JACKSONVILLE – So far, so good.
“I’m very happy with the first week of practice,” Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said.
That was one takeaway from Marrone’s media availability early Tuesday before Day 5 practice of 2019 Training Camp – that Marrone liked what has been happening at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex adjacent to TIAA Bank Field during camp’s first four days.
Here are four other takeaways from Marrone’s Tuesday availability:
*Quincy Williams is impressing … **This will come as good news to Jaguars observers concerned about the absence of veteran linebacker Telvin Smith, who has announced he doesn’t plan to play in 2019. The Jaguars have worked Williams at Smith’s former position – weak-side linebacker – with the first team throughout the offseason and training camp, and it’s evident he is impressing coaches. Marrone said on Tuesday Williams has taken more repetitions than any other defensive player during training camp. “What I really love is you ask him how it’s going, and he says, ‘Coach, I need the reps; I want the reps; I need the reps,’’’ Marrone said. “I like when a player has that type of mentality. Are there some mistakes out there? Absolutely. But what you see is that as soon as a mistake is made, ‘Boom: recognize. I’ve got to do that better.’ That’s important, because no one’s going to go out there and not make any mistakes.”
*… and Williams isreally, really fast. _This isn’t surprising to anyone who has watched Williams’ college highlights, but Marrone on Tuesday said the rookie may be the team’s fastest player. A third-round selection from Murray State, Williams’ selection surprised many draft analysts because he was comparatively unknown – and because he played at a relatively small school. But he is an explosive player whose speed is comparable to that of Smith, who was one of the NFL’s fastest linebackers in recent seasons. “He might be the fastest player on our football field right now,” Marrone said. “When you watch him … I mean, _he is fast. I know [wide receiver] Dede [Westbrook] will be pissed. There will be a lot of receivers who will be mad, but I’m just telling you: He is fast.”
*The Jaguars’ health situation remains the same. **The Jaguars, after two days with no pads, a day in shoulder pads and one day in full pads, had Monday off before reconvening Tuesday for Day 5 of ‘19 camp. Marrone said the team’s health was relatively the same Tuesday as over the weekend, with wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee) and left tackle Cam Robinson (knee) remaining on the physically unable to perform list and linebacker Jake Ryan (knee) remaining on the reserve/non-football injury list. He reemphasized Tuesday there is no timetable for Ryan’s and said he will discuss a timetable for Robinson’s return later. Marrone said running back Thomas Rawls (hamstring) and cornerback A.J. Bouye (hamstring) will continue working on the side – perhaps through this week. “We’re going to be cautious with these guys as we go,” Marrone.
*Marrone’s happy with the competition in camp – **andhe used the cornerback position as an example of what he said is happening at all positions. “There’s a lot of competition out there,” Marrone said. “There really is. With A.J. being out a couple of days, there’s room for people to step up. We’ll rotate a bunch of guys through. I can’t think of a position on our football team that doesn’t have competition as far as a roster spot. I think that’s pretty cool.” Marrone also said the Jaguars will continue working multiple players with the starters at times. “I think there’s a difference when you’re a player and you’re playing for a job and all of a sudden you get put in there with the first group, with the starters,” he said. “It’s always interesting to see how someone is going to react. … I really get excited about it. I like watching it.”