JACKSONVILLE -- Here's what we learned in Week Three of Jaguars 2015 Organized Team Activities …
1.Blake Bortles likes his progress …This topic? Again? Yep, Bortles addressed his offseason progress early this week, and when the starting quarterback does that during OTAs, it's typically the week's top story. That's true even if he has already addressed it a few times. Bortles on Tuesday spoke after OTA Practice No. 8 and said the offseason work he has done on his fundamentals has yielded results and he likes the steps he has taken. He's not a finished product, but improvement has been made. "It's definitely night and day from this time last year," he said.
2. … and there's still work to be done.Bortles spent two months in California working on his fundamentals with a team led by quarterbacks guru Tom House. He said this week he expects to return to California to work with house for a week between the end of the team's June 16-18 minicamp and the beginning of training camp in late July.
Take a look at images from the Jaguars seventh day of OTAs held on Monday, June 8.
3.Bortles likes the offensive install.Greg Olson, in his first season as the Jaguars' offensive coordinator, spoke last week of being pleased with the players' quick grasp of the offense. He was particularly pleased with the lack of mental errors early in OTAs. Bortles said he saw the same thing. "I know Oley talked about how with guys implementing a new offense and trying to learn it the lack of mental errors has been pretty impressive," he said. "I think we've gotten better every single day."
4.Bortles can bounce back.Look, it's not as if Bortles was awful in Monday's OTA practice. And it's not as if a rusty OTA practices is a disaster, anyway. These things are non-contact June workouts, remember. But Bortles wasn't great Monday and he was better Tuesday, so if that means he's good at responding to difficult situations, then that's a good thing for a second-year quarterback. "(Head Coach) Gus (Bradley) talks about having to face adversity and uncomfortable situations in order to have great growth," Bortles said. "That was definitely adversity and uncomfortable, because it wasn't good."
Take a look at images from the Jaguars eighth day of OTAs held on Tuesday, June 9.
5.The Jaguars like Bortles' progress, too.Bradley on Bortles after three weeks of OTAs: "He's playing with more confidence. I always thought he was confident, but I think the team senses he's playing with more confidence and by that, I think he's got more confidence in his mechanics. I think the team senses it. He's not where he wants to be, though. I think that consistency part of it for him is still coming but I know as a coaching staff and as the players around him they feel a big difference."
6.Allen Robinson is back – and he's improving.The second-year wide receiver missed the last six games of last season with a stress fracture in his foot. He was limited early in OTAs, and increased his work in team sessions this week. By week's end he was getting significant repetitions – and more importantly for the Jaguars, very much taking on the look of a mature, veteran red-zone receiver.
7.Robinson wasn't alone.When speaking late in the week, Bradley mentioned Robinson as having a big week. He also spoke highly of third-year cornerback Dwayne Gratz as well as safety Johnathan Cyprien, middle linebacker Paul Posluszny and weakside linebacker Telvin Smith. "I like the progress of a lot of those guys, but I would say Allen Robinson has really stood out," Bradley said.
8.Marqise Lee isn't likely to participate in minicamp.The second-year veteran wide receiver missed the first three weeks of OTAs with a knee injury. Bradley said late in the week it appears unlikely Lee will participate in the team's mandatory minicamp next week.
Take a look at images from the Jaguars ninth day of OTAs held on Thursday, June 11.
9.Chris Clemons likely will be in Jacksonville next week.The 12-year veteran defensive end did not attend the team's voluntary OTA period, but listening to Bradley this week, it sounded as if the Leo/defensive end likely will attend next week's mandatory minicamp. "Obviously we're not going to come out here and get ten reps and try to get him caught up and everything, but to see him out here and be around his teammates and see where he's at will be good," Bradley said.
10.Safety James Sample could return by midway through training camp.The fourth-round rookie sustained a broken arm last Thursday in OTA Practice No. 6 and is expected to return in 10-to-12 weeks. That would have him returning two weeks into training camp. In the meantime, Sergio Brown will continue to work at starting free safety with Craig Loston getting increased repetitions and Josh Evans continuing to work at backup strong safety behind Johnathan Cyprien.
11.Monte Kiffin won't be on the Jaguars' staff. Kiffin, the long-time NFL defensive coordinator, attended Thursday's practice and was seen at several Jaguars 2015 OTA practices. Bradley said Kiffin isn't expected to join the Jaguars as a coach. "We don't have a position open for him but just to have him around our guys in an OTA setting … he meets with our younger coaches, they get everything they can out of him, he watches practice tape and he's around," Bradley said. "The guy can still coach and to give him an opportunity to be around the game I think is awesome."
12.The Jaguars will lean more toward a gap-blocking scheme than zone.This was something that was discussed more this week than early in OTAs, with Bradley saying the emphasis on gap-blocking has been accompanied by the offensive linemen adding bulk and size in the offseason. Offensive guard Zane Beadles also has widened his stance to transition to the adjustment. Look for less emphasis on the outside zone running game as the Jaguars make this transition.
13.Marrone sees progress in Joeckel.Jaguars assistant head coach-offense/offensive line Doug Marrone, in his first season in the position, spoke to the media on Thursday for the first time since the beginning of OTAs. Marrone said the offensive line has made significant progress in the last week or so, and that second-year guard Brandon Linder is ahead of where Marrone anticipated for a player of his experience. Marrone also said third-year left tackle Luke Joeckel has made "great progress" in OTAs. . "There's still a level of inconsistency," Marrone said. "We understand that right now, but again, it's progressing in the right direction."
14.One week to go.We didn't learn this this week, exactly, but it's still true. As of Thursday's final day of OTAs, one week remains in the offseason program. The Jaguars will hold a three-day mandatory minicamp Tuesday-Thursday. After that, the offseason program is over and the wait for training camp in late July begins.