JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the Jaguars prepared to begin training camp Thursday, head coach Doug Marrone said he anticipates camp to be as tough as it was last year, maybe even tougher.
"We've changed up, things we need to work on, things that will help us be better prepared when the season begins," Marrone said. "I like a little grumbling, to be honest with you. If there's not a little bit of grumbling, then you're probably not doing the right thing. That goes back to being a little uncomfortable."
Throughout last season as the Jaguars made their run to the AFC championship game, players reference the rigorous training camp as one of the driving forces behind the team's success. Does that mean that players this year will complain less about how tough camp is?
"It's so easy to think negative as your first instinct, but I think right after that, then we remember the outcome," said linebacker Telvin Smith. "We take it right back and say, 'Well, you know what, we did win.' It made guys understand that this is where its gets you, when you put the work in. But at the same time hard work is still hard work."
Marrone played in the NFL when camps were allowed to be much tougher – two-a-days in full pads with full contact in both sessions, a far cry from today’s restrictions. He said that while camp is a grind, he doesn't do it just to make things tough on the players. There is a purpose. A plan.
"It wasn't like I was trying to shock a team or do something different," Marrone said. "It's just my philosophy of what I believe that you need to do to get ready to play this game and play it at a high level. We want to be able to play it at the highest level we can."