JACKSONVILLE – When discussing Josh Allen, Doug Marrone hardly could have been more direct.
He hardly could have been happier, either.
"This guy gets it," Marrone said.
The Jaguars' head coach said much more about the second-year defensive end during a Thursday videoconference with local media, but that quote summed up Marrone's thoughts on the No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Allen more than lived up to that draft status with a 10.5-sack, Pro Bowl-rookie season – and Marrone said Allen has shown signs early in 2020 Training Camp that he will continue to do so.
"All indications are he's exactly where he should be," Marrone said. "That's one of the things you get excited about. It looks like he has done a heck of a job between when the season is over until now. It started with conversations in the offseason: 'How can I get on the field more?' 'How can I be of better use for the team?' 'I'll do whatever it takes.'
"This guy is all of a sudden starting to put together a plan for himself of what he wants to do in the offseason, what he wants to do when he comes back. He's envisioning himself being successful on the field. You need that first before you need anything."
Marrone said Allen has followed that by reporting to camp prepared.
"You can say all that stuff, and talk about that stuff, but you can show up and not be in shape, not be ready, not be focused…" Marrone said. "That's the exact opposite with Josh."
Marrone on Thursday also praised both Allen and wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. – two of the team's best two young players – for their team-oriented approach.
"He looks like someone that is not satisfied, that's on a mission, that has a lot of goals – and has team goals," Marrone said of Allen. "That's the other important thing, too. Is it just about me, me, me, or is it, 'What can I do for the team? How can I be a better leader?' These are the conversations I've had with him that when you're a coach, 'You're like, that's awesome, that's great.'"
*Marrone discussed Gardner Minshew II, saying that while he is aware Minshew has a fun-loving, rebellious off-field reputation he doesn't see that side of the second-year quarterback. "I don't know so many things that go on on the outside," Marrone said. "I see the guy who comes in with a mission and a focus every single day. When he's here, I don't see that other side that people always talk about … the quirkiness or things of that nature. … Make no mistake about it: When he crosses that line and he's on the field, or in the classroom – or when he's by himself – he's working extremely hard. That's what I see.'' …
*Marrone said he feels better about the depth at linebacker now than in any of his previous three seasons as Jaguars head coach. "We've had good starters, excellent starters, and I think we have some excellent starters [this season] – and some really good depth," Marrone said. The Jaguars this offseason signed Joe Schobert as an unrestricted free agent from Cleveland to start at middle linebacker, which will allow former starting middle linebacker Myles Jack to start on the weak side. They drafted defensive end/linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson in Round 1, and signed end/linebackers Cassius Marsh and Aaron Lynch as unrestricted free agents. Leon Jacobs, a starter at strong-side backer the past two seasons, and Quincy Williams – who started much of last season at weak-side linebacker – also return along with 2019 undrafted rookie Joe Giles-Harris. The Jaguars also selected inside linebacker Shaq Quarterman in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. "Right now, I like what I see out there with the starters," Marrone said. "I love what I see out of the young guys – whether they've been drafted like Shaq – or [undrafted rookie] Nate Evans. The free agent acquisitions have been good. They're guys who have been working their butts off to go. This is going to be interesting. I feel really good about where we are there." …