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Training Camp: Day 5 notes and observations


JACKSONVILLE – So far, so good for Leonard Fournette.

And as for the increased speed of the NFL, and just how difficult things get when the pads go on …

Well, the Jaguars' rookie running back isn't seeing it yet.

The Jaguars went through their fifth practice of 2017 Training Camp Tuesday, working for two-and-a-half hours in 83-degree temperatures on the practice fields adjacent to EverBank Field. It was the second of what is expected to be five consecutive days in full pads this week.

Fournette and second-year linebacker Myles Jack spoke to the media afterward, and we caught up with second-year defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. We'll have more on Ngakoue later on

Fournette, who has impressed early in camp, said he hasn't had difficulty adapting to the speed of the NFL, and said practices have gone smoothly in pads the last three days.

"It's the same," Fournette said. "A lot of guys are a lot smarter, so you have to go home and you have to study. You have to know your plays. You have to know everything. Don't go out there like a chicken with your head cut off, or you're going to get somebody hurt – or you're going to get yourself hurt."

Fournette – the No. 4 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft – has been impressive early in Jaguars camp, and he indeed has run well in the three days since the Jaguars began working in pads. He has shown confidence as a runner, and hits holes with authority and power.

Images from Tuesday's practice as the Jaguars continue training camp.

Notes and observations from Day 5 of Jaguars 2017 Training Camp practice:

*Fournette said the speed of the NFL hasn't been overwhelming, and that the game actually has gotten "a lot slower" since the Jaguars began working in pads. "Without pads, everyone moves fast and you can't really block anybody because you don't want to hurt anybody," he said. "Without pads, it's a lot slower. You read your blocks based on the tape. It's easier now." …

*Count Jack among those who expect "big things" from Fournette this season. "He's going to be very talented in this league," Jack said. "He's very sturdy, very strong. He's a good pass protector. He can catch. He can do it all. I wouldn't be surprised if he rushes for a good amount of yards and is a big part of our offense. I expect big things from him. He's everything they say he is." …

*Jack spent much of his time speaking to the media discussing his transition from strong-side linebacker to middle linebacker, saying while he is making progress he isn't yet at his desired level. Jack, who started 10 games at strong-side backer as a rookie last season, moved to the middle this past offseason. Speaking Tuesday, Jack was candid in where he was and where he needs to go. "I'm getting everybody lined up," Jack said. "I'd say I'm getting the one-on-one level, which isn't enough." …

*Jack, projected by many to be a Top 5 selection in the 2016 NFL Draft before concerns over a knee injury pushed him into the top of the second round, said he realizes the challenge of calling defenses at the same level as Paul Posluszny. Jack and Posluszny – the Jaguars' starter in the middle since 2011 – switched positions in the offseason, with Posluszny moving to the strong-side. Jack as the middle linebacker will wear the in-helmet, helmet-to-sideline communication device and will be responsible for defensive signals, a duty handled previously by Posluszny. "I have to try to fill a hole of Paul Posluszny, where he was there for five years … like clockwork," Jack said. "That's the standard I'm holding myself to. That's why I'm continuing to learn every day, working through this heat with the pressure of the coaches, trying to maintain poise. When we get into the game, that's when the bullets are flying. That's when I have to be that rock. That's the standard I have to hold myself to. I'm working hard at it. It will come.'' …

*Asked if he still relied on Posluszny at times, Jack said, "It's definitely decreased." He added of the new responsibility, "It's a big load, or pressure or whatever you want to call it. It's what I've asked for, but I'm working at it every day." …

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