JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After two days of training camp, one thing is much different from last year.
There is no coach on a microphone telling players to hydrate and the practice tempo seems efficient and it just feels professionally run.
Professionalism. That’s the big difference.
Josh Allen echoed similar statements after the second day saying with Doug Pederson at the helm it feels like “it’s a professional setting.”
“He is talking to us like grown men,” Allen said.
We wouldn’t be speaking about the coach that spoke to the players like kids anymore, [cough, cough] Urban Meyer, [cough, cough].
After a short practice on Monday, things were extended about 30 minutes for the second practice and the heat was turned up in more ways than one. With a longer practice also came more team and competitive sessions. While the early sessions without pads are geared for the offense to excel the defense is flying around and making the coaches blow whistles to keep them from dropping in some solid thuds.
Those thuds did not slow down Trevor Lawrence one bit. Just check these numbers.
7 on 7 (8 of 8 passing).
11 on 11 (8 of 8 passing).
Until Wednesday, I am calling him Mr. Perfect. Now comes the bad news. The only pass Lawrence threw that hit the ground was to Evan Engram. It was a short pass during individual drills with no defenders nearby. Not ready to call it a red flag yet but drops were a problem for Engram when he was in New York so it will be something to monitor the rest of the way.
Something that doesn’t look like it needs to be monitored is the interior offensive line. So far through camp, it looks like Luke Fortner has locked up the starting center spot and Tyler Shatley will be rolling at guard. That means Ben Bartch will be the top interior backup. Pederson had tipped his cap previously that he expected Fortner to eventually take hold of the center spot, and that Shatley could be a good fit at guard. That has materialized quickly.
- CJ Beathard is still not participating in team drills. That meant more reps for Jake Luton, who has thrown some nice passes.
- Devin Lloyd is still sidelined with the hamstring. Lloyd was on the field pulling a sled and using battle ropes to work out with his helmet on.
- Laviska Shenault with a big day. Shenault with a shout-out from Jaguars offensive line coach Phil Rauscher for his run blocking. Shenault has been working with the second team so far.
- Kicking could be an issue. During Tuesday′s kicking session, both Ryan Santoso and Andrew Mevis missed multiple kicks to end the period.
- Zay Jones is by far one of the most vocal leaders the Jaguars have. Every time someone makes a play, Jones can be heard cheering them on.
- Benjie Franklin showed off his closing speed for the second day in a row to come up with the pass breakup. Franklin is off to a strong start.
- Chris Manhertz made a nice catch during a team portion of practice down the field. The key part of that play was Andre Cisco, who, if it was live, would have knocked the ball away or hit Manhertz hard. It was a nice read from the young safety.
- Tyson Campbell allowed a couple of catches during practice but was in the receiver’s hip pocket on all of them. Campbell could have made a play on those the ball if it was live.
- There is a big plan for Evan Engram. He has been the only tight end running deeper routes. During individual drills, Lawrence makes it a point to throw on all of his reps.
- Foye Oluokun’s zone coverage skills will be something to monitor. Lawrence threw a great pass over his head to Marvin Jones Jr. Oluokun visibly knew his drop needed to be deeper after the play.
- Laquon Treadwell has become Mr. Reliable. Treadwell pulled in a deep pass down the sideline. He has picked up right where he left off last season.