The focus of the Jacksonville Jaguars organized team activities (OTAs) will undoubtedly be on quarterback Blake Bortles, so it’s no surprise he was the first thing that head coach Doug Marrone was asked about following Friday’s practice. The media was permitted to watch the entire practice, but there are limits to what they can say, so they’ll try to pry it out of the coach.
Thankfully, Marrone is pretty honest when you ask him a question.
“I think I would put it in the same category as everyone. I think everyone had a week where they realized that we have a long way to go. I look at it that way,” Marrone said on Friday afternoon when asked about the week Bortles had. “I think you could say we are progressing and we are doing some things and we got off to a good start. I think it is more, ‘Listen we have a lot of work ahead of us.’ Every day I think it shows. I think we have to get to work. We can’t waste a lot of time. If we want to be a good football team, then we are going to have to keep stepping it up each day to try to get more and more out of them. We have to get more out of the coaches, more out of myself. Treat this thing as a high level.”
There hasn’t been much about how the players have looked in practices, mostly because the media is only allowed to attend for roughly 25 minutes and during that time the coaches aren’t going to have the team doing anything meaningful. On Friday however, the media was permitted to watch the whole practice but were limited on what could be said. I did hear it wasn’t a great day for the quarterbacks, overall, from a couple of people and Mike Kaye of First Coast News noted the same in his recap of practice.
It wasn't an especially strong practice for the Jaguars quarterbacks, as all three struggled with ball placement. There were a lot of pass breakups and a pair of interceptions.
Blake Bortles had an up-and-down day. His throwing motion looks improved, but his accuracy came in streaks. Chad Henne and Brandon Allen both followed suit.
I’ll go ahead and say “It’s only May,” and not to worry, but weirdly Marrone didn’t want to go that route.
“It is not like, ‘Breathe out. This time of year we are not playing, blah, blah, blah’ – no, in my mind it is like, ‘Hey, listen, we are playing.’,” Marrone said. “With everything we do, we are getting ready to go. We have to ramp up the competition. We have to ramp up what we are doing. We have to ramp up, not being combative, but we have to do everything we possibly can to get better. We have a long way to go. I think that is what this week has shown.”
I’ll say it again, it’s only May and we shouldn’t overreact to anyone looking good or anyone looking bad, even if Marrone doesn’t want to. It’s a good mentality for Marrone to have however, because it can instill a kind of urgency in the players that they have to improve, where in the past it didn’t feel like they had that.