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Training Camp 2020: Marrone sees improvement on O-Line

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson (74) performs a drill during an NFL football workout, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone likes what he has seen from Cam Robinson.

He feels the same about the offensive line overall.

And while the Jaguars' head coach knows those impressions mean less now than when pads go on next week, Marrone's positive thoughts could bode well for one of 2020 Jaguars Training Camp's most important storylines.

"Overall, when I look at the group, I've seen the improvement we've talked about this whole offseason," he said, speaking to the media via videoconference Thursday before a non-padded camp practice. "As far as strength, size, athletic ability – the things that we're able to evaluate now from that whole group – I've seen improvement across the board from everyone.

The Jaguars return all five offensive line starters from last season: Robinson at left tackle, left guard Andrew Norwell, center Brandon Linder, right guard A.J. Cann and right tackle Jawaan Taylor.

"If that can carry over now into the same type of improvement when we do start putting the pads on and when we do start playing, then I think we'll be able to talk about that group as taking the next step. Obviously, we still have a lot of work ahead of us."

Robinson earlier this week said the difference in his health this year compared to this time last year is "night and day." He missed the first two regular-season games last season after missing the final 14 games in 2018 with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

"Cam looks good," Marrone said. "This time last year, he wasn't even cleared."

Marrone said that meant because Robinson spent the '19 offseason rehabilitating, he couldn't properly prepare physically for the season.

"You're not able to put your body in a position for strengthening of muscle, or muscle memory – however you want to describe it," he said. "Next thing you know, you're thrown out there on the field. For lack of a better term, you're just trying to survive. You're trying to just win on what you do and your focus isn't on a process or a progression to build a foundation, to put yourself in better position."

Marrone called Robinson's footwork and technique "much better than I've ever seen from him."

"He's stronger," Marrone said. "He's moving extremely well. I think there's a confidence building in him, and he's getting better on a daily basis."

Also on Thursday:

*Marrone said he has not spoken to defensive end Yannick Ngakoue since news surfaced this week that the four-year veteran has parted ways with his agent. Ngakoue has not yet reported to camp and is not under contract after the team placed the NFL's franchise tag on him this offseason. Ngakoue has not publicly said if he plans to sign the tag and play for the Jaguars this season, though he said during the offseason that he wanted to be traded. "It's not uncommon right now," Marrone said of not having spoken to Ngakoue. "I don't know what the next steps are or what's going to happen. Obviously, he knows that I'm always here for him. But a lot of times when it goes to the business end, you try to take care of the business part of it first before you start doing anything else. You want people to make the right decisions for themselves. You want the club to make the right decisions. As coach, you just kind of step back, let all that play out and then see where we're at. You're always there to support the player." …

*Weak-side linebacker Quincy Williams missed practice with a core injury, and Marrone said the second-year veteran could "miss some time." Marrone said the team will move Dakota Allen and Nate Evans up the depth chart at the position. …

*Defensive linemen Cauron Reid and Carl Davis practiced for the first time since signing with the team Sunday; the pair had been in COVID-19 testing early in the week. …

*Cornerback Tramaine Brock and defensive lineman Josh Mauro remained in COVID-19 testing after signing with the team Sunday and Tuesday, respectively. …

*Three players remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list: running back Ryquell Armstead, offensive lineman Tre'Vour Wallace-Sims and offensive lineman Ryan Pope. …

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