There's never a dull moment during the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars training camp. From 5 interceptions to Branden Albert's retirement to Doug Marrone soundbites — football season is back!
Here are the three takeaways and three questions from Day 4.
Day 4 takeaways
1. Sheldon Day is #actually #good
While Day may not get a starting role because of who's ahead of him on the depth chart, there's no questioning that he'll play an important role in solidifying the depth along our defensive line. During pass rushing agility drills, Day had really quick feet and strong hands.
He pounded the blue stand-up bags with ease and looked comfortable switching hands. He easily jumped out as one of the more quick-twitch players I watched. I anticipate big things from him this year, and I firmly believe that on any other team he'd be a starting defensive tackle.
2. Hayes Pullard III is valuable, valuable depth
For the past 4 practices, it seems like Hayes Pullard has really improved his play from last year. He had a notable tipped ball that he couldn't corral for the interception on Friday, famously doing pushups for it. He had an interception on Saturday, and made some good plays today in coverage and on his run fits. Before the season, he seemed like someone who was a trendy roster cut prediction, but now I firmly believe he'll be on this team Week 1.
3. Cam Robinson had an inconsistent day
Some plays made you wonder how he slipped to the 2nd round, with his 6'6" frame standing as an imposing barrier to the quarterback. Robinson had two good plays against Fowler where Fowler couldn't go by him, and another where Fowler lost his footing. Other plays left you scratching your head, such as when Yannick Ngakoue blew by Robinson without getting touched.
Of course, Robinson is still a rookie and these flashes are expected. But boy, you have to hope he'll be ready soon, because the Houston Texans come in Week 1 in a game the Jaguars desperately need to win in order to get positive momentum for the season.
Day 4 questions
1. Is that it for Michael Bennett?
During the pass rushing agility drill that I mentioned earlier, Bennett could be seen struggling with his feet and getting a good punch on the blue football bags. He seemed awkward when he used his hands and couldn't generate momentum between the hits.
It wasn't just a one time incident either. He failed to catch my eye and didn't seem as strong at the point of attack as his teammates, a weakness from college. He doesn't seem that powerful and perhaps has lost a step or two due to injury. Bennett will face an uphill battle to make this roster, especially with all the depth along the defensive line.
2. Dante, can you prove us all wrong?
Dante had an okay day. He still gets tripped up far too often during practice for my liking. He needs a LOT of help on his footwork and his hand usage seems awkward and unnatural. His get off from his stance to his initial move could use some work.
However, His raw athleticism and power takes the cake.
I think Calais mentioned a while ago that the most impressive Jaguars athlete on the field was Dante, and that's a fair assessment to make. When Dante puts together his hand usage and footwork with his athleticism, almost no one can stop him on the field. It's just that those plays rarely, if ever, happen.
3. What did Marrone say about Blake this time?
Bortles bounced back in a big way, as evidenced by his performance during team drills. He completed 14 straight passes at one point, including a couple of great dimes to Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson. However, the early part of practice was a struggle, to say the least. It seemed like Bortles' mechanics were showing some signs of breakdown, and worse, his decision making left Marrone frustrated.
Someone close to Marrone on the field was talking about how Marrone asked, "What's Blake on today?" after Bortles struggled on some easy throws. Thankfully, Bortles seemed to respond well to that and went on to have an acceptable practice.