It’s been a few years but the Jaguars have all 90 players under contract in camp on time in the first year, but the are here under new head coach Gus Bradley.
“It’s about trust,” Bradley said this week. “We can immediately trust them from a coach’s perspective as players to do the things necessary to win. The other way might take some time. They need to learn to trust us as coaches that what we’re doing is going to work.”
Bradley’s right and part of that is because his style is so different from anything in the past. Full time music, up tempo timing and non-stop work will be the hallmarks of Bradley’s first Jaguars camp as head coach. He’s excited and is trying to temper that.
“We’ll have to slow down a bit,” he told us on Thursday. “We’re so excited to get on the field and get started we’ll be going a million miles a hour so we need to be aware of that and slow down.”
Bradley has emphasized that there’s an open competition at every position, so there should be constant focus and effort.
This year’s Jaguars team has players who know what to say and how to say it. Chad Henne had just about every cliché you can think of in just one sentence.
“Of course I want to be the starter but I’m here to compete. I’m here to help the team and get better. I’m competing against myself. I want to get better every day. That’s the key.”
Of course they didn’t become cliché’s because they weren’t true. Henne is right when it comes to the attitude of this year’s Jaguars team and what kind of chord you have to strike going into training camp. You can’t pace yourself on the field, because you’re being evaluated on every play. But you need to know how to get the job done, day after day with tired legs and a worn out brain.
“I’m going to lean on the veterans to see how it’s done,” first round draft pick Luke Joeckel said as he reported to his first camp. “Camp’s a grind and everybody knows that. You just have to handle it,”
And he’s right. You can’t win a job or lose it in the first week. In the second week, guys start to separate themselves both physically and mentally. But this first week is a blur, a whirlwind of action and emotion.
Jaguars training camp is open to the public through the scrimmage at the stadium next Saturday night, August 3, except for Tuesday which is the players' day off.