JACKSONVILLE – He's halfway into the offseason, and he's still healthy.
That's important to Marqise Lee – even if he's not overplaying it.
It's also why the Jaguars' third-year wide receiver didn't seem at all surprised to have had a really good practice Monday – maybe one of his best practices since joining the Jaguars.
Lee during 2016 Organized Team Activities consistently has focused his public comments on his health and keeping an even keel. But he did allow a smile or two after practice Monday when asked it had been a fun day.
"I'm healthy – if I'm healthy, I'm always going to have fun," Lee said following Day Seven OTA practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields. "I'm just having fun out there – just enjoying myself. I'm getting everything down pat and just understanding the game.
"You've got to enjoy it while you play."
Lee, a third-year veteran, entered OTAs with the idea of remaining healthy during that period for the first time in his three NFL offseasons. He has done so, and as a result he is drawing more praise from teammates and coaches.
Images from the Jaguars seventh day of OTAs.
"That's all I'm worried about; I know if I'm healthy I'm going to be fine – just fine," Lee said.
Lee, a second-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, has flashed at times in two NFL seasons, but he has also dealt with injuries – particularly in the offseason. He has missed most of the significant work in his first two NFL offseasons with injuries, which has limited his role in the regular season and helped limit his production to 52 receptions for 613 yards and two touchdowns.
That made the 2016 OTAs important for Lee, with coaches hoping to find a role in the offense to use his speed and quickness. He is the Jaguars' quickest, most-athletic skill player and his speed would give the Jaguars' offense a dimension it otherwise lacks.
"Whenever you see him out there playing and healthy, I think he brings a tremendous different pace to our offense," wide receiver Allen Robinson said last week. "He's a person who can take the top off and make plays at any point, and score from any point on the field."
Jaguars offensive coordinator Greg Olson spoke of Lee last week during Week 2 of OTAs, saying he had improved during the early part of the offseason.
"That's been an encouraging sign for the offense," Olson said, adding that Lee had been able to get some added repetitions with Robinson and Allen Hurns being held out of some OTA drills for precautionary reasons.
"He's been very steady and he looks good," Olson said. "We'll continue to push him again. A-Rob and Hurns have been somewhere on and off a little bit, so we've held them out on our end just to hold them out. We wanted to give possibly Marqise a chance to play a couple different positions at wide receiver so it's good to have him out there."
Rules limit specifics on what can be reported in OTA practices, but Lee has looked quicker and more confident as time has gone on during the two-week session. Without getting into specifics, he was very impressive Monday.
"I'm happy at this point, honestly," Lee said. "This is my first year getting to go through OTAs fully. My main focus is finishing it up. Once I finish it up you'll see an even bigger smile on my face – if I get the opportunity, get through it, get through mandatory minicamp and handle all my business."