JACKSONVILLE - With 10 voluntary practices over and a handful of mandatory practices coming in the near future, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone used a chess analogy to explain the goal of the voluntary practice sessions.
“During the course of a game, the other team is not going to put you in ‘checkmate’ where you can’t get out of it,” said Marrone. “They may put you in ‘check’ but we want to give us a chance to make a move and they can’t counter it. The team has to become more situational to react to opposing team looks.”
Marrone said the OTAs are more meant for more “tempo” training rather than high level intensity.
“We work on speeding up the thought processes on offense to recognize defensive formations,” said Marrone. “The goal is to get set quicker and getting immune to doing the right things quickly. We used a 30 second clock that went down to a 15 second clock between downs to force quicker progression thinking.”
In semi-live scrimmages; no pads for OTAs, the Jaguar defense, led by their stellar linebacker crew, kept pressure on quarterbacks Blake Bortles and Chad Henne and got outstanding pass breakups from defensive cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
“I can’t answer the question of whether we are good enough to take the field because we don’t have pads,” said Marrone. “I like to run the ball every play and my favorite is a pro-style attack with a Veer, like at Georgia Tech.”
With pass catching still a thorn in the side with still dropped passes in the secondary, Marrone’s liking of the run game may come down to rookie first round pick Leonard Fournette’s ability to transition to the pro game and the Jags ability to find five solid offensive linemen. Alabama rookie tackle Cam Robinson, from Alabama, looked impressive working with the second string offense.