The Jacksonville Jaguars are continuing their organized team activities (OTAs) and for the most part, the news coming out if it is pretty mundane. Everyone looks great, they’re going 19-0 and winning the Super Bowl, yada yada. Every so often though when I’m reading through the post/pre-practice transcripts there are things that stand out.
In particular after Monday’s sessions, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone made some interesting comments about wide receiver Marqise Lee that kind of stood out to me.
“I have always believed competition brings out the best in everyone. I have no issues with it. I think it is a very competitive sport,” Marrone said when he was asked directly if he’s been pleased with what he’s seen from Lee so far.
That seems like he’s avoiding the question, right? Especially when you see what he continued with:
“For me, sometimes you try the best you can to create it because if you don’t have competition, if it doesn’t come from the people around you or if it doesn’t come from within, then you are looking at the worst thing that can happen and that is complacency.”
Personally, I read this as Lee hasn’t really stood out much from the other receivers, if at all, which was confirmed a bit by some reporters on the radio speaking about it who have been at the practices. Perhaps Lee took his foot off the gas a bit after being paid, but then again I’m not sure if it ever was on the gas prior to getting paid, considering Lee has been a pretty average-at-best receiver.
I know some will say “Oh, you’re just a pessimist and reading too much into it!” which is certainly possible, but when you juxtapose what Marrone said about Lee with what he said about defensive end Yannick Ngakoue with an almost identical setup.
“He never seems to not impress. I can’t speak for the overall reasons of why he is such a great player. In other words, there are so many things that go into it. That is why I can’t speak for it. But one of the things that I see, which is amazing, is that every day he comes with a genuine purpose to really improve his game and really from the technical standpoint. I have been around a lot of offensive linemen and defensive linemen, and a lot of great ones, and he reminds me of some of those players that come in and really focus in on what he wants to work on. He goes out there and is very competitive. I think now that I have been around him for some time, I think it is very easy to see why he is so successful and why he has had success in this league and why I think he will continue to have success in this league because of the work that he puts in.”
I mean, that’s drastically different, right?
Now, I’ll go ahead and say it’s June and nothing really matters right now, but as I mentioned, it was just something that stood out to me when reading through the transcripts.