JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's three quick thoughts as the Jaguars' 2018 offseason program begins …
1.Give Head Coach Doug Marrone credit for this: his offseason message that last season's run to the AFC Championship Game has no bearing on 2017 has stayed remarkably consistent. And it's difficult to imagine the message hasn't been heard. Marrone started talking along these lines a day after the Jaguars' 24-20 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, emphasizing the need to move forward amid the pall of disappointment that surrounded EverBank Field that day. He has mentioned it prominently pretty much every time he has spoken to the media since, and it unsurprisingly was his theme when speaking to players on Day 1 of the 2018 offseason program Monday. Marrone when speaking to the media Tuesday emphasized the need for detail, for focusing on the work at hand in the offseason, for getting back to Square One. And it wasn't all coach speak and cliché. His best line to emphasize his point: "Be where your butt is." However you put it, if the Jaguars aren't focused in the coming weeks, it won't be because Marrone didn't emphasize the importance of working this offseason as hard as the team did a year ago.
2.Blake Bortles sounded like a confident quarterback Tuesday as he began his fifth NFL offseason, and one reason is his surroundings. He is beginning his second full offseason working with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, and their 28 regular and postseason games together marks the longest Bortles has worked with an NFL coordinator. Bortles worked in 16 2014 regular-season games with coordinator Jedd Fisch and 23 games in 2015 and 2016 with coordinator Greg Olson. Hackett took over for Olson on an interim basis with nine games remaining in the 2016 regular season and took over the position on a full-time basis entering 2017. "We have a foundation of players coming back and everybody's been in Nathaniel's system for a year," Bortles said. "You have a good base of knowledge of everything. That's what's so cool, when we take the receivers across the river [to Bishop Kenny High School] and go throw on our own, I know the system. It's not learning a new system, so I can tell the guys how some of the stuff is supposed to go. I have a really good understanding of it, and there are guys who are here last year who are a year older and into the system." If you're wondering how Bortles could improve in 2018, the continuity with Hackett is something not to overlook.
3.Former middle linebacker Paul Posluszny's impact long will remain around the Jaguars. That was evident during an Posluszny's Monday retirement press conference that long will be remembered for linebacker Telvin Smith's emotional introduction, but Marrone made it clear again Tuesday. Marrone said he discussed with Jaguars director of football technology and facilities Mike Perkins Tuesday the idea of having "What Would Poz Do?" shirts made for the 2018 preseason/training camp. "Poz is a unique player, a player who's going to missed," Marrone said. "When you're a player, and things are tough … one of the more consistent players I've ever been around was Poz. If you said that to any player on our team – What Would Poz do? – you always would know the right thing. So, it would be a whole lot easier to print those shirts rather than me trying to tell everybody. I thought it was pretty cool and something we may do down the road." After seven seasons, it's difficult to picture a Jaguars locker room without Posluszny. Jaguars players may be wearing a reminder in August '18.