If you’re planning on heading out to any of the open training camp practices for the Jacksonville Jaguars the team announced this week, a word of advice, bring your favorite team memorabilia, a Sharpie, and set your best Instagram filter, because the signing sessions before and following practices are likely the most excitement you’ll experience out there this summer.
With less than two weeks remaining before the team kicks off training camp practices, the Jaguars find themselves in a new position that may end up leading to a rather boring camp and preseason for your average fan looking to watch the team go to work for the first time since last year’s AFC title game, a lack of any real competition for front-line positions.
For at least the past decade, the team has entered camp with a multitude of position battles that fans could anticipate seeing sorted out first hand in public practices and preseason games. That simply is not the case this season, as the team gets ready to begin it’s annual summer practices with a 22-man starting line-up that you could write in with pen, and as a likely popular pick by many national pundits to be the favorite in the AFC.
Gone are the days of watching to see if any of the rookie DEs can provide a semblance of a pass rush the team had lacked for years, or panicking over how the team would be able to run the ball and protect the QB with a handful of sieves on the offensive line.
The secondary is no longer a unit of rookies and street free agents trying to pose as a poor-man’s “Legion of Boom”, instead it’s replaced the famed Seattle position group as the league’s elite unit. And yes, even the QB position is in a state where it finally appears that we can be comfortable knowing the offense will be OK, regardless of an errant throw here or there, (or a 5 interception practice).
There of course will be some positions of interest to keep close attention to. Wide receiver will need to be sorted out in terms of pecking order, and the side of Brandon Linder on the line not occupied by Andrew Norwell may be in flux, but all in all, these shouldn’t stray too far from what we already know and anticipate the line-up to look like come September 9.
The team is built, and could go step on a game field July 26 ready to go, which is likely to leave what was once newsworthy practice sessions with not much more flair than your local high school team’s 7 on 7 games. This is a good thing of course, and something that this guy is old enough to remember being an annual feeling back in the team’s infancy, when they were last legitimate contenders fielding potential Hall of Fame talent at a multitude of positions.
It also should be a welcomed relief to the fan base, who instead of scrolling through Jags Twitter feeds for reports of Blake Bortles’ practice stats, can spend their days panicking about whether or not their e-ticket will work for the Saints preseason game.