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OTAs Day 10: Marks returns to practice


JACKSONVILLE – Sen'Derrick Marks is getting healthier.

That was news Friday morning as the Jaguars finished 2016 organized team activities at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields – that the veteran defensive tackle was cleared for individual work for the first time this offseason.

What perhaps wasn't news is this:

Marks remains confident in his abilities despite two serious injuries in the last year and a half.

"I tell myself all the time, 'I can wake up and kick ass any day,''' Marks said.

Marks, the Jaguars' sacks leader in 2014, participated in individual work Friday in the team's final OTA practice of 2016. He had worked on the side throughout the first eight on-field practices while rehabilitating a torn triceps that cost him the last seven games of last season.

"It felt good, just getting back and trusting the process," said Marks, who is expected to do individual work during next week's June 14-16 mandatory minicamp that represents the end of the team's official offseason program.

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said Marks' return is good for the veteran's confidence.

"He's worked to a level where he's gotten himself cleared," Bradley said. "We said we were going to be smart with him, so you'll see him participate in individual only."

Marks, who said Friday he expects to be "full-go" when 2016 Training Camp opens in late July, missed the first five games of last season after sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the 2014 regular-season finale. He returned to play four games before sustaining the torn triceps.

"It's not as bad as the knee," Marks said of this offseason's rehabilitation. "The knee was huge. This one was all about strengthening, letting the tendon heal on the bone and getting it back stronger. This was a lot easier than it was with the knee."

Marks said he did some individual work last week after practice to get accustomed to a practice routine.

"It turned out good today," he said. "It was good to get out, get a feeling, get in a groove and basically see what I can do."

Also Friday:

Images from the Jaguars final day of organized team activities.

*Bradley said a huge takeaway from three weeks of OTAs was that the team in general is in more situations to make big plays than in past seasons. He said the other takeaway is that those situations must be capitalized upon. "I told the team, 'We have to turn these missed opps into greedy opps,''' he said. "Now that we're in position to make these plays we have to make these plays." Bradley said that will be a major emphasis during next week's minicamp. …

*Marks said he is looking forward to being part of what is expected to be a deeper defensive line rotation this season. Unrestricted free agent Malik Jackson is expected to start at the three-technique defensive tackle position Marks plays, meaning Marks could play extensively in sub packages and passing situations. "My job is to make sure I get back to the level of game I was playing before I got hurt," Marks said.  "After that, it's just being a veteran and making sure everybody's on the same page. That will be huge, just making sure everybody's rolling together." …

*Bradley on Marks' approach in the wake of Jackson's signing: "I'm not going to say it's easy. It's not easy. When you're a highly competitive person, it's challenging, but he remains one of our strongest leaders on the team – if that gives you an idea how he's handled it. He's outstanding." …

*Bradley mentioned safety Johnathan Cyprien, wide receiver Marqise Lee and Jackson as players who performed well during OTAs. "There's quite a few guys who have had a good showing,'' he said. …

*Bradley said rookie Myles Jack likely will work at middle linebacker next week. The minicamp practices will be the second-round selection's first with the Jaguars because of an NFL rule prohibiting players from participating in OTAs or veteran minicamps until their school has finished spring classes. Bradley also said he expects Jack to be cleared medically to participate fully. …

*Bradley said cornerback Dwayne Gratz's move to nickel corner has gone well thus far, and that OTA practices have been important for Gratz in terms of reps. "This has been good for him," Bradley said. …

*Bradley also said rookie Jalen Ramsey could get nickel repetitions in training camp. Ramsey, out for the offseason after surgery to repair a small tear in his right meniscus, is expected to work mostly at outside corner. …

*Bradley also said left tackle Kelvin Beachum's rehabilitation is going well. "Everything's pointing up," he said. Beachum signed with the Jaguars in March as an unrestricted free agent from Pittsburgh after missing the final 10 games of last season with a torn ACL.

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