The Jacksonville Jaguars concluded their second joint practice with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, though it was not without some weather hiccups. The practice was delayed and moved inside due to inclement weather, but once it passed it moved back outside. It was probably an odd practice back for Jaguars first round pick Taven Bryan, who has been sidelined with an abdominal injury, but his teammates were happy to have him back in the fold.
“I want to say welcome back! It has been too long. Somebody has to get those reps, so the young guys, they usually get a lot of reps,” Jaguars veteran defensive lineman Calais Campbell said after practice when asked if it was good to have Bryan back on the field. “It is fun when you get to tease him for being out and making it hard for other people. We gave him a hard time. He came back today with a big smile on his face and excited to make plays. He flew around, had some fun today. I have to watch the tape to really see how he did, but it is always good to have him out there.
By all accounts Bryan has shown everything the Jaguars have wanted to see so far. In organized team activities (OTAs) without pads he flashed his athleticism. Once the pads went on he showed his strength and now he just needs to get under the lights in the preseason during “live” reps and see if he can put everything together. Not only has Bryan shown the physical traits the team is looking for, but it sounds like he’s got the right attitude for a rookie as well, and veterans are taking notice.
“I love it. He is the best rookie I have had in my career, which is a big statement,” Campbell added about Bryan’s attitude. “Some guys might get upset about that. He really has done everything that we have asked of him. He has done it with a smile on his face and he is just a good guy to be around.”
“He came in with the mentality that he wants to soak up knowledge and he wants to get better every day. He wants to be dependable, and he is showing us that we can depend on him,” Campbell added when asked what made Bryan’s attitude so great.
Bryan missed the Jaguars first preseason game with an abdominal injury, to which the team indicated it was more a precaution than the injury being serious. Bryan has been back at practice and by all accounts should be ready to play on Saturday against the Vikings.