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Senior Bowl: Mission accomplished


MOBILE, Ala. – Familiarity is key.

That's what the Jaguars sought from the 2015 Reese's Senior Bowl, and it's why Head Coach Gus Bradley and General Manager David Caldwell wanted the Jaguars' coaching staff to coach the game a second consecutive season.

As the week's end draws near, they believe they got it.

"You can fool anybody in a 15-minute interview, but in a week, it's hard to do that," Caldwell said Thursday after the final practice of Senior Bowl week.

The Jaguars, after coaching the South team to a victory in last year's Senior Bowl, drafted four players from that game: guard Brandon Linder, cornerback Aaron Colvin, linebacker Telvin Smith and defensive end Chris Smith. The Smiths and Colvin played for the Jaguars' staff on the South team while Linder played for the North team.

Caldwell said this week there will be players from the Senior Bowl on the Jaguars' roster next season, and said the rosters this year "are very good."

"It also helps us eliminate some guys who maybe aren't a good fit, too," Caldwell said.

Bradley said the coaches have talked with Caldwell and the personnel staff throughout the week, with a larger meeting planned Friday.

"We'll go through each individual, but it really gives you a good foundation," Bradley said. "Now, we'll go back and watch more college tape, but you've got a foundation that you've built here."

While the Jaguars' coaching staff has spent the last four days with the South team, the staff will interview the North team on Friday, with position coaches having time to meet with players at their positions.

"Every team is looking for certain traits," Bradley said. "We have a pretty good idea what we're looking for, so to target those guys and visiting with them has been good."

Bradley also Thursday said it felt good to have the search for an offensive coordinator in the past and to focus on coaching. The Jaguars announced Doug Marrone as assistant head coach-offense/offensive line on Tuesday and Greg Olson as offensive coordinator Wednesday.

"I didn't think how good it would feel, but it does feel good to get back here and be coaching these guys," Bradley said. "It's really a good group. It's a great day."

Also around the Senior Bowl:

*Caldwell said this week went more smoothly than when the staff worked the game last year – even with the added responsibility of hiring two coaches. "In life, you have to be adaptable and you have to multitask," Caldwell said. "Gus did a great job with it and the staff did a good job with it. We knew that was a possibility when we agreed to do it and you just have to plan ahead." …

*The South team added Central Florida linebacker Terrance Plummer – who played at Orange Park High School – to the roster on Thursday. He was added to the game in the wake of an injury to Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman, who sustained an abdominal strain Tuesday and missed Wednesday practice. "He's got to look at it as a positive, to come in here after missing a couple of days and show how quick a learner he is," Bradley said of Plummer. Perryman returned to practice Thursday. …

*The decision by former Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall to play cornerback this week was the focus of Alabama media, and Bradley on Thursday said Marshall has done well in his first days moving to a new position. "The first day he comes in there and doesn't even know how to align his feet," Bradley said. "Today, we had a couple of red-zone plays and he was making plays in the red zone. He's really a quick learner; he really understands it. He just needs reps. He'll get those chances in this game." …

*Senior Bowl practices, which scouts consider the most important part of the week, ended with the South's Thursday afternoon practice. After three days, Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton -- a consensus early-first-round selection – was widely considered the standout player for the week. The wide receiver, offensive line and secondary groups were generally considered solid, with linebackers less so and a quarterback group that included Blake Sims of Alabama and Bryce Petty of Baylor not considered overly strong. …

*The wide receiver class in the 2015 NFL Draft is considered a good one, if not quite to the level of an extraordinary class last season. The Senior Bowl receivers class is considered strong, too, with players such as Sammie Coates of Auburn and Phillip Dorsett from Miami from the South team and Justin Hardy of East Carolina from the North. Devin Smith of Ohio State from the North team also stood out to some. Jaguars wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan said he likes the South group, though Sullivan – known for detail-oriented coaching – said he found the Senior Bowl experience difficult at times. "I get frustrated because I can't teach them everything," he said. "It's fun to watch them try to do it. They do some good things, but if it was that easy where all you needed was a week, you'd be a great coach." …

Photos from the second day of Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, AL.

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