Jacksonville, FL– Day 5 of training camp for the Jacksonville Jaguars wasn’t “hot” as one as opposed to the heat that spectators, players and media members were feeling on a Tuesday morning.
If you came into the camp as a fan and expected to see some hard-hitting contact, you probably left disappointed, because that’s not what today was about. In fact, for the last couple of days it hasn’t been as physical as most would like. Especially not to the par of Jaguars legend, Leon Searcy.
“I’d like to see a little bit more contact and one-on-one confrontations,” he said. “You want to get down your technique, fundamentals and aggression off of each other.”
“In camps you’re starting to see more situational football,” he continued. “It is kind of sad because one thing that helped me in my arsenal when I was playing was the physicality of me going up against the defensive line. A little bit of that has now been taken away in training camp.”
However, you couldn’t be disappointed for long, even with there not being so much of that aggression and physicality. There were a lot of things that happened today that you had to be excited about as a fan of a team that was a game away from the championship just two years ago.
Although it being such a light practice today, safety Jarrod Wilson feels that the team was able to get a lot done.
“It’s just a process and we’re building up,” said Jaguar safety Jarrod Wilson. “The main goal is each day to continue to get better at something. I’ve seen improvement for the last five days.”
One of the places that you can say the Jacksonville Jaguars have already improved is with the acquisition of quarterback and SuperBowl MVP, Nick Foles. Now there’s been some questions, at least on the offensive side of the bal,l for this team coming into this year. More specifically, Foles and the receiving core that he has placed around him.
Foles has already been a guy that’s had an opportunity to be a franchise player when he suited up for the Rams. That chapter of his career didn’t work out to well. Now upon winning a Super Bowl and being named MVP, he’s getting a second chance at being THE guy.
This wasn’t as ready made a situation as some would like to think for Foles, because of questions with the offensive line and the receivers. However, Foles and the receivers continue to look good. Foles seemed to be very comfortable in the pocket and was able to get guys the ball in areas where they could come up with it.
“Nick is very poised,” said Wilson, “He knows his reads well and he’s reading us (Defense) very well.”
“It’s good to practice against a guy like that, who has that experience,” he continued. “Him and his receiving group have done a really good job.”
Dede Westbrook had yet another great day today as he was able to get to the spots where he wanted to get to and trusted Foles to get him the ball. In addition, Foles wasn’t only making beautiful passes to Westbrook, but also Geoff Swaim and DJ Chark Jr. You can see the players are getting the plays down and are running their automatics efficiently.
Now, one may argue that these receivers aren’t whom you’d say are top tier receivers. Yet, Wilson believes this is a very strong group of receivers that Foles has around him.
“They’re all playmakers,” he stated. “The media likes to look for that big name, but Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley, DJ Chark, all those guys… it’s a lot of weapons.”
“I think our receiving group is really good,” Wilson continued. “They show speed, athleticism and playmaking. That’s what you need for a winning team.”
Jacksonville is hoping to get back to what and where they were just two years ago when they were one game away from the championship. Yet, after a dismal year, they knew they had to make changes. With Foles looking more and more comfortable in camp, there are still questions around him that will be under the microscope all season.
Will the defenses will be back to championship form?
Is the offensive line going to protect Foles?
Will Yannick Ngakoue sign before the season?
Will Leonard Fournette return to what he was in his rookie year?
However, those questions will be answered through camp, preseason and the regular season. One of the biggest questions was could Foles and these receivers mesh. For now, there’s no doubt that they are, and they look to get better as camp goes on.