JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars went through their 14th practice of 2017 Training Camp Sunday.
The Jaguars practiced about two hours inside the recently-completed Daily's Place Flex Field adjacent to EverBank Field, practicing in the facility for the first time. Temperatures inside were 75 degrees; temperatures outside were 89.
The Jaguars are scheduled to practice against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the practice fields adjacent to EverBank Field Monday and Tuesday. Those practices will be open to the public, and will be the last Jaguars 2017 Training Camp practices open to the public.
Head Coach Doug Marrone spoke to the media Sunday, and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue also spoke at the podium. Wide receiver Dede Westbrook also spoke to the media, and we caught up with backup quarterback Chad Henne Saturday.
We'll have comments from Ngakoue, Westbrook and Henne later in this story.
Notes and observations from Day 13 of Jaguars 2017 Training Camp practice:
*The Flex Field drew positive reviews from Marrone, who said he moved indoors Sunday for a "quality" practice out of the heat. "I think it's outstanding," Marrone said. "We were able to fit 90 [players] in there, get everything that we wanted done; I think it's something that's going to obviously help us. Obviously, you get acclimated to the heat, then come back in here. I think all that stuff helps and at the end of the day, you're just looking for getting quality out of practice so you can continue to get where you want to be." …
*Westbrook, the Jaguars' fourth-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, spoke briefly Sunday – three days after catching a 42-yard touchdown pass in his NFL preseason debut against New England. The Biletnikoff Award winner for college football's top receiver last season, Westbrook has flashed throughout training camp, and could have a role as a punt returner/reserve returner this season. "It's been tough, and it's still tough," Westbrook said of his NFL transition. "But the guys, they're taking me under their wing and it's starting to come together." Westbrook spoke minutes after Sunday's practice had been quieted by a lower leg injury sustained by wide receiver Marqise Lee. "It's very tough," Westbrook said. "He's a brother to me; we're really good friends. He's a complete baller in the receiving room. He's one of the guys we look up to – myself, and all the other guys in the room. We're just going to pray for him and hope it's not serious." …
*Ngakoue, who led the Jaguars in sacks with a rookie franchise-record eight last season, has been impressive early in camp. He registered a sack in the preseason opener against New England. Ngakoue when speaking to the media Sunday had high praise for two teammates – rookie offensive lineman Cam Robinson and fellow edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. "He's getting better each and every day," Ngakoue said of Robinson, a second-round selection who is expected to start Week 1 at left tackle. "He's definitely going to be a good left tackle in this league." Ngakoue said he sees Fowler excelling in camp, too – and that he and Fowler complement each other as rushers. "He's becoming more of a student of the game and understanding the game and awareness," Ngakoue said of Fowler. "I feel like he's excelling really well."
*We spoke to Henne Saturday, two days after he completed five of six passes for 139 yards and a touchdown in a little more than a quarter against New England. Included in those statistics: a 97-yard second-quarter touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Keelan Cole. Henne said he couldn't remember his last 97-yard pass. "I might have had one in college," he said, "but it definitely has been a while." Henne did not have a pass of more than 90 yards at Michigan and his longest regular-season pass in nine previous NFL seasons was an 81-yarder for the Jaguars in 2012. More pertinent to Henne than the length of the touchdown was his overall play Thursday. "You have to prove you belong," said Henne, backup to Jaguars starter Blake Bortles since Week 3 of the 2014 season. "I have to take advantage of the opportunity and show them I can still do it at a high level. Every rep I get is important, because when the season comes along, you don't get a lot of reps." Henne took first-team reps with the first unit in the second half of practice Sunday. Marrone said the reps were to give Bortles' arm a rest.