity back there," Marrone said, referring to the absence of Church and Gipson. "He [Thompson] has taken advantage of it, and I think Jarrod Wilson has, too." …

*Rookie running back Tim Cook and rookie wide receiver Kenneth Walker are not in attendance because of NCAA rules prohibiting players from participating in offseason programs until their schools finish spring classes. …

*Left tackle Branden Albert continued to remain away from OTAs. The Jaguars acquired Albert in a trade with the Miami Dolphins in March and he has yet to participate in the team's offseason program. Offseason activities are voluntary until the team's mandatory June 13-15 minicamp. …

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