The Jacksonville Jaguars return to the practice field on Thursday morning for their first day of training camp practice, which is open to the public. Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone met with the media on Wednesday and discussed a few things heading into camp and the new season, including about how grueling training camp was last season and will be for 2018.
“My philosophy has always been that I like a little grumbling, to be honest with you. I think that if you don’t have … If there is not a little bit of grumbling, then maybe you are not doing the right thing. I really believe that,” Marrone said when asked if players would complain less because of the success in 2018.
There was talk both ways about the Jaguars training camp being too tough and old school and how that was actually good. It turned out a lot of the players ended up liking the challenge and it paid dividends down the stretch, as nothing ever seemed too tough for the Jaguars because they practiced like that leading up to the season.
“That goes back to making sure that we are being uncomfortable. I believe that. I don’t put words like “grueling” or “grinding” because obviously a lot of us have played before and been through tougher situations. I think the players understand,” Marrone continued. “I think the ones that have been here can kind of understand what it is going to be. But they understand why. I think that is the most important thing. I think people get into what is tough. What is this? What are you trying to do? It wasn’t like I was trying to shock a team or do something different. It is just my philosophy of what I believe that you need to do to get ready to play this game and play it a high level. We want to be able to play it at the highest level that we can.”
The Jaguars teams prior to Marrone were physically tough, but they seemed to fall apart mentally when bad things happened. When there was a turnover or big play given up, you could just feel everything deflate and you know they were going to crash. Last season however, while it felt that way early on in the season, as the year went on the team bounced back from those situations multiple times because they’d been through tough things all offseason and they were used to it.
Of all the things Marrone has brought to the table as a head couch, reinvigorating the Jaguars mental toughness as a team has been the biggest benefit.