JACKSONVILLE – The emphasis on health is real.
While that has been obvious early in Jaguars 2019 Training Camp, Head Coach Doug Marrone made it even more so Saturday.
Marrone said while the Jaguars could have worked in full pads Saturday morning, they opted to practice in helmets and shoulder pads. The decision was part of an effort to increase player health and availability after what Marrone called a "crazy amount of injuries" during the team's 2018 5-11 season.
The first full-pads practice of '19 camp will take place Sunday morning.
"It's my responsibility to make sure we do the right things for the players," Marrone said Saturday shortly before Day 3 training camp practice at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex adjacent to TIAA Bank Field. "With the information I have, that's why we're doing what we're doing.
"It's, 'How do we get everything in to be a good football team and at the same point make sure we're doing everything for players safety-wise?' We're still getting the same amount of work in. I just like to say we're working smarter."
Marrone said a primary objective is decreasing injuries in the first 10 days of camp, emphasizing a "smart approach" rather than a "cautious approach."
"I don't like using words like, 'cautious,''' he said. "I really just think it's smart. We're still going to get all the work in."
He also said the Jaguars have increased rotations among players early in camp – not as an indication of depth chart or strategy but to properly evaluate all personnel.
"We're just trying to put the work in," Marrone said.
Marrone, too, said situational football has been emphasized early in camp.
"It's important because when I look back in the last two years I don't think we as a team – our players, our coaches – have been happy with where we've been situationally," Marrone said. "We want to be a smart football team. We want to do better. That's an emphasis.
"When you look in the past, we have made mistakes that we shouldn't have made whether it's what we call in situations, or the way we're executing those situations."
Marrone also on Saturday discussed rookie edge defender Josh Allen.
The No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, Allen worked mostly in individual drills in the first two practices – though Marrone said he took a "couple of" team reps on Friday and those reps will continue increasing. Allen missed all but one practice in the on-field portion of the offseason with a knee bruise.
"We're limiting him because we're building up his reps because we haven't seen him on the football field – as coaches," Marrone said. "It's more us than it is his physical ability."
Children of Jaguars Season Ticket Members took part in the annual Helmet Hike to start Saturday's practice.