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OTA 8: Ramsey misses, Fowler returns


JACKSONVILLE – Jalen Ramsey did not practice, and Dante Fowler Jr. returned.

Those were two of the more noteworthy happenings on the eighth day of Jaguars 2017 organized team activities, a day on which the Jaguars moved practice to 8:45 for a second consecutive day because of the threat of rain.

Linebacker Paul Posluszny also spoke to the media following practice, saying he remains confident his move from middle to the strong side and second-year veteran Myles Jack's move to the middle from strong side should be a positive.

"There's no reason we can't have success with this change," Posluszny said following a rain-soaked hour-and-45-minute session outside EverBank Field.

Ramsey, a second-year veteran cornerback, missed his second day of work in this voluntary period, and running back Chris Ivory also worked on the side after practicing in the first seven sessions.

A quick look elsewhere around OTA 8:

*Fowler, the Jaguars' third-year defensive end, returned to practice after missing Monday. Head Coach Doug Marrone on Monday said Fowler had contacted the team before missing the session. …

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

*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. …

Posluszny was the lone Jaguars player to speak at a podium following Tuesday's practice, and he said as he has previously this offseason that improving mentally as well as physically will be key at strong-side backer. He started for the Jaguars at middle linebacker since 2011.

"I have a lot of improvement I need to make and a lot of technique things I need to work on – just from the standpoint that I don't have the time on task that I've had at a different spot," Posluszny said. "I need to get fast with that."

Posluszny said that means a dramatic increase in film study before training camp begins in late July.

"There's the lifting and running and getting physically prepared, but this five-week break will be much more technique-oriented for this position specifically," Posluszny said. "I'll definitely have to do more and more in order to get to the level we want to be at."

The moves of Posluszny and Jack aren't the only major offseason changes to a defense that ranked No. 6 in the NFL in yards allowed last season. The Jaguars also signed cornerback A.J. Bouye, defensive end Calais Campbell and safety Barry Church as unrestricted free agents, with all three expected to start and play front-line roles.

Posluszny the experience of those three players will be important in training camp and early in the regular season.

"Look at Barry Church: he's a veteran; he's a professional – as soon as he steps on the field, he's going to communicate clearly and he knows exactly what to do," Posluszny said. "Calais – he has stepped right in from Day One and fit right in; the same thing with A.J. When you bring in guys who are true professionals and they know how to communicate, talk with each other and learn … that makes a world of difference."

Posluszny said Campbell quickly has assumed a leadership role.

"He served as a captain for Arizona for years," Posluszny said. "He's very vocal in that aspect of it, and he's a great teammate. When you talk about getting him on the field … to have a guy like that set the edge of your defense who's physical and athletic and can run and move … he's a special player. That will be very important for us."

Posluszny also said Marrone's approach in his first season as head coach has been welcome.

"I think the way Coach Marrone is doing things is exactly what we need," Posluszny said. "When we need improvement and we need work and it's not good enough, we need to be told that. Our standards need to be higher for ourselves and for this organization. If we're not doing things in an acceptable manner, he's going to flat-out tell us. As a team, that's what you want."

The Jaguars will hold OTAs No. 9 and 10 Thursday and Friday, and will hold a mandatory minicamp next Tuesday through Thursday. The minicamp will mark the end of the offseason program for veterans.

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