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2016 Jaguars training camp: Observations from Day 7

What did NFL Network have the pleasure of watching at Jaguars training camp today?

Today was another day of hot temperatures and footballs flying at the practice fields of EverBank Field, and NFL Network was there to observe why there is so much hype surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Oh, and I was too. Let's get to the observations.

The Jaguars defense looks #ActuallyGood

Although hype often leads to false hope and/or irrationally high expectations, it's hard to deny that the Jaguars defense is much, much improved from last year -- the hype is real, and it's for good reasoning.

Within the first three minutes of 11 v 11's today, QB's Blake Bortles and Chad Henne were intercepted -- one where Telvin Smith made a great read in coverage and picked off Bortles' pass intended for Julius Thomas. Henne's pass was tipped at the line and Dwayne Gratz made the interception.

According to Ryan O'Halloran of the T-U, Bortles is 40-of-71 (56.3%) on passing attempts with four interceptions during 11 v 11's, and 35-of-53 (71.6%) with one interception during 7 v 7's (and a countless amount touchdowns that weren't kept track of).

*Note- %'s thanks to our very own Wiggle_Man.

Considering that both the team and pretty much anyone that has paid attention to Bortles in training camp is saying he finally looks like a good practice QB, the interception count/completion percentage being where they are means one thing -- this defense is playing very well.

The Jaguars defense has been hyped up, as I said before, and considering that everyone is keeping an eye on the defense's progression, the best thing that could have happened at practice today would be for the defense to play lights out with the NFL Network guys watching. They were just that -- lights out.

People are too concerned about Kelvin Beachum

When I've checked my timeline on Twitter, I've seen many concerns about Kelvin Beachum's knee, considering he has missed two practices in a row.

I'm not a doctor, but I certainly believe that he's made more progress than even he has expected to at this point in time, and I think his knee is going to be just fine.

My thoughts can be best summed up in my Twitter rant:

So, yeah, people are forgetting that Beachum is actually ahead of schedule with rehabbing his knee and it's a really good sign that he was a full participant in practice for the first five days. These past two practices have been good rest for his knee, and although he might miss some more practice, it's precautionary -- don't get nervous.

As I said in my last tweet -- if there was any serious concern from the team, Joeckel would be getting left tackle reps over Josh Wells. He hasn't, so there's that.

Jared Odrick *may* be expendable

Your first reaction might be "Wait, what?", but hear this out.

The team has been working on moving Sen'Derrick Marks to the 4B position along the defensive line -- practically the inside version of the "big end" 5-tech position that Odrick plays.

Marks has been an asset to the defensive line when he's seen the field in years past, producing more as a pass rusher than Odrick did last year. The team plans on moving away from the "big end" idea and introduce more of a pass-rushing method from the left side of the defensive line.

If these are truly the plans for the Jaguars, then I could see Marks taking over as starter at left defensive end as a 4B-end, with Yannick Ngakoue substituting for Marks on passing downs to imply quicker pass rush opposite of Dante Fowler Jr.

All of this would leave Odrick as the odd man out. I'm not saying Odrick isn't valuable, I'm a very big fan of him and his production, but it's the nature of the game.

If the Jaguars pursue this route, Odrick could be put on the trade market. Teams like the Cowboys could be interested in Odrick to help boost production on their defensive line and could send players like La'el Collins or Ronald Leary to Jacksonville to improve the Jaguars' weak spot at left guard.

This is all speculation, but if you think about it, it makes sense.

*Note- Credit to Hank Joness for this train of thought

Play of the day

After getting into some drama yesterday with wide receiver Allen Robinson when he was beat on two consecutive plays, cornerback Prince Amukamara made a very nice "payback" pass breakup when Allen Robinson ran a slant route:

Quote of the day

Defensive tackle Malik Jackson: (On how training camp is going so far) "I think it's going really well. We're going out here and making plays and doing big things. Everybody is being where they are supposed to be so right now we're looking good."